Do I need a conduit for out door wiring?

Do I need a conduit for my wire from the solar panels to the inverter on the wall outside? If needed then what type, pvc or metal conduit is best for 1000watt?


  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,464 ✭✭✭✭✭
    If the wire is exposed, tweakers in your area become attracted to it, and steal it to sell for drugs.

    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    gen: ,

  • cow_ranchercow_rancher Solar Expert Posts: 117 ✭✭✭✭
    You can buy direct burial wire... around here the gophers didn't get the NEC memo that said it was OK.

  • Raj174Raj174 Solar Expert Posts: 795 ✭✭✭✭
    I would use electrical PVC. It's fairly easy to measure, cut and fit together. It protects the wiring from solar UV and critters. 

    4480W PV, MNE175DR-TR, MN Classic 150, Outback Radian GS4048A, Mate3, 51.2V 360AH nominal LiFePO4, Kohler Pro 5.2E genset.
  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 3,854 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Advantages, disadvantages, PVC cheap and easy, Steel offers more mechanical protection, including lightning protection, but at the expense of installation cost, method 3, Teck cable, all conductors including ground, no connectors, metallic protection easy installation, really the best of both worlds, consider aluminum to save even more.
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery with Battery Bodyguard BMS 
    Second system 1890W  3 × 300W No name brand poly, 3×330 Sunsolar Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery with Daly BMS, used for water pumping and day time air conditioning.  
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergency charging and welding.
  • dennis461dennis461 Registered Users Posts: 109 ✭✭✭
    PVC looks like crap after two years in direct sunlight. 
    Camden County, NJ, USA
    19 SW285 panels
    SE5000 inverter
    grid tied
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,698 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The answer to your question is NO, you do not need to use conduit unless it is locally required. You can use USE2 or 'solar wire' and be okay with NEC code. These wires are resistant to deterioration from direct sunlight. It would look better and be better protected in conduit.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former, 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • cow_ranchercow_rancher Solar Expert Posts: 117 ✭✭✭✭
    You can buy direct burial wire... around here the gophers didn't get the NEC memo that said it was OK.

    Somehow I was thinking he was going to bury it, ...never mind...

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