Installing Solar Electric Since 1983

 

Poor PV Wire Management

An alarming trend in the industry has been to install high voltage PV wiring without protection. This has been driven by high demand for modules in Europe where wiring standards are lax. The lack of available equipment for wire management coupled with an over confidence in plastic cable ties has contributed to this problem. Below are some good examples of bad wiring.

These cables are dangling on the roof and are at risk of abrading, exposing conductors with up to 600 VDC. If a Frisbee slides under this rack and a child uses a scrap of pipe to dislodge it, tragedy could result.
The photo right depicts a Unirac ULA mount. Note the high voltage PV cables wrapped around support members. This rack is essentially a jungle-gym with PV modules on it. A child climbing could easily damage the insulation and come in contact with up to 600 VDC. We lost this job to a lower bidder. I hope the customer does not have grandchildren!
This is very typical of what we find when we inspect the work of many contractors. The leads are too long so they are bundled under plastic ties. Even UV resistant ties do not stand up under thermal cycling.
An installation by an out-of-town HVAC company. Clearly out of their skill area.
The remainder of the conduit depicted above. A trip hazard as well as a fire hazard.
Here is another job that we lost to a lower bidder. When these ties fail the cables will hang down and they will be exposed to damage. This customer does have grandchildren. Contrast this to the job we did on Phase 1 below.
This installation performed by us was done back when modules had junction boxes. The wiring is completely enclosed in liquid-tight flexible conduit.