How to Wire a Solar Panel System How to Wire a Solar Panel System

What You'll Need
Wire cutters
Utility knife

If you are planning to add a solar panel system to your home, it is imperative that you make sure the wiring is done correctly.  Though there are not many ways for a solar panel system to fail, faulty wiring is one of the few. Taking the extra time to make sure that the wiring is done properly can save you headaches in the future. A good wiring job will prevent loss of energy, overheating, and fire damage. 

Step 1 - Select the Best Wire

When you are deciding what type of wire to buy for your solar panel system, you will need to consider the overall voltage of the system as well as the distance that the wires will have to run. Higher voltages and higher distances are going to force you to use larger wire. If you purchase the components for your solar panel system in a kit, you should receive a chart that will detail the proper wire to use. This is a very important step because you don’t want to use wire that is too small. Wire that is not large enough can overheat and catch fire that can potentially harm your family and your possessions. 

Step 2 - Connect the Solar Panels

Once you have acquired the wire for your system, you will need to connect the solar panels. The number of wires that you have running through the system will be determined by the size of your system. In order to do this you will have to cut the wire to length, strip the coating, and attach it to the input terminals on the charge controller.

If you are wiring a large system, it is best to use more than one terminal. You don’t want the terminal to burn out because there are too many panels connected to it. 

Step 3 - Connect the Charge Controller

With the panels in place, you can now run the wires from the output of the charge controller to the battery bank. The wire that you use to power the charge controller can be the same as the wire that you used to connect the solar panels to the charge controller. This will be heavy gauge wire. Again, you will cut the wire to length, strip the coating, and attach the bare wire to the batteries.

Step 4 - Attach the Power Inverter

The power inverter is what is going to convert the solar power into 120 volt AC power. If you are using really heavy for the earlier connections, you can go ahead and use it again here. However, you should try to buy the heaviest gauge wire that will work with your system. Lots of power runs through these wires and you want to make sure that they can handle it. The wires that run to the power inverter should be no more than 6 feet in length.

Step 5 - Connect the Breaker Panel and Generator

The breaker panel and generator are going to be connected to the power inverter. The breaker panel will be connected at the output port and the generator will be connected at the input port. Three wires will run from both the breaker panel and the generator; a hot wire, a neutral wire, and a ground wire. You will have to cut the wire, strip the wire, and run them to their respective components.


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