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Cables & Wiring

Your solar system’s wiring is the freeway for the electricity it produces. If it is designed poorly, you’ll get the same results as with poorly designed roads: traffic jams, accidents, and frustration. You want to minimize the distance your solar cables and wiring run because of voltage loss, but you also need to choose the right wire gauge to carry ample amperage.

Choosing proper solar cables and wiring can be confusing, but our wire sizing chart can help (also found on page 172 of our 14th edition Solar Living Sourcebook). And of course, if you just want help from the experts, the Real Goods Tech Desk is always there to answer your cable and wiring questions (800-919-2400). Just keep in mind that local electric codes and inspectors have the final say for what’s acceptable in your area.

"Some voltage drop is unavoidable when moving electrical energy from one point to another, but we can limit this to reasonable levels if we choose the proper wire size. Acceptable voltage drop for 120-volt (AC) circuits can be up to 5%, but for 12- or 24-volt (DC) circuits, 2 - 3% is the most we want to see."

Solar Living Sourcebook 14th Edition
Chapter 4: From Panel to Plug