USE-2 Solar Wire
About USE-2 Solar Wire
We stock USE-2 electrical wire in our NH warehouse and throughout the USA due to our manufacturer’s stocking locations. We have the ability to drop ship our USE-2, XHHW, and THHN THWN wire when necessary. USE-2 solar wire is an underground single conductor electrical wire due to its XLPE (cross-linked polyethylene) insulation. It’s commonly used in the underground because it can be directly buried in the ground without conduit. Its temperature rating goes up as high as 90°C and the voltage rating is 600 volts on all sizes listed above. Click here for our THHN wire which is less expensive because it doesn’t hold the “solar PV” or”underground” approvals.
USE Underground Cable
USE-2 Solar Electrical Wire – Direct Burial
USE-2 solar cable is rated for direct burial in the ground without conduit or raceway. It’s a standard item in the industry in which most suppliers should have stock to quickly fulfill customers’ orders. It’s manufactured in flexible copper or aluminum strands along with flexible rubber insulation. It was designed and engineered to be used for solar panel installations with a sun light resistant insulation available for direct burial when necessary.
USE copper cables are a slight upgrade from a typical welding cable. Both are rubber insulated but the insulation of USE was enhanced to perform in abusive conditions. Welding cable is also very flexible and manufactured with thin copper strands and very bendable rubber insulation. Welding cable doesn’t have a UL, CSA, RHH, RHW, or MSHA approval like USE cable does. Both are, however, RoHS compliant which means they are lead-free.
USE-2 is rated for 600 volts and a temperature rating of 90°C. There is an XLPE version and a CPE version which are slightly different from each other. XLPE is Cross-Linked Polyethelene and CPE is rubber insulation. The XLPE version comes in many different color options because the insulation color dye can be changed much easier. Rubber insulated cables need to have a completely new process in order to change the color so they are usually only offered in black and possibly red.
You can also buy the USE-2 aluminum cable from WesBell Electronics which is much cheaper and lighter than copper. Aluminum is less of a conductor compared to copper so the gauge (AWG) size you choose will have to be slightly larger than the copper equivalent. For instance, a USE 2 AWG copper cable will translate into a 1/0 (0 AWG) aluminum cable which is two sizes bigger.