Conduit is a highly important and usually neglected component for protecting the electrical cables and wiring in s solar PV installation which acts as a closed channel that guards cables (both AC and DC) against hazards i.e. atmospheric or physical, over a PV installations lifetime.
There are many factors to take into account to correctly size and select a conduit material, from code-, job- and customer-specific requirements, and making the right selection can make a big impact on PV power plant performance.
Types of conduits
Conduit used in PV power plant installations can be classified into two categories and each category can be further divided into metallic and non-metallic types.
- Rigid conduit
- Flexible conduit
Rigid conduits also called as pipe or tubes, are used on higher distance runs and where extra strength or mechanical protection is required. Rigid conduits can still be turned, but flexible conduit is normally used in installations that require bending, curves or in areas where vibrations may occur.
Non-metallic conduit is made from plastics that have to meet the performance requirements of steel while being much lighter, using materials like Nylon, polypropylene or PVC.
The metallic conduit can be made from galvanized steel, stainless steel, brass, aluminium or nickel-plated brass. Some contain both metallic and non-metallic materials to offer low fire hazard and anti-static capabilities, external braiding and other features.
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