Japanese technology provider GBP Co., Ltd. released last week new aluminum cables for PV installations.
The company claims that the new product offers the advantage of being an antitheft solution, as aluminum costs significantly less than copper, and aluminum cables are less targeted by thieves than their copper counterparts.
GBP said the new aluminum cables are compatible with the international standards 4 mm² x 95 mm², 4 mm² x 120 mm², 1 mm² x 150 mm², 1 mm² x 185 mm², 1 mm² x 240 mm², and 1 mm² x 300 mm².
“The conductivity of aluminum cables is around 60% that of copper cables,” the manufacturer said. “But by selecting an appropriate size, it is possible to achieve the same performance as copper conductors. In addition, since aluminum cables are 30 to 50% lighter and more flexible than copper cables, they ensure an easier installation process, shorten the construction period, and save labor costs.”
GBP claimed that the use of its new cable may reduce the cost of a PV project by up to 10%. “It complies with German standards,” the provider said. “Anti-theft measures such as our aluminum cables are also attracting attention overseas.”
Aluminum is less expensive than copper, but it is susceptible to oxidation. Furthermore, aluminum is also more brittle even at normal temperatures and breaks more easily than copper.
In practice, aluminum cables are rarely used in smaller roof installations and are mostly utilized in large scale PV facilities. These cables require a thicker cross-section than copper cables for the same output and thus also a little more space.
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