What size of cable should I use with my inverter and battery?
It is very important to be sure you are using the appropriate cable size for your inverter/battery. Failing to do so could lead to your inverter not supporting full loads and overheating, which is a potential fire hazard. Use this as a guide for choosing the proper cable size, and be sure to contact a professional electrician or our tech team with any additional questions you may have.
1.What size inverter do you have?
Example: AIMS Power 5000W 24Vdc Power Inverter, model # PWRINV500024W
2. What is the DC voltage of your battery bank?
Example below: 8 x 12Vdc batteries wired in series and parallel to make 24Vdc:
3. Now divide the inverter’s wattage by your battery voltage; this will give you the maximum current for your cables.
(5000 W)/(24 Vdc)=208.33 A
**Here we are just manipulating Ohm’s Law which tells us that:
Wattage = Voltage * Amperage
4. So, in our example 208.33 amps is the maximum current that the cable needs to support in order to properly provide the current to the inverter. Use the below chart as a guide to determine which size cable will be best for your application. In our example we can see that 1/0 AWG cable would be appropriate (#1 AWG has a maximum rating of 211A, which is fairly close to our maximum amperage, so it would be a good idea to go up in size to the next gauge especially for lengths over 10 feet).
*** PLEASE NOTE: For distances over 10 feet, voltage drop over the cables will occur due to resistance through the wiring. If you will need to run cables longer than 10 feet, it is recommended that you increase the cable size in order to compensate for voltage loss. If you are unsure about your application feel free to give us a call and we will be able to assist you in finding the right cable.