High Voltage Cable Size Chart (Understanding Wire Gauges) - ShopSolar.com
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High Voltage Cable Size Chart

Short on Time? Here’s The Article Summary

This article provides a detailed overview of wire gauges, focusing on high-voltage cables. It explains that wire gauge refers to the thickness of a cable, with smaller numbers representing thicker cables. The American Wire Gauge (AWG) is used to measure cable sizes in the United States. The article discusses the relationship between wire gauge and technical specifications such as diameter, resistance, and current capacity, highlighting that thicker wires have lower resistance and higher current capacity.

It also provides a chart showing the diameter, area, resistance, maximum current, and maximum frequency for different AWG sizes. The article concludes by explaining the importance of understanding wire gauges when setting up solar power systems and offers recommendations for selecting the right cable size for specific applications.

Introduction

Cables or wires come in different thicknesses, also called gauges. Each cable size is better suited to a different purpose, so here’s a high-voltage cable size chart for you to understand these cables better. 

We’re going to give you an overview of what wire gauges are, what you should consider, why they’re important, and how to select the right cable size for your need.

What Are Wire Gauges?

Wire gauge refers to a wire or cable’s thickness, and each thickness has a different application. There’s a number representing each gauge or cable size. It might be a bit confusing, but smaller numbers represent thicker cable sizes, and large numbers represent thinner cable sizes.

high voltage cable diameter chart

In America, we make use of AWG, or American Wire Gauge, to measure cable sizes. This is the standard method of identifying and measuring cable sizes. The method was developed here in the United States for electronically conductive cables.

The method works for specifying the sizes of round and solid conductive wires made from material that’s non-ferrous. This means the material the wire is made from contains no iron.

A wire’s thickness affects how well it works in an electrical system – it alters its resistance and load-carrying capacity. Understanding wire gauges is helpful because you can determine whether it’s appropriate for what you want to use them for, as well as what their load-carrying capacity and resistance properties are. 

The Relationship Between Wire Gauges and Technical Specs

The size or gauge of a wire gives you more information than only thickness. Here are some other factors it helps you understand.

Diameter

The cable’s diameter can range from low to high numbers. Each time the gauge increases by 6 levels, the diameter doubles. For example, a three-gauge wire has double the diameter of a nine-gauge wire.

medium voltage cable ampacity chart

Resistance

The electrical resistance of a cable depends on its thickness and length. If a wire is longer, it will provide greater resistance than it would if it were shorter. If a wire is thicker, it provides greater resistance than a thinner wire. 

For example, an AWG 4 wire will have a resistance of 0.25 Ohms at 25 degrees Celcius, while an AWG 40 wire will have a resistance of 1079 Ohms under the same condition. This shows how thicker wires have greater resistance.

Current Capacity

The current capacity of a wire measures how much current the wire can safely carry at any point in time. Lower gauge wires are thicker, so they can safely accommodate more electrons than higher gauge wires. 

This means the current capacity of lower gauge wires is higher than that of a higher gauge wire. This is measured in ampules, commonly referred to as amps.

Once you’ve got all of this figured out, find a good battery cable size chart to figure out what you need to connect your battery to your inverter.

Because high-voltage systems are running under more pressure, you should also take some steps to protect them. Our High-Voltage Battery Regulator is a great piece of tech that keeps everything in your system safe from the dangers of a high-voltage circuit.

high voltage cable ampacity chart

Applications for Different Wire Gauges

Each wire gauge or size is different and is therefore best used for different applications. 

Thinner gauges are usually used in more lightweight applications, and thicker gauges are used for more heavy-duty applications. Here are some common applications for wires of various gauges or sizes:

Gauge 4: Large heaters or furnaces

Gauge 6: Kitchen stoves

Gauge 10: Large aircon units, clothes dryers, and water heaters

Gauge 12: Small aircon units and residential outlets

Gauge 14: Light fixtures and small electronic devices

Gauge 16: Light-duty extension cables for residential use

Gauge 18: Low-voltage cords and household lighting.

high voltage cable ampacity calculation

If you're looking for a lighting-specific chart, have a look at our low-voltage lighting wire chart. We’ve also put together a low-voltage cable size chart and a wire gauge voltage chart which will help if your voltage needs are lower but you still want to understand wire gauges.

Cable Size Chart

AWG

Diameter (mm)

Area (mm2)

Resistance (Ohms/km)

Max Current (Amperes)

Max Frequency

1

0.28

42.4

0.12

119

325Hz

2

0.25

33.6

0.15

94

410Hz

3

0.22

26.7

0.19

75

500Hz

4

0.20

21.2

0.24

60

650Hz

5

0.18

16.8

0.31

47

820Hz

6

0.16

13.3

0.39

37

1100Hz

7

0.14

10.5

0.49

30

1300Hz

8

0.12

8.37

0.62

24

1650Hz

9

0.11

6.63

0.79

19

2050Hz

10

0.10

5.26

0.99

15

2600Hz

11

0.09

4.17

1.26

12

3200Hz

12

0.08

3.31

1.58

9.3

4150Hz

13

0.07

2.62

2.00

7.4

5300Hz

14

0.06

2.08

2.52

3.7

6700Hz

15

0.05

1.65

3.18

2.9

8500Hz


Cable Size Chart in the Solar Context

So, why would you need to understand all this in the context of using solar power? 

high voltage cable sizing calculator

When you put together your own solar power setup, one of the decisions you need to make will be choosing what size cables you’re going to use to connect each element. Understanding the applications of various cable sizes allows you to make this decision based on the types of devices or appliances you need to power.

If that’s not for you, we recommend one of our solar panel kits for your home. These have all the elements you’ll need to set yourself up, so you don’t need to worry about purchasing each element separately. You can also use our solar wire size calculator for some more help.

If you’re feeling unsure about which kit is for you, feel free to get in touch with us and we’ll help you find the right fit.

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