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Wire Gauge Voltage Chart

Short on Time? Here’s The Article Summary

This article provides a comprehensive guide on wire gauge voltage charts essential for optimizing a solar setup. Understanding wire gauges, measured in American Wire Gauge (AWG) ratings, is crucial as the diameter of a wire affects the amount of electricity and voltage it can handle. Voltage travels through wires from the inverter to appliances, driven by the battery storing solar energy. The article emphasizes the importance of selecting the right wire thickness for different voltage needs, with a detailed wire voltage rating chart illustrating the relationship between wire size and voltage capacity.

Solar panel inverters have rated voltages, usually slightly higher than the output required for battery charging, which decreases as the battery discharges. Choosing the correct battery voltage for an inverter involves understanding the total power requirements of all electrical appliances to be powered. The article also discusses the types of wires used in solar panel installations, typically 10 to 12-gauge AWG ratings, and the importance of matching the inverter’s wattage rating with the total wattage of connected solar panels to ensure a safe connection. The wire gauge voltage chart ultimately helps users select appropriate wire sizes to safely transport the required voltage in their solar setups.

Introduction

You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking for a wire gauge voltage chart. We will explain each factor you need to understand around wires, inverters, and batteries for your solar setup to work optimally. 

These factors all contribute to how well your solar power setup can power your electronics and appliances, so having a deep understanding of what you need from each element will help you maximize the power your receive from your solar panels.

Understanding Wire Gauges

A wire gauge is the size or diameter of a wire. The diameter of a wire is usually measured in millimeters using a tool called a gauge. The gauge is marked with ratings such as 6, 8, 10, and 12, which are attributed to a wire depending on its diameter. 

voltage wire gauge chart

The gauge attributed to the wire is usually printed or stamped onto the back of the wire. 

The wire’s size is proportional to the amount of electricity or current that can pass through it, as well as the amount of voltage that can pass through it. This is because current and voltage are directly proportional to each other. Current is measured in amperes and voltage is measured in volts.

American Wire Gauge Ratings

The American Wire Gauge ratings system is the official wire size rating system used in the United States. It’s often referred to as the AWG rating of a wire. It measures the diameter of electric conductors, which is what a wire is.

The ratings are represented in a chart and are based on the number of dies required to draw the copper down to the required dimensional size. This may sound confusing, but what it means is that the higher the AWG rating, the smaller the wire is in diameter.

The most common method of measuring conductor wires uses the cross-sectional area of the wire. This is measured in millimeters squared.

How Does Voltage Travel Through Wires?

Before we explain the wire gauge voltage chart, let’s gain a deeper understanding of how voltage moves through wires to power your appliances and electronics. We believe it’s important to understand the components of your setup so that you can make the best decisions in terms of meeting your needs.

wire voltage rating chart

So how does voltage travel through wires? Well, first of all, you should know that it travels in one direction only. So it travels from your inverter to your appliances, and none of it moves back to the inverter.

Voltage is commonly produced by a stored power source – in your case, it’s the battery in your inverter. Your battery stores the sun’s energy trapped by your solar panels so that you can access it outside of daylight hours, or when the sun isn’t shining very brightly. 

Voltage describes the “pressure” at which electricity moves through a wire. Electricity is the movement of electrons, which flows from a positive to a negative charge. This means that voltage isn’t something that moves through your wires, per se. It’s the pressure at which electricity moves through your wires, and it moves from the positive end of the wire to the negative end.

So when you take a look at the wire gauge voltage chart, this information helps you understand that what you’re looking at is a chart explaining the pressure at which electricity can move through wires of differing thicknesses. 

Our low-voltage lighting wire size chart might also be of interest to you if you want to light an outside area. You don’t need a large battery for these systems, for example, our 3 Strand USB LED Light String is more than enough to illuminate a moderate outdoor area.

Voltage wire gauge size chart

Wire Voltage Rating Chart

Here’s our wire voltage rating chart, which shows you the relationship between AWG gauge size, conductor diameter in inches, conductor diameter in mm, and conductor cross-section in millimeters squared. You’ll recall from earlier that the AWG gauge size is measured in millimeters squared.

There is no set voltage that can move through the wire sizes, but the general rule is that thinner wires should be used for low-voltage needs, and thicker wires should be used for high-voltage needs.

AWG gauge

Conductor

Diameter Inches

Conductor

Diameter mm

Conductor cross-section in mm2

0000

0.46

11.684

107

000

0.4096

10.40384

84.9

00

0.3648

9.26592

67.4

0

0.3249

8.25246

53.5

1

0.2893

7.34822

42.4

2

0.2576

6.54304

33.6

3

0.2294

5.82676

26.7

4

0.2043

5.18922

21.1

5

0.1819

4.62026

16.8

6

0.162

4.1148

13.3

7

0.1443

3.66522

10.6

8

0.1285

3.2639

8.37

9

0.1144

2.90576

6.63

10

0.1019

2.58826

5.26

11

0.0907

2.30378

4.17

12

0.0808

2.05232

3.31

13

0.072

1.8288

2.63

14

0.0641

1.62814

2.08

15

0.0571

1.45034

1.65

16

0.0508

1.29032

1.31

17

0.0453

1.15062

1.04

18

0.0403

1.02362

0.823

19

0.0359

0.91186

0.653

20

0.032

0.8128

0.519

We know this can be overwhelming, so feel free to get in touch with us if you’d like some advice based on your specific setup. We’re on a mission to make solar simple for everyone, and we’d love to help you.

Solar Panel Inverter Voltage

Solar panel inverters are given a rated voltage, but their output is usually slightly lower than this rating. The voltage refers to the pressure at which the inverter can pump electricity to your electronics and appliances.

wire voltage chart

For example, the rated terminal voltage of a 12-Volt inverter will be around 17 Volts. Through the use of a regulator, the voltage will be reduced to around 13 Volts as required for battery charging.

Did you know that battery voltage changes as it loses its charge? Let’s go over that.

Solar Inverter Battery Voltage

The most common voltage for batteries connected to solar or hybrid inverters are 6V, 12V, 24V, and 48V. This is the rated voltage of the battery, but this voltage actually changed over time.

When a battery is fully charged, the voltage is usually a few units higher than the rated voltage. For example, a 12V battery might actually have a voltage of around 15V when it’s fully charged. As the battery loses its charge, the voltage it offers moves closer to its rated voltage.

This means that a fully-charged battery flows electricity a bit faster than a battery that’s lost some of its charge. The rating given to a battery represents the lowest voltage it’ll provide, and the battery reaches this voltage close to a 0% charge.

Here are some great solar power inverters for you to choose from. These come with the perfect battery installed for their output levels, so you don’t need to stress about picking the right battery.

wire gauge to voltage chart

How to Know What Voltage Battery to Put in Your Inverter

So how do you know what voltage battery you need to put in your inverter? This is one of the many important decisions you’ll need to make for your solar setup. 

Wires are another one. Learn more about that in our battery cable size chart. Our solar wire size chart will also help you gain a deeper understanding.

When buying an inverter and choosing a battery for it, the first thing you’ll need to understand if your power requirement. In other words, how much power do you need to power all your electrical appliances? The power requirement is the power consumed by all of your various electrical appliances added together.

Here’s a useful example. If you wanted 3 fans, 3 lights, and 1 television to operate off your inverter, you’d need to add the power consumed by these items.

This is done in watts. If one light uses 60 watts, 1 television uses 120 watts, and 1 fan uses 70 watts, you’d have a total power consumption of 510 watts.

Wires to Connect Your Inverter and Solar Panels

Most modern solar panel installations are done using single-conductor photovoltaic wire. The wire is usually between a 10 and 12-gauge AWG rating. The wiring is required to connect your solar panels to the charge controller, inverter, and battery.

wire gauge chart voltage

The amount of solar panels you can safely connect to your inverter is determined by its wattage rating. If you have a 5000W inverter, that’s roughly how many watts of solar panels you can connect. If your solar panels exceed 5000W, you risk an unsafe connection.

So How Does the Wire Gauge Voltage Chart Help Me?

The wire gauge voltage chart helps you understand the relationship between wire size and voltage. Ultimately, thicker wires can transport a higher voltage, and thinner wires can transport a lower voltage.

Wire gauge amperage voltage chart

If you want to learn more about this, take a look at our high-voltage cable size chart and our low-voltage cable size chart.

We hope this information helps! Feel free to get in touch if you’re still feeling confused about anything, we’d be happy to help.

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Article by

Cody Oehm

Cody is the Head of Marketing at Shop Solar, and joined the company in spring of 2022. 

He has an entrepreneurial background and has been in the ecommerce industry since 2015. With 4 businesses under his belt and a drive to make a bigger impact, he decided to team up with Shop Solar on their mission to make solar simple and affordable. You can browse best seller's here.

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