Combined Wire Gauge Calculators

Wirebarn.com has a couple of wire gauge calculators to find what gauge two or more wires combined together would be.

The first calculator is the “Bidirectional Single-Gauge AWG Calculator.” With this calculator you enter the number of wires and then the size of those wires.  The calculator assumes that all the wires are of the same gauge. The description from their site:

To determine the effective AWG gauge of multiple small wires of a particular gauge.

The second calculator is the “Multi-Gauge AWG Calculator.” This calculator does not assume all the wires are of the same gauge and allows you to enter the size of four wires individually. The description from their site:

This calculator determines the effective AWG gauge of a combination of wires of differing AWG gauges.

Source: Wire Combination Calculator

Simplified tables of wire amperage capacities

Here is a simplified version and a more detailed version of the “Wire Gauge and Current Limits Including Skin Depth and Strength” wire data table from Power Stream.  I have another version of this table that includes more wire sizes at The ProckNation Labs Public Wiki Ampacities article.

This table only includes gauges 12 to 30.  The tables linked above includes many more sizes.

Chassis wiring versus power transmission. Use the chassis wiring amp rating if your wire length is six inches or less.

Simplified Wire Gauge to Amp Capacity Table

AWG gaugeMaximum amps for chassis wiringMaximum amps for
power transmission
12419.3
13357.4
14325.9
15284.7
16223.7
17192.9
18162.3
19141.8
20111.5
2191.2
2270.92
234.70.729
243.50.577
252.70.457
262.20.361
271.70.288
281.40.226
291.20.182
300.860.142
A simplified table of wire gauge (AWG) sizes and the maximum amp that the wire size can carry. Simplified table source from the Public ProckNation Wiki. Original table source from Power Stream Wire Size info.

 

Simplified Wire Gauge to Amp Capacity Table - More Details

AWG gaugeConductor
Diameter Inches
Conductor
Diameter mm
Ohms per 1000 ft.Ohms per kmMaximum amps for chassis wiringMaximum amps for
power transmission
120.08082.052321.5885.20864419.3
130.0721.82882.0036.56984357.4
140.06411.628142.5258.282325.9
150.05711.450343.18410.44352284.7
160.05081.290324.01613.17248223.7
170.04531.150625.06416.60992192.9
180.04031.023626.38520.9428162.3
190.03590.911868.05126.40728141.8
200.0320.812810.1533.292111.5
210.02850.723912.841.98491.2
220.02540.6451616.1452.939270.92
230.02260.5740420.3666.78084.70.729
240.02010.5105425.6784.19763.50.577
250.01790.4546632.37106.17362.70.457
260.01590.4038640.81133.85682.20.361
270.01420.3606851.47168.82161.70.288
280.01260.3200464.9212.8721.40.226
290.01130.2870281.83268.40241.20.182
300.010.254103.2338.4960.860.142
A simplified table of wire gauge (AWG) sizes and the maximum amp that the wire size can carry. Simplified table source from the Public ProckNation Wiki. Original table source from Power Stream Wire Size info.

The best tilt for your solar panels

I bought a few solar-powered LED security lights the other day to put on my porch and car port. These are the type that have the solar panel connected with a long wire, about six to eight feet long, so it can be remotely located. When mounting the solar panel I realized that I never have learned the proper way to point and tilt the panel for the most efficiency. The only rule I know of is to point the panel due south, true south and not magnetic south. Here in north Texas the magnetic declination from true North is about three degrees East. This means that magnetic north is three degrees to the East from true North.  So when pointing the solar panel you would want to point it three degrees to the West when the compass is pointing at magnetic South. You can find your magnetic declination value using the calculator at Magnetic Declination Estimated Value hosted by NOAA.gov.

solar-panel-clipart-1

Now that the solar panel is pointed in the correct direction we can figure out the best angle to tilt the panel towards the sun.  When applying angles of tilt to the panel you always reference from the horizontal plane (flat) and not the vertical plane (straight up and down.) The general rule of thumb I have heard before was to tilt the panels at the same angle as your latitude. But upon further thought that doesn’t sound quite right. That might be ok during the summer when the sun is high above the horizon. As usual when I need to find the right answer to a problem I google it.  The best site I have found to help learn the correct way to point solar panels is  http://solarpaneltilt.com/. This site provides good information on how and why to tilt the panels at certain angles depending on your latitude. From their site:

To get the most from solar panels, you need to point them in the direction that captures the most sun. But there are a number of variables in figuring out the best direction. This page is designed to help you find the best placement for your solar panels in your situation.

They have great advise for how to point the panels if you just want to set it and not touch them again or if you want more efficiency they tell you a method to re-point them twice or four times through the year for each season.

Adjusting the tilt twice a year

If you are going to adjust the tilt of your solar panels twice a year, and you want to get the most energy over the whole year, then this section is for you.

The following table gives the best dates on which to adjust:

Northern hemisphere Southern hemisphere
Adjust to summer angle on> March 30 September 29
Adjust to winter angle on September 12 March 14

Then the four times a year:

Adjusting the tilt four times a year

If you are going to adjust the tilt of your solar panels four times a year, and you want to get the most energy over the whole year, then this section is for you. This would be your situation if you are connected to the grid and can use or sell all the power you produce.

The following table gives the best dates on which to adjust:

Northern hemisphere Southern hemisphere
Adjust to summer angle on April 18 October 18
Adjust to autumn angle on August 24 February 23
Adjust to winter angle on October 7 April 8
Adjust to spring angle on March 5 September 4

If your latitude is between 25° and 50°, then the best tilt angles are:

  • For summer, take the latitude, multiply by 0.92, and subtract 24.3 degrees.
  • For spring and autumn, take the latitude, multiply by 0.98, and subtract 2.3 degrees.
  • For winter, take the latitude, multiply by 0.89, and add 24 degrees.

solar-panel4

Please go to the site to get all the info you need to get the most out of your solar panels.  I know the twice or four times a year adjustments might be overkill for a little cheap LED security light but it good to know there are ways to get greater efficiency from your solar panels if you ever do install some larger ones to provide power to your house or camper.

ProckNation.com Reboot. Site Redo

Once again the ProckNation.com site is having a make over and I got rid of all the old outdated content. The new ProckNation.com will be more focused on my current interests which is mainly engineering and embedded electronics. Come back often as there will be weekly to daily updates.