The type of gauge wire requires depending on the size of the inverter. If you have an inverter below the size 400 watts power supply, then 8 AWG cable is sufficient. It is advisable to use the shortest length wire to reduce the friction between the flowing energy.
What size gauge wire do I need for a 400-watt inverter?
The inverters are manufactured in different sizes and shapes. When it comes to identifying the correct gauge wire for the inverter, you have to calculate the amount of energy the inverter will process through the wire to ensure higher efficiency.
If you connect the AWG longer than is required, there will be energy loss.
Generally, it is recommended to use shorter AWG wires, so there will be no energy loss, and you can comfortably connect the inverter to the equipment.
The AWG wire requirement for the 400-watt inverter depends on the size of the inverter. If you are using the inverter below 3 feet, the size may require 8 AWG cables.
The 3 to 6 feet invert would require 6 AWG wires, and the 6 to 10 feet cable would require 4 AWG wires.
You can see in the given calculation that if the inverter’s size increases, the length of the wire also goes up. Similarly, for smaller-size inverters or solar panels like 100w, the gauge wire size will be smaller.
So when you decide to connect the inverter using the gauge wire, ensure that you have the right length of the gauge wire for your inverter.
What size gauge wire do I need for a 1000-watt inverter?
While connecting the inverter is crucial to use the right length of the cable to power the device. The wrong use of the cable may lead to a less efficient power supply.
The inverter will not support the AWG gauge wire if they are not at the right length.
In such a case, you will experience an overheating problem on the cable.
The heating is caused by the friction between the material used in the wire and the transmission of the energy through the wire. It is a potential fire hazard if not handled properly.
Use the below guide to identify the exact requirement of the cable size.
If you have any doubts and do not understand any of the information, and it is advisable to contact a professional electrician who knows the inverter and its parts. Or you can reach the manufacturer of the inverter.
Talk to the tech team of the manufacturer and share the details of the inverter you possess.
They will assist you in finding the right AWG wire for the inverter based on the watts and the connected devices.
Answer the given questions to find the capacity of your inverter.
What size inverter do you have?
You can find the details in the manual. Also, you can check the manufacturer’s website. Find your product on the website and get the details of the inverter from the specification page.
Generally, the details are mentioned in the following formats. Model: PWRTEV5000W24W. This number indicates the inverter capacity, such as AIMS Power 5000W 24DC Power Inverter.
What is the DC voltage of your battery bank?
Check the DC voltage of the total number of inverters combined. The multiple inverters connected would produce the VDC power supply.
What is the maximum current generated by your inverter?
Now divide the power generated through the inverter, which is in the wattage by the wattage produced by the battery. You will get the maximum current transmitted through the cable.
5000 Watt / 24 VDC = 208.33 A
As shown above, the 208.33 amps are the maximum current the cable has to support to provide sufficient energy to the equipment.
When the inverter is transmitting the current from the device, the AWG wire should support a minimum of 208.33 amps power supply.
The AWG cable, small than the required capacity, may create more resistance in the material and flowing electrons.
As a consequence, the cable will get overheated. If you put more pressure on the cable, the cable’s outer layer will burn due to heat.
Also, the heat may damage the connected device, such as the inverter or the battery. Check the below chart to find the suitable size of the AWG cable required for your inverter.
What size gauge wire do I need for a 1500-watt inverter?
The inverter with a capacity of 1500 watts would require 4 AWG cables to power the device. Keep the length of the wire short as possible.
The low range will increase the power efficiency and less loss while transmitting the power from the cable. The material uses in the AWG gauge is dense copper which provides better transmission of electricity.
When you pass the energy from point A to Point B, there will be friction between the electrons and the material used in the making of the wires.
This friction makes the wire heat. If you connect the wrong cable, the overheating will burn the protective layer of the wire.
It is prone to catch fire and damage the entire system and things around the inverter. Ensure safety with the selection of the right type of wires for the inverter.
What size gauge wire do I need for a 2000-watt inverter?
The 2000-watt inverter would require a 1/0 AWG cable to power the device. If you have any doubt about the cable type and length, then consult with the inverter manufacturer.
The tech support team will guide you in the selection process.
It is vital to know the right type of cable you required to connect the device. If you connect the wrong cable to the heavy voltage inverter, the invert will not transfer the electricity efficiently.
Also, it will add an extra load to the cable. Do not connect the random cable to the inverter.
Understand the energy flow, amp requirement, and voltage to know the compatible cable with the right watt that supports the energy flow.
What size gauge wire do I need for a 2500-watt inverter?
The inverter capacity would determine the type of cable you require to run the device. The thickness of the cable and the length both affect the energy flow. When you choose the cable, always decide the type of cable based on the AWG rating.
Use the formula to calculate the power inverter output supply. Based on the inverter capacity, energy flow, and total length, you can decide the output.
The 2500-watt invert would run on the 1/0 AWG cables. The 1/0 AWG power cable would support up to 3500 watts of the inverter.
The selection of the AWG cable is a vital process. You should choose the cable based on the rating of the inverter.
Check the wattage of the inverter. Find the maximum flow of the energy in the amps, and then search for the compatible gauge wire for the 400, 1000, 1500, 2500, and 2000-watt inverter.
Every inverter is different, and therefore while selecting the wire, you have first to read the manual to understand the compatible gauge wire for the inverter.
Connect wires for the inverter that is suitable to handle the power supply.
The size of the cable, thickness also decide the flow of the electron through the AWG cable.
Hence, the correct size of the cable with the perfect length suitable to transfer the energy needs to be selected. Only trust the braided wires.
Some companies offer a cheaper version of the wires, which look similar but not useful for improving efficiency.
Eng. Matthew Joseph Nandirio is the Founder of walkingsolar.
After graduating from the University of Houston in 2002, matt started working as a Solar Electrical Engineer for several multi-national solar energy companies.
He has a wide range of experiences including solar system requirement analysis, planning, maintaining, debugging and even solar device development through research.
He now shares his 20 years of expertise through his articles on the walkingsolar website.
Further, he is also the author of two books on Solar Technology, “Solar Power for Villages” and “DIY Solar System for Dummies”.