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77 Stranded vs Solid Wire in low voltage systems

There has been much debate over which works best in a low voltage
d.c. system - stranded or solid wire.

Let's start off with this: watts (power) equals volts (pressure) times
amps (quantity.)

A 120 watt load draws one amp at 120 volts a.c.

That same load would draw ten amps at 12 volts d.c.

My preference is to use stranded wire in a low voltage system.

With solid wire you can not get the intimate contact between two
wires nor at the connections on a device (switch, etc) or load.

With stranded wire you get more intimate contact, thus reducing
voltage drop and power losses.
Poor connections can rob a system of a significant portion of the
power being produced.

Please look at the following drawing:

stranded verses solid wire  

You will notice, at best, that you will have three small contact areas
between the solid wire and the device connection.
This also applies to power distribution blocks (only two areas),
splicer blocks (only two areas) and wire nuts.

Stranded wire will compress and flatten out which increases the
contact area.
This reduces the voltage drop and minimizes heating at the
connection.

If you already have solid wire, or you insist on using it due to
cost contraints, I have a suggestion.

You can solder and insulate a short piece of insulated stranded
wire to the solid wire end.
This pig tail will give you a stranded end to make your connection
with.     

John

 
Fine stranded welding/power cable:

fine strand cable

Marine or Boat Cable - note the tinned, fine strand conductors:

boat or marine cable

Tray Cable, shown with and without a strengthening cord:

tray cable small tray cable




 1 Site Search - Quick Index   |    2 The Realities of Purchasing On-Line   |    3 Why Do Business With Us?   |    4 Distributor of IOTA Engineering, Quick Cable and Anderson SB products   |    5 Photovoltaics,Batteries, Cable and Wire   |    6 Lumen Outputs of Compact Fluorescent and Incandescent Lights   |    7 48 volt D.C. fluorescent lights   |    8 DC Lights   |    9 DC Fluorescent Lights   |   10 DC Fluorescent Outdoor Floodlights   |   11 DC Compact Fluorescent Screw-in Ballasts & Tubes   |   12 DC Compact Fluorescent Screw-in One Piece Lights   |   13 DC Indoor Flood, Ceiling and Cabinet Fluorescent Lights   |   14 Portable & Emergency Fluorescent Light by Flexcharge   |   15 DC Fluorescent Inverter Ballasts by IOTA Engineering and Montana Light     |   16 Charge Controller Musings   |   17 DC LED Screw In Lights by Montana Light   |   18 Light Bulb Socket Adapters   |   19 Thinlite Indoor Fluorescent Lights   |   19 A - LED Lighting by Thin-Lite   |   20 Thinlite Outdoor Lights   |   21 Thinlite Replacement Ballasts   |   22 Thinlite Replacement Lens - Diffusers   |   23 Thinlite DC Lighting Products   |   24 DC Lighting   |   Glossary of Alternative Energy Terms   |   25 Parallel and Series Battery Bank Information   |   26 What we sell and why.   |   27 Amps Volts and Watts   |   CHARGE CONTROLLERS   |   28 Emergency and Disaster Preparedness Notes   |   29 Photovoltaic Module & System Wiring - Setting Up A PV System   |   30 Wind - Hydro - Solar Charge Controllers by Flexcharge   |   31 Water and Air Heating Diversion Loads for Charge Controllers   |   32 Maximum Power Point Tracking Charge Controllers   |   33 Solar Converters, Inc. Charge & Lighting Controllers   |   34 SES Flexcharge Charge Controllers   |   35 Thin-Lite ballast replacement installation guide   |   36 Solar Converters Special Solar and Battery Charging Equipment   |   37 TriMetric Battery System Monitors and Deltec Co. shunts   |   38 Timers,Linear Current Boosters,Photoswitch,Voltage Controlled Switches   |   39 Battery Desulphator   |   40 Solar Converters, Inc. Products   |   41 Flexcharge Products   |   42 DC Circuit Breakers   |   43 Thin-Lite products we stock     |   44 DC Fuse & Circuit Breaker Types & Installation   |   45 UL Listed DC Breakers up to 125 volts   |   46 IOTA Engineering IQ4 Smart Charge Controller Owners Manual   |   47 Our own alternative energy systems   |   48 DC Fuses, Holders & Fuse Blocks   |   49 Class T- DC Fuses & Fuse Blocks   |   50 ANN - ANL - CNL DC Fuses & Fuse Blocks   |   51 Inverter Cable and Overcurrent Protection Guide   |   52 Installation and trouble shooting low voltage d.c. lighting   |   53 Diodes - Blocking & Bypass, What do they do?   |   54 Low Voltage D.C. Lighting Tips   |   55 Your On-Line Privacy   |   56 Electric Vehicle and Alternative Energy Battery Disconnects   |   57 Power Distribution & Splicer Blocks   |   58 Cable and Butt Splices & Connectors   |   BATTERY POST & TERMINAL CONNECTIONS,  ADAPTERS AND BATTERY ACCESSORIES   |   59 Battery Post Marine Conversions & Terminal Extensions   |   60 Battery Post Connectors Conversions Adapters Repair   |   61 Battery Terminal - Cable Lug Covers & Protectors   |   62 Heat Shrink Tubing & Cable Lugs by QuickCable       |   63 Compression Connectors - Lugs   |   64 Heavy Duty Cast Copper Connectors - Lugs   |   65 Copper Connectors - Lugs by Quick Cable - MAX   |   66 Magna Lug Heavy Duty & Fusion Lugs by QuickCable   |   67 Anderson SB Connector quick connects   |   68 Anderson SB Connector Accessories   |   69 Anderson SB Connector Parts   |   70 Thin-Lite LED and Fluorescent Comparisons   |   71 Overview of Our Photovoltaic Systems   |   72 Iota Engineering Battery Chargers / Converters     |   73 SAE Connectors, Plugs, Sockets & Cords   |   74 Electric Vehicle Power Supplies Converters by IOTA Engineering   |   75 DC to DC Voltage Converters & Dimmers by Solar Converters   |   76 Universal Generator Starter switch by Solar Converters   |   77 Stranded vs Solid Wire in low voltage systems   |   78 IOTA Engineering Power and Lighting products   |   79 QuickCable Tools, Cable Crimper,  Cutter & Stripper   |   80 Wire & Cable Gauges and Information   |   81 Power Vent Battery Box Fans by Zephyr Industries   |   82 DC to DC Voltage Converters   |   83 PowerMax Transfer Switch & TriMetric 2020 Features   |   84 IOTA Engineering DLS Battery Charger Features   |   85 Lighting Systems   |   86 Practical Alternative Energy Applications   |   87 Portable  and Emergency Power Systems   |   88 Custom Cables   |   89 Our Customers Systems   |   90 Resources for Disaster & Emergency Preparedness   |   91 PowerMax Transfer Switch Views and Schematics   |   93   |   94 Battery Wiring Diagrams   |   95 Battery Condition and State of Charge Charts   |   96 Order Form   |   97 Backup Power?   |   98 Energy Expectations   |   99 Power Needs Worksheet   |   100 Efficiency   |   101 Wire Loss Chart   |   102 Solar Insolation Map / Chart   |   103 Utility Inter-tie   |   104 About Us   |   105 Statement of Policy & Warranty/Returns   |   Contact Us   |   MPPT Charge Controllers - FAQ   |   Battery Equalizer/DC Autotransformers - FAQ   |   Constant Voltage Pump Drivers  - FAQ   |   Linear Current Boosters - FAQ   |   Information   |   1   |   2   |   3   |   4   |   5   |   6   |   7   |   NEWS-info links   |   Home Power Articles   |   R   |   P   |   A   |   B   |   C   |   D

 Back to Top 1 Site Search - Quick Index   |    2 The Realities of Purchasing On-Line   |    3 Why Do Business With Us?   |    4 Distributor of IOTA Engineering, Quick Cable and Anderson SB products   |    5 Photovoltaics,Batteries, Cable and Wire   |    6 Lumen Outputs of Compact Fluorescent and Incandescent Lights   |    7 48 volt D.C. fluorescent lights   |    8 DC Lights   |    9 DC Fluorescent Lights   |   10 DC Fluorescent Outdoor Floodlights   |   11 DC Compact Fluorescent Screw-in Ballasts & Tubes   |   12 DC Compact Fluorescent Screw-in One Piece Lights   |   13 DC Indoor Flood, Ceiling and Cabinet Fluorescent Lights   |   14 Portable & Emergency Fluorescent Light by Flexcharge   |   15 DC Fluorescent Inverter Ballasts by IOTA Engineering and Montana Light     |   16 Charge Controller Musings   |   17 DC LED Screw In Lights by Montana Light   |   18 Light Bulb Socket Adapters   |   19 Thinlite Indoor Fluorescent Lights   |   19 A - LED Lighting by Thin-Lite   |   20 Thinlite Outdoor Lights   |   21 Thinlite Replacement Ballasts   |   22 Thinlite Replacement Lens - Diffusers   |   23 Thinlite DC Lighting Products   |   24 DC Lighting   |   Glossary of Alternative Energy Terms   |   25 Parallel and Series Battery Bank Information   |   26 What we sell and why.   |   27 Amps Volts and Watts   |   CHARGE CONTROLLERS   |   28 Emergency and Disaster Preparedness Notes   |   29 Photovoltaic Module & System Wiring - Setting Up A PV System   |   30 Wind - Hydro - Solar Charge Controllers by Flexcharge   |   31 Water and Air Heating Diversion Loads for Charge Controllers   |   32 Maximum Power Point Tracking Charge Controllers   |   33 Solar Converters, Inc. Charge & Lighting Controllers   |   34 SES Flexcharge Charge Controllers   |   35 Thin-Lite ballast replacement installation guide   |   36 Solar Converters Special Solar and Battery Charging Equipment   |   37 TriMetric Battery System Monitors and Deltec Co. shunts   |   38 Timers,Linear Current Boosters,Photoswitch,Voltage Controlled Switches   |   39 Battery Desulphator   |   40 Solar Converters, Inc. Products   |   41 Flexcharge Products   |   42 DC Circuit Breakers   |   43 Thin-Lite products we stock     |   44 DC Fuse & Circuit Breaker Types & Installation   |   45 UL Listed DC Breakers up to 125 volts   |   46 IOTA Engineering IQ4 Smart Charge Controller Owners Manual   |   47 Our own alternative energy systems   |   48 DC Fuses, Holders & Fuse Blocks   |   49 Class T- DC Fuses & Fuse Blocks   |   50 ANN - ANL - CNL DC Fuses & Fuse Blocks   |   51 Inverter Cable and Overcurrent Protection Guide   |   52 Installation and trouble shooting low voltage d.c. lighting   |   53 Diodes - Blocking & Bypass, What do they do?   |   54 Low Voltage D.C. Lighting Tips   |   55 Your On-Line Privacy   |   56 Electric Vehicle and Alternative Energy Battery Disconnects   |   57 Power Distribution & Splicer Blocks   |   58 Cable and Butt Splices & Connectors   |   BATTERY POST & TERMINAL CONNECTIONS,  ADAPTERS AND BATTERY ACCESSORIES   |   59 Battery Post Marine Conversions & Terminal Extensions   |   60 Battery Post Connectors Conversions Adapters Repair   |   61 Battery Terminal - Cable Lug Covers & Protectors   |   62 Heat Shrink Tubing & Cable Lugs by QuickCable       |   63 Compression Connectors - Lugs   |   64 Heavy Duty Cast Copper Connectors - Lugs   |   65 Copper Connectors - Lugs by Quick Cable - MAX   |   66 Magna Lug Heavy Duty & Fusion Lugs by QuickCable   |   67 Anderson SB Connector quick connects   |   68 Anderson SB Connector Accessories   |   69 Anderson SB Connector Parts   |   70 Thin-Lite LED and Fluorescent Comparisons   |   71 Overview of Our Photovoltaic Systems   |   72 Iota Engineering Battery Chargers / Converters     |   73 SAE Connectors, Plugs, Sockets & Cords   |   74 Electric Vehicle Power Supplies Converters by IOTA Engineering   |   75 DC to DC Voltage Converters & Dimmers by Solar Converters   |   76 Universal Generator Starter switch by Solar Converters   |   77 Stranded vs Solid Wire in low voltage systems   |   78 IOTA Engineering Power and Lighting products   |   79 QuickCable Tools, Cable Crimper,  Cutter & Stripper   |   80 Wire & Cable Gauges and Information   |   81 Power Vent Battery Box Fans by Zephyr Industries   |   82 DC to DC Voltage Converters   |   83 PowerMax Transfer Switch & TriMetric 2020 Features   |   84 IOTA Engineering DLS Battery Charger Features   |   85 Lighting Systems   |   86 Practical Alternative Energy Applications   |   87 Portable  and Emergency Power Systems   |   88 Custom Cables   |   89 Our Customers Systems   |   90 Resources for Disaster & Emergency Preparedness   |   91 PowerMax Transfer Switch Views and Schematics   |   93   |   94 Battery Wiring Diagrams   |   95 Battery Condition and State of Charge Charts   |   96 Order Form   |   97 Backup Power?   |   98 Energy Expectations   |   99 Power Needs Worksheet   |   100 Efficiency   |   101 Wire Loss Chart   |   102 Solar Insolation Map / Chart   |   103 Utility Inter-tie   |   104 About Us   |   105 Statement of Policy & Warranty/Returns   |   Contact Us   |   MPPT Charge Controllers - FAQ   |   Battery Equalizer/DC Autotransformers - FAQ   |   Constant Voltage Pump Drivers  - FAQ   |   Linear Current Boosters - FAQ   |   Information   |   1   |   2   |   3   |   4   |   5   |   6   |   7   |   NEWS-info links   |   Home Power Articles   |   R   |   P   |   A   |   B   |   C   |   D