wire gauge needed????? - Realm of Excursion



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Old 02-22-2014   #1 (permalink)
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Default wire gauge needed?????

ok so i have ben around for quit a few years and have did a lot of research. what i am wanting to know is if say i buy 4/0 or bigger 1 run that will handle 5-600 amps of current will it be sufficient for my setup in my signature? see here is what i have found the alt only puts Power to the amp while above battery voltage. if the voltage drops down to where the batts are at the batts pick up the slack. now all of my batts are near the amps and only the 250 amp from alt will be coming from up front. now is it necessary to have 4 runs of 1/0 and each run will handle 250-300 amps? to me it just makes no since to run more and more runs of 1/0 and only 250 amps are going through the wire. the 250 amp alt is strictly audio.

if you can elaborate and teach me more hop on in.
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Old 02-22-2014   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: wire gauge needed?????

Are you talking from the alt to the front battery? If so, since it is only 250 amps, just do a couple runs of 1/0 or something comparable. 4/0 is hard to work with though.
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Old 02-22-2014   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: wire gauge needed?????

Electrical theory says no that you should only need enough cable to support what can be taken ie say 300 amps from the front .... so 2 runs of 1/0 would be sufficient in your case being you only have 1 alternator ... that being said when your Car is running you will see around 13 -14 volts in the entire electrical system unless your running higher volt alt and batteries so to a point you are in deed running of the batteries as well to a point but not entirely ...in a high Power system like you have there is no way one alt can keep up when your playing full tilt and thats where all the extra batteries come in .... example I did a install with 4 hdc3 15 and 2 Aq 3500 amps the truck only had 1 300 amp alt I only ran 2 runs of 1/0 from the front to the batteries in back after trying the system per owner request I added a 3rd run and it made no difference that I could tell the voltage drop was still the same
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Old 02-22-2014   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: wire gauge needed?????

You do not run larger cable JUST to support current.
DC has more of an effect vs AC in the real world when it comes to voltage drop.

And 4/0 isn't officially rated for 5-600A.
Typical rating for 4/0 is 390A @50ft.
Now, shorter runs can handle more current up to what you said but it's not an official rating.

A 3" run of 4/0 can handle up to 6,000A, for example.

However, you are hear to combat voltage drop too.

And power and ground go hand in hand.

For front to rear wiring, if you have a unibody, in my experience with EVERY unibody i've worked on, for every alternator up to 280A, I needed 2 runs of 4/0 for power, 1 run of 4/0 for ground and the rear batteries grounded sufficiently to body.

For a FRAMED car, I would still need 2 runs of 4/0 but ground isn't needed as much. Maybe 1 run of ground per 400A of alt.

This, of course, is where testing is required at FULL load, not at rest.

Not using adequate wiring will only force the alternator to work in a much more narrow voltage window before it's all battery output vs using adequate wiring.
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Old 02-22-2014   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: wire gauge needed?????

my sticky here has a nice calculator to show your voltage drop with a given load on wire per size.

you can see that 1/0, although it can support 250-350a over 20ft, is much more suited for 100a per run to keep the voltage drop from wire to a minimum.
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Old 02-22-2014   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: wire gauge needed?????

Quote:
Originally Posted by profundus-sanus View Post
my sticky here has a nice calculator to show your voltage drop with a given load on wire per size.

you can see that 1/0, although it can support 250-350a over 20ft, is much more suited for 100a per run to keep the voltage drop from wire to a minimum.
so 3 runs of 1/0 would be fine with the 250 amp of current coming from the alt? so basically all i am doing is trying to keep voltage drop to a minimal to make charging my batts easier for the alt?

this is what i seem to be hearing. now i know if i had all of my batts up front i would need way more power runs to supply the amount of amperage but that is not the case. thank you guys very much for the help and support.
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Old 02-23-2014   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: wire gauge needed?????

Yep thats it in a nut shell :-)
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