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101 Renewable - Battery cable size recommendations

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Last Updated
9th of January, 2020

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Customized interconnect cables are running between battery bank and inverter, fuse or power center. They have flexible stranded UL listed copper wire and 3/8" or 5/16" diameter stud hole lugs. Lug barrels are covered with glue-filled heat-shrink tubing. Cables are marked in red heat-shrink tubing for positive and white heat-shrink on a black wire for negative.

Battery-Jumper-Cables

Battery jumper cables are used to build battery banks. They are connecting the batteries studs in series or parallel using color code for the jumper cables, red for plus, black or white for negative.


Cable red ends are for positive battery parallel jumpers. Cable white ends are for negative battery parallel jumpers.


Cable with black both ends, or red both ends, are used for series battery interconnects, red for positive, black for negative.

The difference between AWG #4 respective AWG #2 and AWG #4/0 respective AWG #2/0 cables size.

Battery cables are using following cable section conform with North American electrical standard: 2/0, 4/0 and AWG 2 and AWG 4. If AWG 2 respective AWG 4 are more common the 2/0 and 4/0 are old British denomination for cable section. The pronuantion is 2 aught or 4 aught

The real difference is in cable section "Circular Mil Area" and the ampacity they carry, respective the maximum burst current they support before the isolation it is affected. And the fact they are descending as number and core section at the same time opposite to the common AWG numbers.

The old British denomination it is still carried in the NEC for AWG 4/0, AWG 3/0, AWG 2/0 and AWG 1/0.

Comparing to the most known gauge denomination the bigger AWG number (AWG 4/0) corresponds to a bigger section. The AWG 4/0 can carry up to 230A at 75 °C with a section of 107 mm2 before isolation constrains. The AWG 2/0 can carry up to 175A at 75 °C with a section of 67.4 mm2 before isolation constrains. The values are descending. The AWG 4 it is at the lower end and is carrying one third of the ampacity of AWG 4/0. Battery banks are using AWG 2 more frequent to AWG 4. AWG 2 has an ampacity of 115A.

AWG Diameter Turns of wire

 (no insulation) 

Area Copper
resistance
Copper wire ampacity with 75 °C insulation (A)
(inch) (mm) (per in) (mm2) (Ω/km)
(m
Ω/m)

0000 (4/0)

0.4600

11.684

2.17

107

0.1608

230

00 (2/0)

0.3648

9.266

2.74

67.4

0.2557

175

2

0.2576

6.544

3.88

33.6

0.5127

115

4

0.2043

5.189

4.89

21.2

0.8152

85


General battery cable size recommendations:-

Inverter Size

Fuse Size

Breaker Size

Cable Gauge

1000 Watts

125 A

75 A

#4

1500 Watts

200 A

115 A

#2

2000 Watts

325 A

175 A

#2/0

3000 Watts

400 A

250 A

#4/0


Standard Cables: used for battery interconnect with invertors having threaded terminal posts:-

black-red.jpg

 

These cables have 3/8" ring terminals on both the battery end and the inverter end.

PS Cables: as battery interconnect with an inverter having an input terminal on the DC side with a tubular hole and a set of screws.

black-red-ps.jpg

 

These cables have 3/8" ring terminals on the battery end and stud terminal on the inverter end.


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