Using copper pipe for busbar.

I want to make busbars for my battery interconnections and thought of using copper pipe.

But I don't know how to determine the cross sectional area of the pipe. Without that info I can't determine the "gauge" of the pipe.

I have seen old electrical installations using copper pipe but I think they used schedule 40 or schedule 80 pipe.

Has anyone ever seen a table listing the cross sectional area of the copper in commonly available type L or M copper?

Comments

  • mike95490mike95490 Posts: 7,723Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Using copper pipe for busbar.

    You could try weighing a foot or two of each.

    It should conduct nicely.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

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  • nielniel Posts: 10,311Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Using copper pipe for busbar.

    ah memories of when i first asked of this here. i believe i tried to guess by the weight, but the problem is the pipe isn't pure copper, especially the L hard. if memory serves correctly naws took a stab at the approximate value for 1/2in copper pipe to be at #6. i suppose you could go to the trouble of using a 10ft section as a shunt and see what kind of voltage is dropped by it with say 100amps through it. plugging those values into the voltage drop calculator i helped to develope, the approximate gauge value could then be determined.
  • RCinFLARCinFLA Posts: 1,280Solar Expert ✭✭✭
    Re: Using copper pipe for busbar.

    Use the 'B' gauge copper pipe, it is much thicker. 0.040" wall, outside diameter 0.625"

    Take outside circular area minus inside circular area to get copper cross section area.

    'B' gauge half inch copper pipe has 0.074 sq inch cross section area which is equivalent to between '1' and '0' gauge wire, about 0.11 milli-ohms per foot.

    I have used it for battery traps. Flattening it is a bit of work. Don't pound the fold edge too tightly or it will split.

    I solder tinned the bars with leadless plumbing solder.

  • rplarryrplarry Posts: 203Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Using copper pipe for busbar.

    TCurran
    Why go thrjough all the trouble to flatten the pipe, when you can just go down to your nearest metal supply and buy some copper or brass bar stock the appropriate size and then just cut it drill it and install it.
    Larry
  • mike95490mike95490 Posts: 7,723Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Using copper pipe for busbar.
    rplarry wrote:
    TCurran
    Why go thrjough all the trouble to flatten the pipe, when you can just go down to your nearest metal supply and buy some copper or brass bar stock the appropriate size and then just cut it drill it and install it.
    Larry

    Mass Production & Sales

    Copper pipe at home despot will nearly always be less expensive than copper stock at a metals supplier.
    A couple years ago, I bought a sheet of copper for a turret type roof cap, and it was $150. If I bought twice the same weight in copper pipe at a big box store, I might have spent $30

    I wonder if a car tire is stiff enough, on a nice surface, to drive down a length of pipe to flatten it?
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Using copper pipe for busbar.

    The pipe-busbar I've seen had terminal fittings that fit the round pipe.

    I don't have any of those fittings so I slit the ends with a hack saw and flatten them in a vise before drilling a bolt hole.

    If the pipe is the right size it can be bent with an EMT bender.
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