voltage drop calculator

nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
it seems to be picking up in interest and to get it away from the subject it was put into i thought it would be a good thing to put it into its own area. this was a joint effort between myself and jon with input from crewzer as well. it is meant as freeware for those not knowing how to come up with the right copper wire gage for their proposed system. you do need excel or its equivalent to run this. i'm not sure if brock allows the downloading of the whole program here or not, but he posted it on his site and i'm assuming it can be downloaded. his address to it is:

www.solar-guppy.com/download/voltage_drop_calculator.zip

a similar excel program can be obtained at download.com under 602pc suite if you don't have excel.

[note: Spread sheet is now hosted by Solar Guppy on his server. Thanks to Henry and Niel. -Bill B.]
[note2: Solar Guppy has moved to new location now that his forum is closed. 11/15/2011. -Bill B.]
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Comments

  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: voltage drop calculator

    BillsSolar pointed out a pretty good one, OpenOffice, It is an MS Office clone same as 602PC. I downloaded it, 106 meg and it works great and free.

    http://www.openoffice.org/

  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: voltage drop calculator

    we'd love to hear from those that use the program. any comments on the program itself are welcome and it is freeware. just make sure you have excel or download one of the free excel clones to use it.
    jon
    i think 602pc suite 4.2 was 27.5mb so this won't take as long to download. are there any differences in quality as the size of the download might suggest? that's a 4x difference in program size.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: voltage drop calculator

    After testing the OpenOffice software a little I found it does not understand the IF statements and has a little trouble with charting. I'm thinking 602PC is a better clone.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: voltage drop calculator

    As pointed in another topic the metric folk don't understand what size Gauge and American Standards are so should we add a simple converter so they could just plug in a number and it will give the conversion in Metrics?

  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: voltage drop calculator

    no let them do something as we shouldn't have to do all of the work for them. if you get involved in doing this stuff it is good for them to be acquainted with our standards too, as much wire is out there in gage numbers. when they buy an inverter are they going to yell at the manufacturer that they don't know how wide a #10 wire is? they better find out real soon if they want to do this. links are fine, but why do it all for them as they learn nothing then as it pertains to more than just inverters as all equipment at some point will say what gage wires it can handle or should have?
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: voltage drop calculator

    It is just like spanish and english here.. The stores all have english and spanish on the doors and even starting to see it on the shelf as well. We are always converting our blue prints to metric and when we get orders from over seas they are in metric and we have to convert them as well. So im guessing here but I would say Americans are more versed in the convertions than any other part of the world. We are taught both in our schools but I'm willing to bet no one else is. As I remember back in the 70s we was going to switch but never did.

  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: voltage drop calculator
    As pointed in another topic the metric folk don't understand what size Gauge and American Standards are so should we add a simple converter so they could just plug in a number and it will give the conversion in Metrics?

    I think that's an excellent idea. I realize that it's a bit of extra work, but it would be a good "customer service" investment. With the rest of the world pretty much converted to the metric system, we need to continue our acceptance of this standard. Besides, the calculator already includes both temperature scales (C and F).

    Regards,
    Jim / crewzer
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: voltage drop calculator

    brock,
    are you still getting many hits on the program or any feedback from those that have downloaded it?
    jon,
    if you do put the conversions into it make it a seperately running program below it. i am still opposed to the putting it into the program itself. tell you what, we can do a poll on it and let others decide yea or nay to putting the metric to gage# conversions into it. if you set it up don't let people be able to vote more than once to keep it fair.
  • BrockBrock Solar Expert Posts: 629 ✭✭✭
    Re: voltage drop calculator

    I don't know how many for that perticular file. I just noticed a spike when I first posted it.
    3kw solar PV, 8 L16's, xw 5548, Honda eu2000i, iota DLS-54-13, Leaf EV, 4 ton horizontal geothermal, grid tied - Green Bay, WI
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: voltage drop calculator

    No need to poll, I'll re work it over in the next little while. Life is kinda busy here lately.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: voltage drop calculator

    this is just to bring the calculator forward again for all to readily see. too bad it can't have a place that won't get bumped.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: voltage drop calculator
    arkiejon wrote:
    I would say Americans are more versed in the convertions than any other part of the world. We are taught both in our schools but I'm willing to bet no one else is.

    Ha Ha, come to Canada! We had the metric system shoved down our throats in the 70's by the Government of the day. It's been the "official" system of weights and measures in Canada ever since. But guess what - go into almost any store and the price of a steak is advertised in $/pound, (because it appears cheaper) but the price on the actual package in $/kg, because "that's the law". We still buy nails and propane "by the pound", but milk and gas by the litre.
    The price of a kg of anything, is 2.2 times higher than a pound of the same thing, that's why merchants have unofficially continued to use the imperial system. Prices look better to the consumer. The same goes for electrical wire etc. It comes in a 75 metre roll, but you buy it by the foot if you don't want the full 75 metres. To figure out your car "mileage" takes a bunch of conversions. The "official" way of rating automobiles is "litres per 100 km". The only place that's used outside Government circles is on the new car showroom floor. Auto sellers love it, because the average consumer has no idea if the car is good or bad on "mileage", so can be fooled with BS. The next move I've been told is "Metric Time". It consists of 10 hours per complete day, each "hour" consists of 100 minutes and each minute is 1000 seconds long, but they won't be called that.
    Come to Canada, have some fun! What time did you say your flight departed? Ha Ha Ha Got ya with the time thing, but the rest is real!
    Wayne
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: voltage drop calculator

    Hm, I think it all depends how many users you got from outside the US. Since as far as I know no country uses the American systen (I have no idea what a "gage" is, never even heard the word) it might be a nice touch to the rest of the world (it's mighty big) I know that in England,or better Great Britain, they also use miles, of course different ones then the Americans as far as I know, but thats about it. Even in Australia I found the metric system, as I did in Canada. As Wayne stated, many people there seem to still use the old measures, but lets face it, it is over 30 years now and somebody born in lets say 1980 that is buying a car today knows that 5l/100km is very good over 18l/100km (about 50ml/gal to about 12.5ml/gal) Of course in some parts in the States even the later is considered good ;-)

    greetings from metric Spain

    Chris
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: voltage drop calculator

    OK. As an "older" Canadian I have to jump in here. I was in the school system when that change was made. I'm fluent in Metric but "savvy" in Imperial.

    I can fathom buying stuff in Kilos, but with everything still do the conversion in my head. As for mpg it gets even worse trying to convert liters/100 KM if you want US gallons as I think they are 20% less making it even worse if you are trying to compare US gas prices. But if I use the term MPG or pounds those younger than me sometimes look confused or condescending.

    As for wire gauge though, I have no idea what the equivalent would be in mm as opposed to gauge

    As the conspiracy goes, the change came about just as gas prices approached $1 a gallon so suddenly gas was "cheap". It's simple enough to add a function in Excel or you can use various web sites or the new calculatorplus from MS to convert most everything.

    I’m sure this site could easily figure out where everyone comes from based on their IP to determine the usefulness, but I think we can do the conversion if necessary


  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: voltage drop calculator

    gage--- it is what we here in the states call the number designated for each level and if you want to put blame for the system it started with the british. i would suspect that they are using the metric system now rather than the Average Wire Gage or AWG and if memory serves me there were even differences between their gage system and ours. why i don't know. i believe that if you are using millimeters then to do the conversion you need to know the diameter of our gages in inches first and then find the conversion constant between each. do not condemn our system as it originated in europe along with other measures so if you would have had the metric system in place during the colonizing of the states then we'd all be using it. i'll even make this a bit easier for you as 1 inch is equal to 25.4mm. an example of a common wire used in house wiring here is #12 or 12 gage. it's diameter is .08081 inches so this would be .08081x25.4=2.0526mm. a simple search is all you need to find the diameters of our wire in inches and i think you could handle it. if somebody wishes to implement changes to the calculator for their own use then please pm me. i would like to see it available at a european website that could be linked to and listed here for those wishing to use it abroad just as brock has allowed it here. it was designed as freeware and shall remain so, but changes shall have to be approved by myself(on this site) or arkiejon(www.solar-guppy.com).
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: voltage drop calculator

    i'm posting to bring this forward again and to remind people this calculator applies to copper wire only.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: voltage drop calculator


    Isn't it "gauge" ????

    brad



  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: voltage drop calculator

    Yes, it's "gauge". The history of measurements is pretty wild stuff, even for the metric system. For example, the original meter was 1/10,000,000 of the distance from the North Pole to the equator along the "prime" meridian through... Paris!

    Statute miles (5,280 feet, or ~1.61 km) are statute miles no matter where you are. A nautical mile is something else: It's equal to one minute of arc along the Equator (360 degrees x 60 minutes = 21,600 nautical miles), and each is ~1.15 statute miles.

    My take on MPG vs l/km is that it's cultural: We Americans like the idea of getting lots of one thing for another (high miles/gallon), and Europeans like using as little as possisble to achieve something (low liters/100 km).

    The relationship between MPG and l/100 km is their mathematical product is a constant of ~235. 10 l/100 km = 23.5 MPG, and 29.4 MPG is ~8 l/100 km. So, just divide one into 235 to calculate the other.

    HTH,
    Jim / crewzer
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: voltage drop calculator

    i had looked it up and believe it or not both gage and gauge listed a definition as a thickness of a wire. the more prefered is gauge, but gage is acceptable too so nobody corrected me on this one. sources 1> merriam-webster dictionary and 2> wordweb.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 7,307 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: voltage drop calculator

    Wire Size / Gauge Charts

    AWG - Di. mm - Area mm2
    http://www.tnt-audio.com/clinica/awg_e.html

    AWG - Metric - amps capacity
    http://www.powerstream.com/Wire_Size.htm
    ( #12 in 3 wire Romex is spec at 20A for 120V house wire )

    another AWG to Metric Conversion Chart
    http://www.vandenhul.com/artpap/awg.htm

    Wikipedia entry (long - but very complete) AWG - Di. mm - Area mm2 - Amps
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_wire_gauge

    Freeware Calculator
    http://www.ultracad.com/wg.calc.htm ( other calc's there too )
    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 ||
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  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: voltage drop calculator
    niel wrote:
    gage--- it is what we here in the states call the number designated for each level and if you want to put blame for the system it started with the british. i would suspect that they are using the metric system now rather than the Average Wire Gage or AWG and if memory serves me there were even differences between their gage system and ours. why i don't know. i believe that if you are using millimeters then to do the conversion you need to know the diameter of our gages in inches first and then find the conversion constant between each. do not condemn our system as it originated in europe along with other measures so if you would have had the metric system in place during the colonizing of the states then we'd all be using it. i'll even make this a bit easier for you as 1 inch is equal to 25.4mm. an example of a common wire used in house wiring here is #12 or 12 gage. it's diameter is .8081 inches so this would be .8081x25.4=20.526mm. a simple search is all you need to find the diameters of our wire in inches and i think you could handle it. if somebody wishes to implement changes to the calculator for their own use then please pm me. i would like to see it available at a european website that could be linked to and listed here for those wishing to use it abroad just as brock has allowed it here. it was designed as freeware and shall remain so, but changes shall have to be approved by myself(on this site) or arkiejon(www.solar-guppy.com).

    Ehm, you got the point wrong there, 1inch is 2.54, not 25.4mm. All our wire would be thumb thick at least, 20.526mm would be over 2cm, nearly one inch thick. But all in all it seems to be the same, our household wire for ac is the 2.5mm stuff, since we got 220V here, that is quite a bit more power then the same with only 110V in the states or not? I noticed, that everything there is using a lot of amps (because the voltage is so low), my energy lights are only 0.05A, my TV uses 0.4A and a big drill got 5A , the wire is rated at 32A, so are the fuses in the house. But with these wires you can even heat electrically, a 2000W space heater is using 9.5A.

    I only use 2.5mm wire for the solar panels to the controller (5m or about 15feet with a maximum of 24A @ 12V) and seem to have no noticeable loss. Thicker wire is only used to link the batteries (10mm) and to connect the batteries to the inverter (also 10mm) but thats only 1m (3feet) wire.

    Chris
  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: voltage drop calculator
    ...an example of a common wire used in house wiring here is #12 or 12 gage. it's diameter is .8081 inches so this would be .8081x25.4=20.526mm....

    :?

    Regards,
    Jim / crewzer
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: voltage drop calculator

    i will change it. it wasn't my math as i originally thought, but my writing the #12 dia wrongly in inches. thanks for pointing this out. why do i have this strange feeling of being under a microscope all of a sudden? :?
  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: voltage drop calculator

    niel,

    The problem with the word "gage" is that is has meanings other than those associated with the word "gauge". It also just looks strange (to me, anyway).

    A lot of people look to the the "senior" forum members for objective analysis and technically valid solutions. To one degree or another, posts from you, me and several others will undoubtedly receive "special" scrutiny. One good thing is that it means people actually read your stuff!

    HTH,
    Jim / crewzer
  • BrockBrock Solar Expert Posts: 629 ✭✭✭
    Re: voltage drop calculator

    Niel once you bumped it again people started looking again ;)

    If you change it at all email to me and I can post it in the same place.
    3kw solar PV, 8 L16's, xw 5548, Honda eu2000i, iota DLS-54-13, Leaf EV, 4 ton horizontal geothermal, grid tied - Green Bay, WI
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: voltage drop calculator
    chrisspain wrote:
    1inch is 2.54, not 25.4mm.


    One inch = 2.54 cm, it also =25.4 mm

    Here in Canada, many of us generally think of 5 cm of snow as 2 inches, which isn't much.
    Likewise, we think of 50mm of rain as 2 inches, which is a lot.
    Snow is always measured in cm, while rain is always measured in mm.
    Also, when you buy a new heating oil tank, it will have it's thickness listed either as 14 guage / 2 mm, OR 12 guage / 3 mm.
    Wayne
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: voltage drop calculator

    brock,
    just making sure, but you have kept it there all of this time haven't you? if i make changes, which i probably won't, it will be either by pm or email ok?
    jim,
    if it bothers you and everybody else i'll spell it gauge. i am aware of how people look to us for everything here, but i'm not a god so please don't anybody put me on a pedestal. what was bothering me was that those errors were there before when everybody was looking at it as well as my spelling of gauge as gage in many of my posts without anything being said. go figure.
  • BrockBrock Solar Expert Posts: 629 ✭✭✭
    Re: voltage drop calculator

    Yup, it's still there. Sure either email is fine
    nevermab at uwgb dot edu
    Let the bots figure that out :)
    3kw solar PV, 8 L16's, xw 5548, Honda eu2000i, iota DLS-54-13, Leaf EV, 4 ton horizontal geothermal, grid tied - Green Bay, WI
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: voltage drop calculator
    niel wrote:
    i will change it. it wasn't my math as i originally thought, but my writing the #12 dia wrongly in inches. thanks for pointing this out. why do i have this strange feeling of being under a microscope all of a sudden? :?

    Sorry, did not want to criticize in any way shape or form, it's rare to find somebody like you in the first place. My findings are wrong as well, one inch ARE 2.54cm, its just that I saw your household wire number 12 gage/gauge being he diameter of jump start cables that startled me. Sorry. It is difficult to understand if one is used to round numbers (2mm,3mm,4mm ect) and then come 2.54cm or 22.54mm, that makes no sense and even worse, your cable gets thinner as the gage/gauge number INCREASES, so try to tell somebody here, that nr 14 is SMALLER then number 12 or number 8. Something is wrong there but then they drive also on the left in Great Britain (and here in Spain as well, when they come out of the bars at night :-D)and nobody there understands why we do not.

    greetings

    Chris
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: voltage drop calculator

    no problem chris, see i found it funny that the post was there all of this time and all of a sudden when people finally really looked that the errors popped out. the errors do need to be pointed out and i don't hold that against anybody, but me. if errors aren't corrected then it can confuse people or give them the wrong info if they go with that error. hey, i'm human, but i try to help in my way. good thing i'm not dyslexic too or people could really be confused.
    as far as gauges go, i don't know why they did it that way. heck at first it confused me too so those that invented the system weren't doing it to be easilly understood by the commonfolk of the time.
    i am glad people are looking at the calculator and i certainly hope people are using it. i do think it will be helpful when you have to initially run calculations to rough out a system. those calculations can be very time consuming for i know i used to do them for everybody here alot.
    i also am not going to take all of the credit as arkiejon inputted the formuli and info i gave him to excel which was something i was unfamiliar with and he was. jon, in spite of what you think of me you are welcome here and i can see it as an overreaction to my overreaction. i know i overreacted because of the input from others i had received with that walking on eggshells thing. i didn't mean it to be that way. sorry guy.
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