12 Volt Wire Size Calculator
The 12 volt wire size calculator will help you determine the appropriate electrical wire for your next house installation. Do you want to install a new camera, maybe a new motion-sensing light? Please keep reading to determine how to size your cables.
How to calculate the size of a 12 volt wire?
We will use the resistivity concept and combine it with the ohm's law for a single conductor:
- — Allowable voltage drop, in %.
- — Source voltage, measured in volts.
- — Maximum current running through the wire, measured in amps;
- — Resistivity of the conductor material, measured in ohm meters;
- — Length of the wire, measured in meters; and
- — Cross-sectional area of the wire measured in square meters.
We add factor 2 because we have a one-way from the source to the equipment and another one-way from the equipment to the source.
How do you use this 12 V wire size calculator?
You need to verify that your equipment can withstand 12 volts. Then you follow these steps:
- 12-volt ac / dc is already set. Now, we have to define the allowable voltage drop.
- Indicate the one-way length of your electrical system.
- Define how much current (amperes) your equipment needs.
- Finally, specify the maximum operating temperature.
Our 12 V wire size calculator will indicate the cross-sectional area, cable diameter, and AWG size.
Other useful tools like the 12 volt wire size calculator
Which size wire is recommended for 12 volts appliances?
You have to define the amperes your equipment needs as it directly impacts the 12-volt wire size calculation. However, if we:
- Add five amps into the OmniCalculator 12 volt wire size.
- Include the allowable voltage drop (maximum 5% for DC appliances).
- Finally, add the one-way length of our system (here we assume 7 m), and the max operating temperature; then, we get a 13 AWG wire.
Can I use 16 AWG wire for 12 volts applications?
It will depend on the maximum current you will have in the conductor. The OmniCalculator 12 volt wire size can help you:
- Add the maximum wire area corresponding to 16 AWG: 1.308 mm².
- Set the maximum operating temperature. By default, 50°C.
- Define the one-way distance (5 meters) and the maximum allowable voltage drop (3%). As a result, the maximum current is 2.5 amperes.
How many amps can a 14 AWG wire withstand on a 12-volts system?
3.97 amperes as per OmniCalculator's 12-volt wire size tool. For getting such a result, we need:
- Add the wire area corresponding to 14 AWG: 2.08 mm².
- Add a one-way distance of 5 meters.
- Include an allowable voltage drop of 3%.
- Define a maximum operating temperature of 50°C.