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
Since you already know how to size a 12 volts wire, you can take a look at other calculators:
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.