Copper and Aluminum Cable and Wire Sizing Calculator
Several factors influence the selection of cable and wire sizes in electrical installations. One crucial factor is the current carrying capacity required for the intended application. The magnitude of the electrical load, measured in amperes, determines the size of the conductors needed to safely carry and distribute the current.
Voltage drop is another critical consideration, particularly for long-distance installations, where excessive voltage drop can lead to operational inefficiencies.
Temperature conditions in the environment also play a role, as higher temperatures can affect the conductor’s capacity and insulation properties. Additionally, the type of insulation and the installation method impact cable and wire sizing, ensuring compliance with safety codes and standards.
The combination of these factors requires careful consideration to optimize the performance, safety, and efficiency of electrical systems.
In our previous tutorial, we have discussed in detail the topic of how to calculate the proper wire size for electrical wiring installations. If you are allergic to those complex calculations, you may use the following copper and aluminum wire size calculator to properly size any wire for single phase and three-phase load circuits.
- Related Post: Wire and Cable Size Calculator in AWG
Calculating Wire/Cable Size formula for single Phase Circuits
Wire Circular mils = 2 x ρ x I x L / (% Allowable Voltage drop of source voltage)
Calculating Wire/Cable Size formula for Three Phase Circuits
Wire Circular mils = √3 x 2 x ρ x I x L / (% Allowable Voltage drop of source voltage)
- ρ = Specific resistance or resistivity of Conductor
- D = Distance in Feet (One way) i.e. ½ the total circuit length
- I = Load Current
Note: the Value of ρ = Specific resistance or resistivity of Conductor is used here for copper and aluminum is 11.2 and 17.4 respectively at 53° C (127° F)
- Note: See the ‘Good to Know’ section right after the calculator for a proper and clear understanding of the terms used in wire sizing.
Enter the values, And click on calculate. Result will shows the required quantity.
Good to Know:
If the wire size is greater than all gauges (i.e 0000 is largest one size of wire in), then electrical engineer measure it in CM, kCM or MCM instead of inches, because inch is a small unit of these kinds of wires. Where;
A circular mil (CM) is a unit of circular area with a diameter of one mil (one thousandth of an inch). It corresponds to 5.067×10-4 mm².
1000 CM (circular mils) = 1 MCM or 1 kcmil = 0.5067 mm², so 2 kcmil.
It is a unit for referring to the area of a wire with a circular cross section.
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