# How can I calculate the wire gauge for 48VDC, 1.6A & 150mm wire length?

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by SanRath, Oct 22, 2012.

1. ### SanRath Thread Starter New Member

Oct 28, 2010
8
0
Hi Guys,

I have 48VDC source with 1.6A load current & 150mm wire length. How can I calculate the wire gauge?

2. ### wayneh Expert

Sep 9, 2010
14,860
5,343
To do what?

Are you winding a coil, supplying another device, using wire to heat something?

3. ### Miketal New Member

Oct 22, 2012
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Is this supplying an active component, then you would need to consider transients from other nearby potential fields, ie. mains coupling.

4. ### SanRath Thread Starter New Member

Oct 28, 2010
8
0
Nothing like that.
This is the circuit part of my electronic machine configuration. My aim is basically how to calculate the wire gauge? I have only the following parameters: 48VDC, 1.6A load current & wire length = 150mm. For this how can I decide that, I can use 18AWG, I can use 16AWG, or any other gauge?

5. ### strantor AAC Fanatic!

Oct 3, 2010
4,996
2,998
Wire gauge is dependent on amps, specifically the amp rating of whatever protection device is used. For only 1.6a you could probably go as small as 30awg or something like that, BUT if you use that 30awg wire with 20a fuse or breaker, that's a nono. Look up nema table 310 ampacity.

6. ### wayneh Expert

Sep 9, 2010
14,860
5,343
I agree in general that it's all about current, but the application details still dictate the wire choice.

Any wire with current passing through it will show a voltage drop and power dissipation due to the resistance of the wire. You have to choose wire that keeps those factors under control in the context of the application. If high frequencies are involved, inductance and capacitance are also important.

For general hookup wire, 22 or 24 gauge is common and would be fine for 1.6A as long as it's not coiled up, and as long as a mV-range voltage drop is acceptable. That length will have about 0.12Ω resistance, so about 180mV of voltage drop. Use the tables if you need a more precise estimate.

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