Customer Question: What Cables Do I Need For My Power Inverter?

Customer Question: What Cables Do I Need For My Power Inverter?

Justin G6/25/182 comments

Answer: Which cables you need are based on – How long the cable needs to be and how many watts you’ll be running. Take a look at the charts below, we have 12V, 24V, and 48V charts.

Cable Length: What is the Round-trip distance?
You’ll need to know what the distance is from the inverter to the battery and back again. If the cable from the inverter to the battery is 5 feet, then the round-trip distance is 10 feet (5 feet to the battery plus 5 feet back to the inverter). 

How many watts are you running?
This is the BIG question! You may have a 10,000W Inverter, but only plan on using 8,000W max. If you never plan on using the 10,000W, you should size your cables for 8,000W.

  • To calculate watts using amps (A), multiply Volts (V) times Amps (A). Formula: (V x A = W).
  • To calculate amps from watts, take the wattage (W) and divide (/) it by the voltage (V). Formula: (W/V=A)

How to Calculate the Cable Gauge
Take your round-trip cable length and find it on the left side of the chart. Be certain that you're looking at the correct chart; we have one for 12V (Blue Chart), 24V (Yellow Chart), & 48V (Green Chart) systems! Next, locate the Power Inverter wattage you’ll be using on the top of the chart and find the point at which both lines intersect; that is the cable that you need for your application. (click to enlarge chart) 


12V Inverter Battery Cable Gauge Chart 

Inverter Battery Cable length Chart - 12V

How to read the number
Now that you’ve located your cable number, what does it mean? If it is just a number by itself (6, 4, 2, 0, 00, 000, 0000, etc.), then it represents an American Wire Gauge (AWG) size. This is a standard electrical wire number read as “6 AWG”, "4 AWG", or “00 AWG” and is universally understood.

If the number ends with a “k” designation, it is short for “kcmil”. kcmil and MCM cable sizes are interchangeable numbers for large diameter wire/cables. MCM numbers are read as “350 MCM” or “500 MCM”.


24V Inverter Battery Cable Gauge Chart 

Inverter Battery Cable length Chart - 24V


48V Inverter Battery Cable Gauge Chart 

Battery cable inverter gauge chart - 48V

Don't forget the fuse!
*Take note: At the bottom of the chart is the recommended fuse for your inverter size.

The fuse should be placed inline on the positive battery cable (+ or red colored cable) and within 1 foot (12 inches) from the battery.

We’re here to help!
For Live help, Call us M-F 9a-5p (PST) at 1.800.231.5806.
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Comments (2)

Jonathan Stewart Blaine on 9/20/21

These are the best charts I have found for wire gauge, fuse size, voltages and inverter information. Thank you for the excellent information. It have saved me from some costly errors I would have made.

Al Gibson on 8/17/21

Thank you for the awesome video, I am wondering can I use a relay so that the inverter can only be used when the engine is running?

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