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How can I calculate wire size to go from a solar array (of 36 panels, 365W & 42V each) to a shed with an inverter 50 ft away?

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    What is the series/parallel arrangement? Are all panels paralleled (42V to the inverter)? Or are they series/parallel strings? Commented Oct 8, 2022 at 1:51
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    Not setup yet. I am buying a kit from shopsolarkits.com. Sounds like talking to a solar specialist might be a must ;)
    – i--
    Commented Oct 8, 2022 at 1:53
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    Yes, solar and off-grid power are fairly demanding of technical skills. Commented Oct 8, 2022 at 1:55

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I am no electrician, but from what I am reading - wattage and voltage accumulate with every new panel, while amperage stays the same. Hence my AMP would be 365/42 = 8.7 A. Using this calculator my gauge should be 16 AWG (1,512V, 9A, 50Ft, 1% loss). This seems too thin.

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  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – BMitch
    Commented Oct 8, 2022 at 14:02
  • Conceptually, could be add A, add V or a mix. But can't be strictly add V in your case because 36 * 42 = 1,512V - that's way beyond normal residential wiring. Commented Oct 9, 2022 at 0:26
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    Depending how you connect the panels you can increase the current for the same voltage or increase the voltage for the same current - approximately... HOWEVER, when I siz3ed my cables I looked at the voltage and current maxima and then chose a cable to exceed the current by 20%, and also make sure of the voltage ie insulation - I am well aware of voltage drop ie losses. Even the electrician who came to commission our system said he was impressed.
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Mar 7, 2023 at 7:28

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