Does adding connectors decrease the flow?

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by DIYer101, Aug 23, 2014.

  1. DIYer101

    DIYer101 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    CO
    I've got a small 12 volt project going on... Adding a small solar panel to a camper.

    Previously the wires were too small. Some of those wires are in a place where I just have to live with them. The question is if I reduce the current by adding connectors (step-down connectors to go up in where size where possible, as well as spade connectors, and maybe a 3-way connector -- as you can see that's a lot of connectors).

    Are all those connectors going to reduce the efficiency, or are connectors just as good at passing current as plain-old wire is.

    FYI the "small" wire is 14 gauge at it's smallest part and I'd like to use 10 gauge where possible. 12 volt battery, the panel puts out maybe up to 22 volts. Max flow will probably be around 5 amps at any time.

    Thank you!
  2. Reach4

    Reach4 Active Member

    Messages:
    2,296
    Location:
    IL
    Spade connectors are not as good as some other connectors at passing current. I suggest that you read about Powerpole connectors for a higher quality 12-volt connector that people like.
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,051
    Location:
    New England
    5A isn't really all that much...14g wire in a home is rated for 15A and at a higher voltage will be carrying lots more power (P=V*A, and at 22 verses 120, about 6x more power in your home). Poor connections will add resistance, and decrease the voltage to your end point. Spade connectors come in all sorts of sizes and capacities...some will have no problem with that current level, some may not work well. Using a crimp connection, if not done well, verses soldering it can make a big difference.
  4. ActionDave

    ActionDave Electrician

    Messages:
    346
    Location:
    Colorado
    You did not make any mention of the distance, which I assume is short. But at 12V even a short distance, less than twenty feet, the voltage can drop to not much that is usable. I don't understand at all what you mean when you say "reduce the current by adding connectors". That being so when you are dealing with 12V 10 gauge conductors are much better than fourteen. Even bigger is even better.
  5. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,201
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Spade terminals are fine, If the wire fits them then they will handle the current. 5 amps is no problem.

    The length and size of the wire matters, the number of splices don't. I crimp and solder.


    Good Luck on your project.
  6. DIYer101

    DIYer101 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    CO
    Thanks all, I really appreciate it. It is maybe 20 feet of 14 g. wire when you factor in how it's routed.

    As with many things it sounds like the most important part will be how good of a job I do at making the connections (I have to make several of them anyway to get everything hooked up).

    Thanks again!
  7. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,201
    Location:
    Houston, TX

    So you want to use 14 Gauge instead of the 10 Gauge that you were going to use ?

    12 Gauge would be better.

    If you do have voltage drop of the 22volts, You should still have enough to charge a 12 Volt battery. Depends on the charge controller you are using.


    Have Fun, Don't forget the Fuses for safety.
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,051
    Location:
    New England
    14g wire at 20' has a total resistance of about 0.05-ohms...not enough to really worry about. 10g is better at 0.02 and 12g at 0.032.
  9. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

    Messages:
    4,201
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    That depends on the wire type.

    You have to double the voltage drop calculation, because you have Voltage drop on the Positive conductor as well as the Negative. It is 40 Feet total.


    Have Fun Everyone.
    Vegas_sparky likes this.
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