Service entrance cable size & voltage drop

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by curtherrin, Aug 21, 2009.

  1. curtherrin

    curtherrin New Member

    Aug 21, 2009
    I am about to upsize a service entrance cable to accomodate a new 100 amp panel and subfeed a smaller 60 amp panel next to it. The voltage will be approx. 120-240, single phase, fed from a 200 amp panel that already has a 2 pole 60 amp breaker(ahu), 2 pole 30 amp breaker(ac condensor), 1- 30amp, and about 5- 20 amp single pole breakers. The cable will be approx. 320' long. What size cable should I use for the voltage drop, to maintain less than a 5% drop @ 75C for 80%FLA?
  2. ActionDave

    ActionDave Electrician

    Feb 4, 2009
    please describe what you mean by service entrance cable.
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  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Aug 31, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    The service entrance cable is about as far from a DIY project as it gets. Sounds like you mean the cable from the pole to the meter? The electric company and the electrician doing the work will know what size cable to use.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    I would suspect it is the line from the meter to the panel. The cable from the pole to the meter is usually installed by the utility company.
  6. Thatguy

    Thatguy Homeowner

    Aug 27, 2008
    A bounty hunter like in "Raising Arizona"
    FLA = 200A,
    80% of FLA = 160A,
    5% of 240v = 12v
    you need a total resistance of less than 12/160 = 75 mΩ.

    For copper,
    R@20°C= [R@T]/[1+.00393(T-20)] with T = 75 °C
    so R@20C = 0.82 of the resistance at 75°C = 0.82 (75 mΩ) = 62 mΩ
    The total distance is 640' so you need a wire that has 0.097 Ω/1000' @ 20 °C.
    According to
    0 AWG is within 1% of this value, so use 0 AWG.

    This is for voltage drop only; ampacity is a more complicated issue.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2009
  7. mattbee24

    mattbee24 In the Trades

    Mar 29, 2007
    Salesman and Purchasing Agent for a wholesale plum
    Fremont, OH
    From your description, it sounds like you are going to run from your main 200a panel to a 100a sub panel. If that is the case, and I am assuming you will be running this underground and in conduit, you will need 2/0 aluminum 4-wire URD.
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