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Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #1 
Hello all,
I am at the wiring stage of my off-grid home and am not sure what wire would be most efficient for my application. The entire cabin will be run exclusively on 12 vdc using 240v outlets. Would standard solid house wiring be the best? Or would stranded lamp cord be more efficient? Or something else maybe? The longest 12v run should be no more than 25 ft. Long.

Tks, matt


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Posts: 3,058
Reply with quote  #2 
I wouldn't use 12v at all.  I'd use 24v panels (cheaper and more efficient), set up my batteries for 24v, and go directly to a 120v inverter, and run the whole house on 120v.   120v equipment is cheaper and easier to get than 12v.  120v uses MUCH smaller wire, which is cheaper, too.   And if you ever need to hook up a generator, you're all set, just plug it in.

Some years ago I built a houseboat. Because it had an engine and marine accessories I had to have 12v, but I wanted a fridge and TV too so I needed 120v.  (I priced a 12v fridge; OUCH!)  I ended up wiring the boat for BOTH. In the end though I rarely used the 12v system except for the engine and some of the lights.  For a house I'd skip it entirely.

Solar is like the wind. It may be free, but putting it to work isn't!
Willie, Tampa Bay

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Posts: 52
Reply with quote  #3 
If you were going to get super efficient I would shop my appliances first.


Let that decide your voltage, probably 24v.

I had thought about having a system that uses what the solar/wind puts out.

You would save a lot of energy skipping converting voltage. Maybe.

You could still have an inverter for 110v uses.

Lot to think about, how much you would save vs just go to to 110.

Have to do some thinking about wire.
In the RV they use pairs of lamp cord for 12v, romex for 110v. That's probably more about keeping things straight, which is which. I don't think it would matter as far as which wire as long as it's big enough to carry the amperage you use. Higher voltage can use smaller wire to carry same amperage.
Again, look at the needs of your appliances to determine wire size.

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