The what effect does wire size and solar panel extension cable length have on charging my AC200§???
(4) Acopower 120 watt Panels (I gave my Bluetti panels to my daughters) connected in series on a clear SW Florida afternoon at 3:34 p.m. Temperature was 66 degrees. Unit was my Bluetti AC200 and was at exactly 50% state of charge. Readings were taken directly from the AC200 panel. readings would move up and down and the readings are the high points of the cycle. I ran a real world charging test from no extension cables all the way up to l25 feet with both 14 and 12 ga cable thicknesses.
Conclusion for those of you that don’t care about the details:
You can run 14 ga or 12 gauge cables out to 60 feet without any worry about loss. the wattage was 362 with no extensions and 353 with 60 feet. Keep in mind the sun was a variable and those 9 watts between 0 cable and 60 feet are pretty close and you would not miss them.
No Extension cables…77 volts / 4.9 amps / 362 watts
20’ of 14 ga, extension…77 volts / 4.9 amps / 361 watts
40’ of 14 ga. extension…77.2 volts / 4.9 amps / 359 watts
20’ of 12 ga. extension…77.3 volts / 4.9 amps / 360 watts
40’ of 12 ga. extension…77.2 volts / 4.8 amps / 355 watts
60’ of 12 ga. extension…77 volts / 4.9 amps / 353 watts
Now for the fun one…125’ consisting of 40’ of 14 ga. and 85 feet of 12 ga extension cables in 6 sections all connected together:
*125 feet extension…75 volts / 4.9 amps / 346 watts this is a worst case 15 watt loss or 4% loss with small gauge wire with multiple connection points over 125 feet.
AC200 cable conclusion…use any size cable you want (I personally recommend 14 or 12 ga) and don’t worry about lengths out to about 100 feet. Spend the time you would be worrying about what loss you are getting and put it towards placement and proper angle of your panels which will yield far better efficiency results than cable wire size.
I also ran three of the 120 watt panels connected in parallel to my Ecoflow River Max that was at 50% SOC in the same conditions as above to see what the effect of the lower voltage and higher amperage would have on the charging watt rate of the River 600 Max. Volt and amp reading taken from in line meter. Watts taken directly from River 600 panel. Results are below:
(3) 120 watt panels in parallel
No extensions…21.17 volts / 9.97 amps / 197 watts
40 ft 14 ga. ext…19.8 volts / 12.75 amps / 197 watts
125 ft of 14 and 12 ga ext…14.14 volts / 11.7 amps / 168 watts
(2) 120 watt panels in parallel
No extensions…20.15 volts / 8.84 amps / 154 watts
40 ft 14 ga. ext…20.21 volts / 8.8 amps / 143 watts
40 ft 12 ga. ext…20.21 volts / 8.8 amps / 147 watts
So…the lower voltage / higher amperage combo of the R600 series definitely sees a higher watt loss rate that the AC200 test above. I would expect the Bluetti AC50 to act in a similar fashion. And would recommend you use 12 ga. cables limited to 50 feet if you are running two or more 100 watt panels to charge your Ecoflow or AC50S.