If I would like to use a piece of copper wire as a 150A fuse, what size of wire should I use?
It doesn't have to be 150A very accurately, the parameters I need the wire to meet are:
- it needs to conduct continuously 70A 10V-30V DC without getting red or overheating
- it needs to conduct 120A sometimes for 15 seconds without melting
- it needs to surely be melted before the current reaches 200A
Easily available wires over here are: 0.5 mm^2, 0.75 mm^2, 1.0 mm^2, 1.5 mm^2, 2.5 mm^2, 4 mm^2, 6 mm^2, 10 mm^2. Will any of these do the job? I can combine a few if the required value is not in the above series.
Edit: now I read more into the specifications of the device, and it is in fact rated to be fine with 600A for 5 seconds. Besides that I will be only ever using it continuously with 50A. Is that gap (50A - 600A) large enough to make a fuse out of copper?
This table of AWG wire sizes suggests that a 2.5mm^2 copper wire will melt with about 750A in 1s, and with a little under 200A in 10s, so it looks like it will melt in time for the device not to be damaged. The device itself is wired with 10mm^2 insulated wire, and I mostly worry about that wire not to be damaged.
Now I only need to find out to what temperature will a short piece of uninsulated 2.5mm^2 copper wire heat-up with 50A continuous current flow, and will it not melt the thing it is secured in at that temperature.
By "continuous" use I mean max 1 hour at a time, with full attendance of me, so it will not run unattended like this.
More info: The machine came originally with two 50A fuses wired in parallel. In fact I want to use a wire, because the fuses blow so often it starts to get expensive, on average I need 1 fuse per 1 hour of charging, so the fuses cost more then the electricity to power this. I don't know why they blow, because I have an ammeter wired in series with the fuse, and I never seen anything over 60A on the ammeter! The fuses don't blow randomly, I just can see the fuse slowly get red, it stays red for some time, and at one point it just melts. I've been watching this process and I didn't see over 60A while the fuse was melting, I was watching the ammeter all the time in the slow process of the fuse being melted. So if I need 1 fuse per hour, so be it, but I need some cheaper option then 50 cents a fuse if I am to use them at that rate.