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I am considering using 2AWG welding cable from MC Master as the main power lines in a solar car. From everything that I could tell the specs are better than standard cable or battery cable, it is cheaper, and it is more flexible. Is there any reason that I should not use this cable? Is there another type of cable that I should consider? I need cable that is able to handle up to: 130A 105VDC

As I can not link to the product because of the way MC Master has designed their website the specs are listed below:

Welding Cable:

  • Model: 6948K931
  • AWG: 2
  • OD: 0.430"
  • Amp: 190
  • Volt: 600
  • Price: $2.70(per Ft)

Standard Cable:

  • Model: 7125K71
  • AWG: 2
  • OD: 0.378"
  • Amp: 130
  • Volt: 600
  • Price: $2.91(per Ft)
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  • \$\begingroup\$ The different ampacity for the same wire gauge makes me suspect the welding cable is not rated at 100% duty cycle. \$\endgroup\$ – markrages May 30 '12 at 6:36
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Given that safety must always be adequate, you then want

  • low final resistance,

  • durability,

  • low price

in descending order of priority.
If welding cable gives all 3 (as seems likely), use it.

Sheath may not be as resistant to sharp object penetration as TPS but is liable to be more drag and scuff resistant.
Test voltage may not be as high but would, I imagine, be adequate.
If you have a 100+ V battery system then you may well have regulatory requirements to meet re allowable wiring type. Maybe not.

At 130 Amp, 0.1 ohm drops 13V. In a ~ 100 V system that's ~ 13% loss.
Even 0.01 ohm gives say 1.5% loss.
Every 0.01 ohm improvement you can make adds ~= 1.5% to your available energy.

What sort of solar car has 105V, 130A peak specs ~= 14 kW Sounds like fun.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ As much as we would like (less than) 14kW is all we have, and we will make the most of it. \$\endgroup\$ – Reid May 30 '12 at 5:00

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