Well, Dave, we're just going to have to agree to disagree.
To keep it short:
1. in a DC circuit current (electrons) flow throughout the wire, not just on the surface. This is not a radio frequency circuit.
2. AC circuits do in fact differ in that the electrons don't really flow....they influence neighboring ones.
3. Removing a few strands from the end of an AWG8 wire, and crimping it properly in a butt connector, does not render it effectively an AWG10 wire throughout its length in terms of its DC current carrying ability.
4. The issue here is voltage drop anyway, not current-carrying ability per se. AWG8 is specified because of the longish run between the panels and the batteries.
I would challenge you -- or anyone else -- to measure a perceptible voltage or current difference at the battery end of the AWG8 wire carrying an 11-12A DC load between two different setups: one connected at the other end to an AWG10 wire using butt-reducers; or one using the method I've outlined above.
Any EE's wanna pitch in?
Last edited by btrayfors; 01-30-2012 at 10:01 AM.