REcommended on deck extension cord? - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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Old 10-13-2004
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REcommended on deck extension cord?

I have a couple large (120w) solar panels I plan to place fwd when on a passage. The panels will be lashed on the deck when needed.

The deck plug is aft so I need an ''extension cord'' to run from the panels to the plug.

I''m wondering what kind of wire to use between the panels & deck plug that would be waterproof and flexible (for stowability), etc.

Can I use/adapt a ''regular'' outdoor type extension cord for this use?
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Old 10-13-2004
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REcommended on deck extension cord?

YES, use:
Outdoor flexible cords (extension cord) for Damp Locations & Hard Usage- Types:
Hard Service Cords: ‘SO’, ‘SJTOO’, ‘SJTO’, or ‘SJTOO’.
Heater Cords: ‘HS’, ‘HSJ’, ‘HSO’, or ‘HSJO’.
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Old 10-14-2004
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REcommended on deck extension cord?

I didn''t notice that you said two 120 Watt panels (240W total). 240W = 18.5 A @ 13 V.
To reduce voltage drop (< 3%), over a round-trip distance of (say) 50 Ft (25'' each Pos. + Neg.), you''d have to use #6 AWG cables.
Using #12AWG cable, you can expect a voltage drop of:
VD = A x R = 18.5 x (0.00162 x 50) = 18.5 x 0.081 = 1.5 Volts or about 11.5% (to about 11.5V).
Using #10 AWG, you''ll suffer a 7.25% Voltage Drop (to about 12V).
As you can see, it doesn''t pay to mount Solar Panels at great distances from the batteries.
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Old 10-14-2004
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REcommended on deck extension cord?

The issue of Voltage Drop and Wire Size is addressed in my article "Ohm''s Law & You", published in "Good Old Boat Magazine" - issue 29, March/April, 2003).
A draft version of the article is on-line at:
The Cruisers Forum: http://cruisersforum.com/index.php?referredid=79
under the Yacht Maintenance & Tips Heading:
“Ohm’s Law & Boats” (March/April 2003 Issue 29
of “Good Old Boat Magazine”)
http://cruisersforum.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=372&highlight=Voltage+D rop
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