Jump to content
Electronics-Lab.com Community

Copper Clad Aluminum vs Oxygen Free Copper use, trade off, voltage drop in DC circuits


Recommended Posts

Hello all,

I am sure many have seen the debates on the internet by the car audio guys of the cheaper CCA wires vs pure copper wires when used to deliver high amp DC current.

I am here to ask your opinion based on my situation.

I have a 300w solar array, 400ah of 12v batteries, and a 50ft round trip circuit to my 2000w AC inverter using 1/0 AWG copper clad aluminum wires which I put together 2 years ago and is functioning off-grid correctly.

I went with cheaper CCA vs welding wire or marine wire at the time because of the cost.

After reading and watching many CCA (copper clad aluminum) vs OSF (oxygen free copper) videos, I was concerned my cables and crimp connections were a fire hazard. I went ahead and inspected all my connections and found zero marks of heat or corrosion. I also tried to run my circuit at maximum load (12V-150A) for a prolonged period and there was no heating up at any of the connectors or in the cables. 

The cons about CCA wire that people were mainly bringing up are: 1. the corrosion of the aluminum at the crimp terminals, which in turn creates resistance and heat. 2. higher resistance of aluminum causes higher voltage drop over distance, and heating of the lines. All my connections are heat shrunk, I found no signs of corrosion or heat damage after inspection after 2 years of use.

The next thing is voltage drop. Many on the 'internet' claim that CCA cables have high voltage drop when it comes to delivering DC over distance. I did a volt meter test and this is what I found:

All chargers and loads off:

At the battery terminals: 13.01V
At the inverter terminals 25ft away: 12.98V
(50ft total distance including positive and ground lines of 1.0 AWG copper clad aluminum wire)

My question is: should I go through the trouble of rewiring my entire setup ? Is it unsafe ? Am I losing performance ? It's about 600$ worth of cable, connectors and supplies where I am. All my wiring is nicely secured using adel clamps and terminated with quality connectors and I really don't want to rip it all apart.

Tags: xe tai van dongben, gia toyota fortuner 2017gia mitsubishi new outlander 2017

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.