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  1. #1
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    The wire that they use for TIG welding

    Anybody here in here good at TIG welding? You know how they have that wire that goes right to the end, where the spark or whatever comes out? Anybody know about how many amperes are going through that wire?
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  2. #2
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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  3. #3
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    That doesn't really answer the question of how many amps down the line though. I need wire that can carry handle loads up to 500amps for a short period of time. Welding wire is cheap by the foot through Surplus Center.
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  4. #4
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    500A DC?
    At what voltage?
    How long is the cable run? (Internal resistance of the wire)
    How long is "short period of time"?

    Just an idea of the reason why it may not be able to handle the current
    10 AWG copper wire over 2m. 100A @ 12V has a 1V power drop due to resistance in the wire.
    The 1V drop @ 100A is 100W of power to be disapated by the wire....it will melt

    0 AWG copper wire over 2m. 100A @ 12V has 0.1V power drop due to resistance in the wire.
    The 0.1V drop @ 100A is 10W of power to be disapated, which will not even make the 12mm wire warm.
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  5. #5
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    120-144vDC
    500A for no more than 5 minutes (probably 2, but assume 5 for safety)
    Cable run will be no more than 12ft, but probably no less than 8.
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  6. #6
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    More details needed per the earlier reply. AC or DC, voltage and length of run. It may also be helpful to describe you application a little more. If its very far you probably want 2/0 cable not welding rod. Here's a picture of a homebuilt UPS I made for my basement sump pumps with 2/0 cable because if everything hits at the same time I have about 400 amps at 12 volts. Big cables are not cheap, but neither is a fire. Be sure to put a fuse in, whatever you are doing.

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  7. #7
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    I was looking in my basement for stuff, and I found a little something that might work.
    In December of last year, my who house electrical system was redone after a tree destroyed a lot of wire. So, the wire that went from my house to the nearest telephone pole (60ft away) was snapped. POwer company came and replaced that wire, and left the old one as a gift to us I guess. I found all the original wire in hte basement.
    Diameter or just the metal portion is .486", and OD including insulator is 5/8".
    I think this will work.
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  8. #8
    Don't mince words Red Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2
    Anybody here in here good at TIG welding? You know how they have that wire that goes right to the end, where the spark or whatever comes out? Anybody know about how many amperes are going through that wire?
    (This is from cgallagh on Red Riders computer)
    TIG welding is common terminology used for GTAW (Gas Tungsten Arc Welding). GTAW is performed with a non-consumable electrode and a filler metal. The current for welding is supplied through a thoriated tungsten electrode, shielded with an inert gas. This heat melts the parent metal and the wire you refer to is melted and added to the parent metal. No current runs through the wire. It is added to the weld area either by hand or mechanically. It comes in many different diameters and metallurgies. I would not use it to carry a current. If you need a solid wire for your project, I would look for solid copper wire rated for the operation at hand
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  9. #9
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    120 vDC at 500 amps for 5 minutes!?! That's 60 kW and 5 minutes is hardly a surge load!

    What in the world are you doing now, and what are you parents going to say when they see the power bill?
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  10. #10
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2
    That doesn't really answer the question of how many amps down the line though. I need wire that can carry handle loads up to 500amps for a short period of time. Welding wire is cheap by the foot through Surplus Center.
    Musta been in the framing of the question.

  11. #11
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Just a wee bit of a project is all . One step up from the CNC mill in my basement
    I really doubt I will ever get to 500A, but I want to have everything able to handle it just in case. I'll have an ammeter to monitor my draws, and if I see it really getting that high, I know I should probably slow down.
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  12. #12
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    And that 60kW is to power a 25HP DC motor. The motor is rated peak at 100HP, so I need to be able to cope with that.
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    Its too bad that you already have the motor, with those kinds of power draws I would have been looking for multiple smaller motors and belting/chaining them together.

    Double-0 to quad-0 is the range of wiring I'd be looking for...and keeping the power lines as short as possible. Either that or use Industrial UPS power lines, aka solid copper bars
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  14. #14
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    I don't already have the motor. It isn't any practical to chain a bunch of smaller ones together for my application.
    I think the left over power lines will do the trick nicely, with plenty of extra room
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  15. #15
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    I have a friend who builds recumbents and uses that kind of power. He had the power company run a 4 kilovolt line to his house and wire it into a personal substation. I helped run the lines back to his shop. Check with your power company before sucking that kind of juice from their mains. If people around here pull that kind of power without telling PG&E the DEA gets interested.
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  16. #16
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Well see, I am gather parts to convert a vehicle to electric. So it's all battery powered. Lead Acid batteries.
    So it isn't drawing that much power right at once from the mains. The draw from the mains then is slow and steady while the batteries charge
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  17. #17
    phony collective progress x136's Avatar
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    Oh, it's for a car. Heh. I was thinking one of these days I was going to open the paper and see a headline like "NEW HAMPSHIRE SUBURB VANISHES WITHOUT A TRACE, AUTHORITIES STUMPED".

  18. #18
    Banned. BugsInMyTeeth's Avatar
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  19. #19
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    You're scaring me to be messing around with that much energy and asking the cable size question. Please be sure to use a DC fuse on the incoming and ground everything that it hooks up to so that you don't become the filament in this lightbulb you're building.

    +1 to alert the power company to your potential draw, and at 5kw potential I think you should put up $75 to consult with an electrician on the phone for an hour (10 minutes at a time of course, while you design and build).
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  20. #20
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    I agree about talking to an electrician...although what he'll probably say is don't try it. So perhaps finding an electrical engineer to talk to would be a better idea.

    That's a lot of energy to handle.

    By the way...have you already found a motor that will run those voltages? Most of the motors that big I've seen run 440 VAC three phase, and the price is pretty impressive.
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  21. #21
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    PC2, make sure the axles can handle it....electric motors have ridiculous amounts of torque compared to their HP ratings.

    I remeber some guys making an all-electric dragster, some show on Discovery, and they kept destroying axles....and once the axle didn't break, their gearbox broke.....given this was to make a 9 second car, but even 9 second gasoline cars don't destroy axles that badly.

    So just make sure your axles are suitable for the torque, that's all I'm sayin.
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  22. #22
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    I am going to be using the Advanced DC part # FB1- 4001
    It's good for up to 144vDC. series wound.

    Catatonic - I don't have any concerns about the torque issue. A lot of people have used this exact motor with no issue. I will drive the vehicle so that the speed is much higher, therefor motor produces less torque, and draws less current.

    Right now I've been engulfed in the quest to build a better DC controlller that can handle this all.
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  23. #23
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    I just googled that motor. Very nice.
    "The internet is a place where absolutely nothing happens. You need to take advantage of that." ~ Strong Bad

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