Originally Posted by KenandDeb
So which would be preferable?
If you had a $500-$1000 budget would it be better spent cutting down trees or buying wire to cross the distance? I'm assuming having it already converted to AC would be better for that distance.
Last week I literally, jokingly asked my wife: "is it OK to cut down trees to get better sun on your solar panels?" I guess I can see both sides, but cool to keep trees around if you can.
Voltage drop is based on current (lower the better) wire gauge (bigger the better but also more expensive) and distance (shorter is better). So for example, lets assume 400' is the fixed distance and all panels are in series so made up current is 15A and voltage is 150V for the string (curious what your actual panel set is like).
10 AWG wire causes a 11.7 volt drop which is ~8% drop from the 150V.
8 AWG wire = 7.3V (5%)
Doubling the amps would double the voltage drop.
Bulk TEMco 10AWG Solar wire is ~$0.45/ft so ~$360 for 800 ft round trip
8 AWG = ~$0.75/ft = ~$600
Not sure what your panels and SCC specifics are but this looks possible on a first approximation.
I don't think converting to AC helps the power loss specifically, and I have seen some arguments that DC is more efficient at the same voltages - others here will know more about this.
But higher voltage and (more importantly but related) lower amps, keep voltage drop lower. This may be limited by your panels and what your SCC can accept for max voltage.