Conductors for a 100-ampere circuit will most likely be 3 AWG copper or 1 AWG aluminum. The choice of conductor depends on how much current you plan to carry and the material you can get on a wide enough span.
The length of your conductor arc in relation to its diameter is important, because the larger the surface area, the more heat it will conduct away from the source. So for example, if you were choosing between a 10-gauge and a 2-gauge wire, the 10-gauge would be better because it has more surface area and thus can carry more current.
When selecting wiring for your home theater system, there are several factors to consider: the type of material you use (copper vs. aluminum), the gauge of the wire (larger wires carry more current), and the distance that the circuit must travel (circuit density).
The first thing you should do is determine what kind of wiring you will be using in the project. Will it be copper or aluminum? Both types of wiring can be used for home theater circuits but they have different properties that affect how they can be used in your system.
In general, 1 AWG copper or 2 AWG aluminum conductors are required for this to operate. This wire should be large enough to securely handle those 100 amps. It will also keep the power quality consistent over extended distances. For example, if you were to run into any congestion issues with 230-volt power out in your neighborhood, it could cause small sparks that would lead to oxidation and eventual failure of your wiring.
But you can actually get away with using smaller wires if they're shielded or not exposed to risk of shorting. For example, 6AWG solid metal sheathed cable is commonly used for internal wiring in homes because it's heavy enough for most applications while still being small enough to fit through holes in walls and ceilings. Or you can use 3AWG solid metal sheathed cable if you want to save some money but don't want to compromise on strength or power delivery.
If you have access to a wiring diagram for your house or building, check what size wire is used for interior connections. This will help you choose exterior cable based on capacity rather than just length. For example, if the line is 14 AWG or larger, use 12 AWG or larger aluminum or copper wire for exterior connections.
You should also use the right type of connectors.
#4 AWG copper wire is required for copper wiring with a 200-amp service. AWG is an abbreviation for American Wire Gauge, which is the wire gage standard in the United States. Aluminum, or copper-clad aluminum, is the next choice for a 200-amp service. Each type of metal requires a different size cable to provide adequate protection. Aluminum can be as small as #6, while copper must be at least #8.
The current in wires creates heat, so it's important that they're large enough to carry the expected load. For example, if you plan to use your cable service for Internet surfing, dial-up modems, and other low-current applications, a #12 or #14 wire should be sufficient. But if you plan to use it for power-intensive applications such as a home theater system or air-conditioning unit, you'll need to use larger cables.
The length of the cable run also affects how much cable you need. If you have to go from one end of a room to the other, for example, you'll need a longer cable than if all you had to do was walk across a studio apartment floor. The more circuits you add to a single cable, the smaller the gauge needs to be. For example, if you want to connect eight lights together on one circuit, each light would use one half of the cable.
A 200 amp service necessitates the use of either # 2 /0 copper wire or # 4 /0 aluminum or aluminum wrapped wiring. The voltage drop and length of the wire decide which wire is utilized. Many electricians choose #4/0 aluminum or copper-clad wire. They can be purchased in spools of any reasonable length and are very flexible.
The voltage drop across each circuit conductor depends on how much current is being carried. The amount of voltage drop is equal to the load divided by the number of circuits. For example, if you have a 120-volt system and add 20 amperes for lighting, the resistance offered by the conductors will rise, so less than 120 volts will reach the end of the cable. Since 20 amps x 120 volts = 240 watts, that's what's heating up the cable.
Heating up the cable is not good. Cable has a maximum temperature rating. If it gets too hot, it can break down, causing electrical malfunctioning of your lights and equipment. Also, the coloration of the insulation may change, indicating that the cable is nearing its end of life. It's important to replace your power cables every few years, since they carry a high current over long distances.
Power cables come in different sizes, depending on the amperage they can handle. Use a multimeter to determine the amperage of your circuit.