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For alternating current in wires there are two effects that make energy losses (increase effective resistance):

  • Skin effect which comes since alternating current produces alternating magnetic field which interacts with wire and produces eddy currents.
  • Proximity effect which comes from ones wire magnetic field interaction with other wire producing eddy currents.

So, is it better to have solid or stranded wire when area of conduction remains the same?

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  • $\begingroup$ Depends on other requirements like the required thermal conduction and the frequency of the AC current. At higher frequencies stranded wire wins, but for 50/60Hz power systems where the skin depth is almost 1cm, solid wire usually wins, if I am not mistaken. $\endgroup$
    – CuriousOne
    Commented Dec 23, 2014 at 16:45

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You don't say if you're asking about mains electricity, or more generally about arbitrary electrical signals. Assuming it's the former then the skin depth at 60Hz, as used in the US, is about 8.5 mm. For domestic and light industrial applications the skin depth is large compared to the conductor size so there's no difference between solid and stranded wire. The choice of wire comes down to practical considerations like cost and flexibility.

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  • $\begingroup$ Yes high frequency is the case I am considering. Especially I am thinking if strandled wires in accoustics are used because they are flexible or there are other circumstances. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 23, 2014 at 20:11

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