About MC4 Connectors

MC4 Solar ConnectorsMC4 is the abbreviation for manufacturer Multi-Contact and a contact assembly pin of 4 millimeters square. Photovoltaic panels are commonly connected using these single contact MC4 connectors. Sometimes a high level of current and voltage can put extra pressure on connectors as well as cables. MC4 connectors can help in safe operation by reducing the probability of wrong connections to a large extent. This is done with the help of a seal that is watertight as well as flexible.

The use of well insulated cable with a proper diameter is essential for a full proof MC4 seal.  Since most cables used in the outdoors get weakened or damaged by the effect of sun rays, the cables need to be double insulated and made of UV resistant material. A special kind of a crimping tool is used for making the connection along with alternative soldering.

Persistent pressure from a spring can result in low resistance contacts. It is extremely important to remember that even in the case of systems that are on low voltage, it is not recommended to disconnect or connect the assembly pins under load. There is a probability of the formation of an electric-arc which may lead to damage and melting of materials coming in contact with it. The result can be high resistance or overheating. This also happens because the arc continues to receive direct current. On the other hand, alternating current which is more commonly used, is self-extinguishing at the voltage point of zero-crossing.

MC4 connectors are usually an inter-connection of a large group of panels in series made up of strings. 17 to 34V of electricity is generated by each of these panels. The voltage per string is around 600V. A direct current circuit breaker is required for obstruction and opening of the circuit.

Most high power solar modules are made up of wires that have MC4 connectors. This is because MC4 connectors make the wiring process of large groups of solar units faster and simpler. MC4 connectors are UL certified and also meet the requirements of the National Electric Code. MC4 connectors are the preferred method of connection for most electrical inspectors and are well suited for outdoor connections because of their locked mechanism which prevents them from getting unplugged easily.

Central Components Manufacturing offers both male and female MC4 Connectors.  View our product page here.

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