Solar panel connector rated at 1500V, allows for cheaper inverters

June 24, 2016 // By Julien Happich
The reliability of Multi-Contact's MC4 connector for PV solar panels has led it to become a de facto industry standard, with over a billion sold worldwide. The rugged connector now has a further advantage as it has been awarded UL approval for operation at 1500V.

This higher system voltage is a significant advantage for larger arrays, as it means more PV panel modules can be connected in series within a string. The number of strings in an array can therefore be reduced, with a consequent reduction in the number of components required, such as couplings, overcurrent safety switch systems, contact breakers and cables. Combined with the fact that inverters are cheaper in this voltage range, installation costs can be as much as 30% lower.

The connectors can be supplied preassembled or they can be attached to cables on site using crimping pliers. Cables up to 10 mm2 in cross-section can be accepted, making them suitable for currents as high as 43A.
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