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MC4 Solar connectors and current capacity for different cable types.

Xmultiple's Engineering Department

 

MC4 connectors are a type of single contact connector commonly used for connecting photovoltaic panels. MC4 stands for "Multi-Contact" with a 4mm2 contact assembly pin. They are UL rated at 20 ampere and 600 volt maximum, dependant on the conductor size used.

While small solar panels, commonly used for battery charging, may not require special connectors, larger terrestrial arrays for power generation involve higher currents and voltages and place special demands on both cables and connectors for safe operation. The MC4 connectors incorporate a flexible watertight seal and are supplied as 'male' and 'female' types to minimise the chance of wrong connections. For proper seal, they require usage with the correct diameter cable, normally double-insulated (insulation plus black sheath) and UV resistant (most cables deteriorate if used outdoors without protection from sunlight). Connection is by use of a special crimping tool.

Xmultiple MC4 solar connectors current is as following:

1. If using 10AWG PV cable,both of our MC4 and Amphenol can be suitable for 40A~44A;

2. For 12AWG,it is 30A;

3. For 14AWG,it is 20A

Large arrays of panels are commonly interconnected as series strings of panels generating 17 to 34 V each, with overall series string voltages up to 600 V, and isolation requires a special DC disconnect designed to open the circuit without arcing damage


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