MC4 Compatible?

Miss matched PV Connectors.

Hey folks, for a long time I believed that this issue was just a marketing ploy to secure as much of the MC-4 market as possible worldwide. My humble apologies. I have witnessed it with my own eyes three times over that miss matched “MC-4” connectors can fail. Luckily no fires were caused and nobody got hurt. However, just to service an array where you have 10 sixty cell modules are in a string and the failure is somewhere in the middle of the array can become costly and labour intensive.

As a result I am now a strong believer and will make 100% sure I pay attention to this issue.

Below is an excerpt of the official Staubli document.

Official statement from Staubli on cross-mating PV-Connectors

We would like to take this opportunity to discuss the issues of cross-mating, counterfeiting and the misuse of the “MC4” name in general. For the sake of clarity, “cross-mating” refers to the plugging of 2 connector halves of a different type or from different manufacturers. Multi-Contact’s MC4 family of connectors have all been tested rigorously to be safe and reliable when cross-mated to each other and are fully certified by UL, CSA and TUV to do so. However, no such situation exists between Multi-Contact and another company’s products! Multi-Contact does not share any connector design or materials information with our competitors, and neither UL, CSA nor TUV will certify the cross-mating of PV connectors unless there is a contractual agreement between the two companies to share the certification and all pertinent construction information. If you would like written confirmation of this from these agencies please let us know and we would be happy to supply it to you.

 If another manufacturer of a PV connector tells you that their product is safe to mate to our products (ie“MC4 compatible”) or even worse, certified for cross-mating with MC4 connectors they are (in no uncertain terms) lying to you.

Posted in