What are the most common solar panel connectors available?

490 min


2058
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Solar cable connectors can be categorized in several ways. Find the right one for your purpose.

Installing a solar generation system involves the use of solar panel connectors. A connector facilitates the installation process and ensures continuity between different cables. 

It helps in the flow of current to a solar charge controller from a solar panel. Connected to each wire, the solar connector streamlines modular solar system installation. A standard PV system includes 100+ connectors. However, without knowing about these components, you cannot make the best use of them.

It is important to choose the appropriate solar connector for wiring of your PV modules with some other adjacent components. 

Solar cable connectors are of different types-

MC3

The MC3 solar connector has gained high popularity due to its simple structure. The connector includes a single-contact cylindrical plug of around 3 mm. 

There is also a socket shell model intended for female connectors. The connector comprises female and male leads.

But, presently, the MC3 connector has become outdated, and MC4 is now the updated version available for you. Still, you may use MC3 for your old solar panels. The MC3 connectors have a flexible seal with a weatherproof design to ensure protection against precipitation.

MC4-

It is the most reliable version of the Multi-Contact connector and includes a cylindrical plug. Moreover, the MC4 is available with a safety class II system. Moreover, the best MC4 connector is UV protection and has IP68 ratings.

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As a secure connector, MC4 helps with easy solar installations. The solar panel connector is best for managing wires of any length. Like MC3, the connector has a weatherproof design made of UV-resistant materials.

MC4 connectors include a special locking mechanism, and you can unlock them using a tool. Every solar panel includes different connectors- female and male. Normally, the female connector remains connected to the positive lead. 

Radox connectors-

Designed with copper-beryllium contacts, Radox connectors have a lamella design. However, they are the rarely used connectors for solar panel installations.

How does MC3 differ from MC4 connectors?

Both these versions have Ingress Protection ratings. The MC3 connector ensures comprehensive protection against dust. But, it can protect the wire only from low-pressure water. On the contrary, the MC4 connector saves the wire from dust and water when fully submerged. 

Another major difference is in the locking system. The older version, MC3, cannot prevent wire disconnections. That is why the cable has a chance of getting disconnected.

Overall, MC4 connectors are a safer choice, and they are best for working with any solar cable.

Almost every solar panel needs PV connectors. While buying connectors for your solar panels, you have to be aware of compatibility. Some professionals try to combine connectors of different types. However, it may result in incompatibility problems.

Elcom is one of the reliable India-based manufacturers of solar connectors and other electronics and components. You can buy quality products from Elcom at a reasonable price.

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