Solar Support becomes a registered distributor of Stäubli MC4 and MC4-Evo 2 Panel Receptacles
Every solar site needs connectors. As an essential high volume part, you might be wondering how you choose which connector is best. It’s like asking someone to pick a lightbulb for a skyscraper. (Does anyone remember Ted Mosby’s debacle in How I Met Your Mother?) While we can’t help you with lightbulbs, we can share some insight into MC4 connectors; specifically Stäubli MC4 and MC4-Evo 2 Panel Receptacles. We have recently become a registered distributor and can’t wait to share the details with you.
What’s the deal with MC4 connectors?
MC stands for multi-contact. If installed correctly, these connectors are extremely tough and reliable. The key to your connectors lasting is in the crimping; if you crimp them incorrectly, there will be an air gap that creates what’s called a ‘hot spot.’ Incorrect crimping can result in fire and/or connector failure. Not ideal! That’s why it is essential to ensure your connectors are installed correctly, using the right tools. Additionally, a thorough quality assessment and control is crucial to a well-functioning, long-lasting PV site.
Think you know how to identify which connectors are male and female? Think again! MC4 connectors are named for the inside pin and not the outward appearance of the part. The female part actually looks like a male part and vice versa. This is important to keep in mind when taking inventory and ordering so you don’t end up with 5,000 extra parts lying around.
Images courtesy User:E090 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons
How to assemble a Stäubli MC4 Solar Power ConnectorHere is a video for easy assembly:
Stäubli is an old school company that has been around for over 125 years. According to Ron “the Don,” Solar Support’s Lead Project Manager and expert, Stäubli is one of the best connector manufacturers in the market. They build their parts with longevity in mind. Don’t get us wrong, connectors degrade over time. Normally this happens alongside the modules they’re connected to which can be about every 4 years. However, when compared to competitors, Stäubli’s MC4 Solar Power Connectors are built to last.
It’s important to note that all connectors across Stäubli are intermateable, meaning as long as the parts fit together the way they’re supposed to, then they will work. However, the connectors are not verified and/or tested with other brands. One of the most common causes of PV installation failure is the mismatching of connectors from different manufacturers. It’s important to stay consistent with the brand choice.
A core investment needs a knowledgeable team.
MC4 connectors are a core part of putting together a solar site, and you’re going to need A LOT of them. Like upwards of 200,000-300,000 per site and at $1-$2 per part—that ends up being a lot of money. Choosing the best part for your site is only half the equation. You’re also going to want to consider who you are investing in.
Now that Solar Support is a registered distributor, every purchase you make is backed by our relentless customer service and knowledgeable team. Our team’s goal is to optimize solar PV sites. That means we don’t just stop once the parts are procured; we specialize in installation and performing QA/QC so that asset owners are covered under their EPC warranties. Hello peace-of-mind!
Our team full of dedicated people like Ron “the Don” have got your back.
Meet Ron “the Don.” Ron spent 7.5 years in the Navy, and 13 years in wind power, before moving into the solar field. He is known as Ron “the Don” after the bodybuilder, Ronnie Coleman, known to carry the team on his back. Ron started his career in solar working in the field, but has since transitioned to interacting with clients. He knows the ins-and-outs of being on a solar field, having crimped and QC’d millions of solar connectors in his lifetime. When it comes to communicating with everyone involved in a solar project—from high level engineers, to field workers executing the installation—it is crucial to have someone like Ron on standby; someone who understands all the facets of the project.
Want the technical details?
Get the nitty gritty and learn more about Stäubli MC4 and MC4-Evo 2 by downloading our data sheet.
Have a question? Drop us a line. We’ll get Ron “the Don” or one of our other experts to answer all your burning questions.