To complete a PV installation for a solar install, you need to be sure you have the correct components. Del City recently expanded our solar product offering and is here to provide this guide to break it down to the basics. To learn more about the solar industry as a whole, check out our free ebook here!
TE Connectivity is a trusted brand in the electrical industry to provide quality products. Their specific connectors are tested heavily to ensure reliability and durability. These were some of the first solar connectors to hit the market and are often seen as the industry standard. The connectors are composed of a male and female housing that easily snap together to create a secure connection. Solar panels need to be connected with solar specific products to be sure that your installation can withstand the harsh UV rays. These connectors are a great choice for connecting multiple solar panels together for a large installation. As these are one of the original connectors, it utilizes an industry standard crimp tool in order to complete the connection.
Multi-Contact (Stäubli) MC4 Connectors
Multi-Contact MC4 connectors are very similar to the TE Solarlok PV4-S connectors in the fact that they have a female and male housing that are easily snapped together for installation. The contacts are included with the connectors and the contacts are crimped onto solar cable. Once the contact is crimped onto the cable, the housing is applied. The MC4 Connectors are newer to the market than the Solarlok, so they are often seen on newer installations as this brand is growing very quickly. There are currently over 1 billion MC4 Connectors installed today.
Multi-Contact (Stäubli) MC4 Branch Connectors
As can be inferred by the name, the MC4 branch connectors are made by Multi-Contact (Staubli) brand like the MC4 connectors mentioned earlier. These branch connectors are different in the fact that they are 2 to 1 connectors, meaning two cables will come into the connector and be condensed into one. These are great for a parallel or semi-parallel connection of PV panels. They are pluggable with the MC4 connectors, making them a great package. Being a 2 to 1 connector, it saves space as well as makes the install look cleaner. Both types of MC4 connectors feature MULTILAM technology and contacts that provide constant spring pressure. Del City highly recommends these connectors for large installations.
If you are looking for an all-in-one tool, the solar assembled PV cables are a great choice. These solar cables come with the MC4 Connectors attached at each end. This saves time as you won’t need to crimp and attach the connectors to the cable manually. On one side of the cable there is the male connector while the female connector will be on the other side of the cable. This saves a lot of time in the field for multi-panel installations. Crafted with FLEX-SOL-EVO-DX cable, this product is sure to provide a strong connection.
When you are utilizing solar connectors, you will need a solar crimp tool to complete the connection. If pre-assembled cables are being used, a solar crimp tool will not be necessary. This specific crimper was created for the solar industry to connect PV panels in multi-panel configurations. The contacts included with the connectors are then crimped onto the solar cable with this crimp tool. This tool works with all industry standard connectors (12-10 gauge) and creates a strong and smooth crimp. Made by TE Connectivity, this tool is standard in the solar industry.
Solar power has the potential to keep growing and growing. To learn more, get our free ebook.
Other tools that can be utilized for solar installations include UV cable ties, solar loom, and Heyco products. For more questions, feel free to reach out to our Technical Support team at 1.800.654.4757 and check our blog for more articles!