Types of Solar Connectors and Couplers
Connectors are among the main distinguishing features of the modules. They are used in order to prevent misconnection. The solar photovoltaic industry uses several types of connectors or standard non-connector junction boxes. In this article, we wanted to display the pictures of the most frequently used ones in order to avoid future confusion in the installations.
|MC4 Tightening and Unlock Tool||Amphenol Tightening and Unlock Tool||Tyco Tightening and Unlock Tool||No need for Unlock tool||No need for Unlock tool|
|Rennsteig Pro-Kit Crimping Tool (MC3, MC4, Tyco)||Radox Crimping Tool|
Here are some basics, one needs to know:
- The positive/negative label does not necessarily mean anything except helping the installer not to forget which cable is coming from where. It is just a sign.
- Every connector needs a cable coupler.
- Crimping the cable coupler is one of the most important part of connecting the modules in a solar PV system. If not properly made, resistance would significantly reduce the efficiency.
- MC4 connectors and Helios H4 (Amphenol) connectors are intermatable.
- You need to use a tightening/ unlock tool when connecting and disconnecting the connectors.
- A crimping tool is necessary for connecting the cable to the connector. The Rennsteig crimping tool has special dies that are interchangeable. You can use specific crimping tools for each connector.
Here is a good video from Multi-Contact showing assembly instructions for the MC4 PV connector system.
What is the significance of the color of the ring on the connector? Do all Tyco connector use a blue ring? Do all MC connectors use a red ring? Thanks for the help finding the best way to identify the locking connectors used on solar panels.
The significance of the ring is just to help the installer. Tyco manufacturers two types of female and male connectors, both being negative or positive. It is for the convenience of the installer.
I have two female Tyco connectors on my hand. The red one is marked as positive and the blue one is marked negative. There is no difference in application.
I am a new comer.
So, how many main type of the solar cable assembly in the market ? Thanks!
I know it is sort of crazy. There are five major solar connector companies in the market. (MC, Tyco, Amphenol, Radox and Wieland) I am guessing there are another five to ten that aren't on this list. MC and Tyco have the lion share of the US market if that helps.
The Tyco Electronics SOLARLOK installation guide: