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What are the components of the MC4 connector?


The MC4 connector, also known as the Multi-Contact 4mm connector, is a single-contact electrical connector commonly used in the renewable energy industry, particularly for connecting solar panels.

The plastic-based circular housing encloses and protects the internal components of the connector. This housing is designed to withstand outdoor conditions and often has features such as UV resistance and weatherproofing.

Inside the housing, there are contact pins that facilitate the electrical connection. The MC4 connector typically incorporates a 4mm² contact assembly pin, which allows for high current and voltage transmission.

Locking Mechanism: The MC4 connector utilizes a notch interlock mechanism to securely mate the male and female halves of the connector. This prevents accidental pulling apart of the connected solar panels.

The connector incorporates a flexible watertight seal to ensure that moisture and other environmental factors do not interfere with the electrical connection.

For a proper seal and connection, the MC4 connector requires the usage of a cable with the correct diameter, typically ranging from φ5mm to φ7mm. The cable should also be double-insulated (insulation plus black sheath) and UV-resistant.

Connection to the cable is typically made using a special crimping tool. Alternatively, soldering may be used in some cases.

The contact pins are often made of copper with a nickel plating for corrosion resistance and good electrical conductivity. The housing and insulation materials are chosen for their durability, UV resistance, and ability to withstand outdoor conditions.

Safety Features: The MC4 connector is designed with safety in mind, incorporating features such as the watertight seal and the locking mechanism to minimize the risk of electrical hazards. It is important to note that the MC4 connector should never be connected or disconnected under load, as this can lead to electric arcing and potential damage to the connector and connected equipment.

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