Views: 1 Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2021-08-11 Origin: Site
MC4 is no stranger to photovoltaic practitioners, it has almost become synonymous with photovoltaic connectors. MC4 can be found on important components of photovoltaic power generation such as modules, combiner boxes and inverters, and they are responsible for the successful connection of the power station.
As of the end of 2015, China's cumulative installed photovoltaic capacity was 43.18GW, ranking first in the world. Based on the calculation of about 4200 sets of photovoltaic connectors using 1MW, there are currently about 180 million sets of connectors installed in China. From a risk perspective, it means that there are at least 180 million risk points that need to be monitored by different power station owners.
Nevertheless, this small part is often overlooked during the design, construction, and operation and maintenance phases of the power station. The reason is very much related to everyone's understanding of MC4.
Maybe it's time to get to know MC4 again!
1. A brief history of photovoltaic connectors
For photovoltaic connectors, 1996 and 2002 are two very important years. These two time points also coincide with the key development nodes of the photovoltaic industry. Although the photovoltaic connector did not accompany the photovoltaic industry, its appearance has greatly promoted the rapid increase in photovoltaic installations. , The Before 1996, photovoltaic cables were connected using screw terminals or splice connections. With the increase in the number of photovoltaic systems installed, the industry has an increasingly strong demand for fast, safe and easy-to-operate connection solutions.
Because the photovoltaic system is exposed to wind, rain, scorching sun, and extreme temperature changes for a long time, the connector must be able to adapt to these harsh environments. They must not only be waterproof, high temperature resistant and weather resistant to ultraviolet rays, but also touch protection, high current-carrying capacity and high efficiency. At the same time, low contact resistance is also an important consideration. All of this must run through the entire photovoltaic system life cycle, at least 20 years.
In 1996, based on these application environments and market demands, a new type of plug-in connector came into being. This is the world's first truly photovoltaic connector-MC3. Its inventor is the Swiss company Multi-Contact (in 2002, merged into the Stäubli Group as its electrical connector brand), MC is the brand abbreviation, and 3 is the size of the metal core diameter. The main body of MC3 is made of TPE material (thermoplastic elastomer), and the physical connection is achieved through frictional cooperation. What's more important for MC3 is that its connection system uses MULTILAM technology to ensure the lasting stability of the connection. Later, many connector manufacturers are imitating MULTILAM technology.
In 2002, the birth of MC4 redefines the photovoltaic connector again, which truly realized "plug and play". The insulating material uses hard plastic (PC/PA), and it is easier to assemble and install on site in design. After MC4 came on the market, it was quickly recognized by the market and gradually became the standard for photovoltaic connectors. Many manufacturers call their own connectors "××MC4". If you search for MC4 on Alibaba, you can get about 44,000 related products, which shows the strong market influence of MC4.
As the market demand changes, MC4 has successively launched the MC4-Evo2 and MC4-Evo3 series. The MC4 series of connectors have been fully able to meet the needs of customers for 1500V photovoltaic systems.