Solar Panel Connectors

Discussion in 'Solar Panels' started by WindyFAQ, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. WindyFAQ

    WindyFAQ WindyNation FAQ Staff Member

    The solar panels use industry standard MC IV (sometimes also labeled MC 4) connectors. MC 4 connectors can be purchased on ebay, Amazon, etc. They can also be purchased with the wire pre-crimped on to the MC 4 connectors.
  2. Ahem... All my Sharp ND-series panels use MC3!!
  3. My Sharps have the old mc3 also. They are also on the ground. The connection looks like a RCA jack with a rubber boot. The NC4's lock into place and make a trusty connection so you won't be crawling up on a icy roof wondering if its the connections.
  4. TomT

    TomT WindyNation Engineer

    My first panels came with just wires out of the junction box. The new ones have MC4 connectors. So better ask before buying. Or plan on converting them to match like I will have to do. Before I add the old to the new ones when I put them up on the roof.
  5. Yeah, I jumped all over my Sharp panels for the price. Northern Tool was having a clearance on them, skechy details, all NT said was they were returns and they worked. Find out they are the old style panels, and of B quality.
  6. windyguru

    windyguru WindyNation Expert

    I think most new panels are using MC4 connectors. I guess MC4's are not the "industry standard" but are definitely extremely common.
  7. Looks like the mc4 connectors are holding up. No voltage loss. I was wondering why my wires are exposed and there's white spots on the shingles. Hope nobodys smoking in those nests. DSCN0736.JPG
  8. TomT

    TomT WindyNation Engineer

    I drilled holes in my racking and used stainless steel ty-raps from one of the big box stores to tie my connectors down so they can not slide around during wind storms. I tried plastic ties before and the white ones broke after a few months and the black ones only lasted a year.
  9. They will be comeing back off someday to install permanantly. I left the wireing long because too many times I decided to change things. Like I want a steel roof instead of shingles, But...........
    I had the panels on the ground so long that Google Earth has a picture of them.

    Attached Files:

    TomT likes this.
  10. leamywind1

    leamywind1 WindyNation Engineer

    As far as I know MC 4 connectors are the indusrty standard for industry standard UL brand name panels like Sharp, Kyocera, Canadian Solar, Schott, REC, Trinity and many more over the last 3-4 years. All of of my installations and using these name brand panels have these connectors. They even sell a tool to get them unlocked however a small staright screw driver will do the trick. Non UL approved panels like China (or others) made still may have MC 3 connectors as they are not part of the UL/NEC standards/requirements. Most of them are just CE approved or left overs from a few years ago when MC 4 connectors were no existant. A panel having an MC 4 connector is a good way to know if the panel is newer or older or just a no name brand POS.

    Just my 2 cents from my experiences:cool:

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