The Multi-Contact MC4 connector is now approved for 1500 volts, an increase from 1000 volts. Existing systems using MC4 connectors can also be upgraded. The end result will be overall cost reduction, which is always welcome news in today’s market.
The original MC4 connector from Multi-Contact AG, the most popular connector in the world, recently received UL approval for 1500 volts. In addition to its existing global approvals such as TÜV, CSA, and CQC, the market leader for DC connectors in the PV sector has therefore been able to increase usage from 1000 to 1500 volts in UL-relevant countries.
This is good news, especially for installers of utility-scale systems, particularly in the American market. There are clear advantages to the increased system voltage. More modules can be connected in series within a string, which reduces the balance-of-system (BoS) costs. This cuts the number of strings within an array and the need for BoS components such as couplings, overcurrent safety switch systems, contact breakers, and cables. Furthermore, inverters are cheaper in this voltage range. Overall, this reduces installation costs by up to 30%.