What is the fastest way to add MC4 connectors to final return lines on GT solar array?

If you have a grid tie solar array what is the fastest way to add mc4 connectors to the final return strings back to the PC combiner/fuse box?

right now I am crimping them on and then adding a touch of solder just the like the factory MC4 connectors are made.

with 6 strings on an 11KW system that means six connections and a few extentions, takes a couple of hours. Is there a faster way to do this?

Comments

  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: What is the fastest way to add MC4 connectors to final return lines on GT solar arra
    If you have a grid tie solar array what is the fastest way to add mc4 connectors to the final return strings back to the PC combiner/fuse box?

    right now I am crimping them on and then adding a touch of solder just the like the factory MC4 connectors are made.

    with 6 strings on an 11KW system that means six connections and a few extentions, takes a couple of hours. Is there a faster way to do this?
    If you have the "official" crimping tool for the connector, soldering is not necessary.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: What is the fastest way to add MC4 connectors to final return lines on GT solar arra

    Buy the pre-made cables? :roll:
  • rollandelliottrollandelliott Solar Expert Posts: 755 ✭✭
    Re: What is the fastest way to add MC4 connectors to final return lines on GT solar arra

    that official criming tool is expensive, I'll check out ebay.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,253 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What is the fastest way to add MC4 connectors to final return lines on GT solar arra

    I purchased my unofficial crimper here, I liked the design of 300-176 and they were a tad cheaper when I purchased.

    http://archive.vecsupply.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=mc4+csolar&x=0&y=0

    Shipping was around $10 to Missouri. It works fine, I do have some 7 strand (or maybe 9 strand?) wire that I usually clip one of the strands to get a nice crimp. The higher strand wires worked easier.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 4,860 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What is the fastest way to add MC4 connectors to final return lines on GT solar arra

    Photowhit, is there a picture available? none on that site for any of them.
    tks
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge, Hughes1100 Sat Modem
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,253 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What is the fastest way to add MC4 connectors to final return lines on GT solar arra

    I would "teach a man to fish" but the normal options didn't yeild ready answers, type in the item in google and add the word images (or search then look for images on the left hand side of results) or type into a big supplier like Ebay or Amazon.

    Cheaper 300-166, Does NOT have the ratcheting feature(I think that was the difference), this allows you to release the handle and the action stops where it's at and inspect the how the crimp is going, so if need be you can try to seperate the wires a little better before you do the final few clamp down.
    Attachment not found.

    The one I bought 300-176, Does have the ratcheting feature;
    Attachment not found.

    This is the HQRP MC4 tool, it works more like the UL listed tool, where the dies engage as a press rather than a hinged tool, runs @$80;
    Attachment not found.

    Edit; I'm not sure the cheap tool doesn't have the ratcheting, when I posted the HQRP tool, I got to thinking that I might have thought the double pivot of the slightly more expensive tool would give closer to the press effect, or that I had seen other quality tools done that way... don't want to put the poor tool down, eb=ven if it's made by the same people, looks like it have the little piece that releases the crimp, just like the other.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 4,860 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What is the fastest way to add MC4 connectors to final return lines on GT solar arra

    thanks, I've got one similar to the first one. Use it for Power Pole connectors, same issue about price. Mine will not release till the crimping is done, ie fully seated.
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge, Hughes1100 Sat Modem
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • 2twisty2twisty Solar Expert Posts: 182 ✭✭✭
    Re: What is the fastest way to add MC4 connectors to final return lines on GT solar arra

    Can one of you post a pic of the shape of the dies? I have some crimpers that have replaceable dies, and look very much like the ones pictured above. I wonder if I could just get a set of dies somewhere, or if the ones I have are similar enough to be functional?
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,253 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What is the fastest way to add MC4 connectors to final return lines on GT solar arra

    If you click on the images they get a bit bigger, likely big enough to see.

    I'll hunt up a close up, but likely you could hunt as easily, google search "MC4 crimper die images" and they'll pop up images from web sites...
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,253 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: What is the fastest way to add MC4 connectors to final return lines on GT solar arra

    That was quick...

    Attachment not found.

    More if you do the search as above...
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
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