Stäubli Electrical Connectors Products
Avoid cross-connection of PV connectors


Situation

The generation of safe and clean electrical power relies on high safety standards and high-quality components that guarantee a reliable performance. Stäubli Electrical Connectors over 25 years of experience in producing highly efficient and safe PV connectors that play a key role in a long-term durable and reliable protection against hazards. For quality and safety reasons, Stäubli dissociates itself from cross-connecting components of 3th party suppliers, being advertised as “MC4 compatible”.. Cross-connection endangers the safety, performance and efficiency of a PV installation and puts at risk operators and installations as well as the return on investment (ROI) and the levelized cost of energy (LCOE). Even renowned test laboratories (e.g. TÜV and UL) cannot confirm the long-term stability of cross-connections.

Assessment

Stäubli Electrical Connectors assesses the cross-connection of components from different manufacturers as a risk/hazard for safe use.
Currently valid PV standards (IEC 60364-7-712:2017; E343181) state that “male and female connectors […] shall be of the same type from the same manufacturer” and that UL certification for connectors only applies if products from the same product family have been mated.
Hence, Stäubli products of the MC4 family mated with third-party connectors lose all relevant IEC and UL certification in their end-use application. Furthermore, the law does not regulate liability in the event of damage; expensive court proceedings may be at stake.

Conclusion

Cross-connection severely endangers the safe operation of a PV plant: mating components of incongruous quality and/or equipped with different core technologies entails various risks and leads to performance losses. Stäubli further disclaims any participation in tests from independent test institutes that are misleading and wrongly indicate compatibility. Stäubli Electrical Connectors considers the efforts from third-party suppliers to verify their connector product by an independent third-party (e. g. TÜV) as Stäubli/MC4 compatible as inappropriate and not beneficial to the PV industry. Stäubli has not recognized any products from third-party suppliers as being compatible with the original MC4 family and does not intend to do so in the future.


Official statement


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