Enphase has tied up with a world class manufacturer to develop and introduce the EN4 Bulkhead for IQTM microinverters. The new EN4 bulkhead will reduce the need for additional components if installers pair the EN4 bulkhead with UL listed intermatable DC connectors. For an installer partner – this will simplify adapter inventory management and improve the ease of installation.
The new Enphase IQ Series EN4 bulkhead microinverters include AC and DC connectors integrated into the microinverter bulkhead. The AC port of the EN4 bulkhead connects to an Enphase Q Cable or Enphase Field Wireable Connector. The DC port of the EN4 Bulkhead has been evaluated by UL for intermatability with TE Connectivity’s PV4-S SOLARLOK DC connectors.
Before the introduction of EN4 Bulkhead, channel partners would have to plan adapter management for two types of adapters:
- The Q-DCC-2 adapter
- Adapters between DC connectors from PV module and Q-DCC-2 adapter – in situations where the connectors from PV modules were not directly compatible with the Q-DCC-2 adapter.
However, with the introduction of the EN4 bulkhead, the Q-DCC-2 adapter is eliminated. If the PV modules have TE Connectivity’s PV4S SOLARLOK DC connectors, or other connectors listed and identified for intermatability with EN4 bulkhead, one can plug them directly into the DC port of the EN4 bulkhead. For other connector combinations, Enphase bulkhead adapters will be required as before.
Flexibility to be intermatable with different types of DC connectors
NEC 2020 has mandated like to like pairing (i.e. both PV module and microinverter need to have connectors from the same manufacturer) and in cases where connectors are from different manufacturers, the connectors have to be UL listed for intermatability. The UL 6703 standard provides for two different product manufacturers to submit PV connectors under the same evaluation for the purpose of certifying intermatability.
Additionally, there is a growing trend in the market where PV module manufacturers are developing their own DC connectors. In view of these developments, the EN4 bulkhead provides the necessary flexibility to be intermatable with DC connectors from different manufacturers (once the UL certification for intermatability is completed for the connector type).
In addition to TE Connectivity’s DC connectors, the DC connectors from Canadian Solar (T4-PC-1) and Jinko Solar (JK03) module manufacturers have been UL listed and identified for intermatability with the EN4 bulkhead.
More reliable PV systems
The reliability and performance of PV installations depend not only on the quality of PV modules and microinverters but also on the quality of cables and connectors. The connectors in PV installations are exposed to varying weather conditions including temperature, humidity, and exposure to UV rays over a long period of 25 years. In order to provide for better system performance, connectors are expected to be efficient with low contact resistance.
The EN4 bulkhead has been designed and developed to deliver world-class standards in reliability, safety, and efficiency. Cutting edge design and rigorous testing standards ensure low contact resistance – which will allow PV systems to realize higher yield. The EN4 bulkhead has been administered various aging tests (that exceed 3 times the IEC standard) to be able to endure harsh environments and deliver a longer system life. Amongst the key features include excellent water-resistant (IPx7 rated) and dust-resistant capabilities. This takes Enphase further ahead in its efforts to be able to reduce microinverter failure rate to below 0.05%