Accessory Power & IEC 60320

Posted on 2/22/24 4:41 PM


Global Passports:

Designing electrical systems for use on every continent requires a global interface which IEC 60320 cords and components provide. No longer is it necessary for end users worldwide to reconfigure cord sets once they unbox them from the factory. Instead, the end of the cord set bearing a country-specific plug connects to a wall outlet (mains power); the other end of the cord, bearing an IEC 60320 connector, plugs into an accessory power strip (APS) or a power distribution unit (PDU) via an IEC 60320 inlet on the APS or PDU.

Multiple outlets (4-12) residing in the same row as the one inlet on an APS or PDU allows IEC 60320 jumper cords to connect AC power from the APS/PDU to multiple machines or devices using just one wall plug.

Worldwide plug and socket patterns are numerous (Designing Guides, Charts, and Brochures). Instead of adding inventory by warehousing country-specific plugs in quantities, companies are realizing the cost-effectiveness and convenience of integrating cord sets with country-specific plugs on one end while adding IEC 60320 connectors on the opposite end—trading accessory power connectivity and convenience for added inventory.

Accessory Power Strips & Power Distribution Units:

Accessory Power Strips Power Distribution Units

Interpower Accessory power strips (APS) and power distribution units (PDUs) are essential components when there’s insufficient panel space to power up equipment, and where wall outlets are at a minimum.

Accessory power strips come with 10A-15A/100-240VAC, and 10A-15A/125-240VAC power ratings while the PDU is rated at 16A/125-240VAC—they are typically ordered with one IEC 60320 inlet and 4-12 IEC 60320 outlets to connect multiple jumper cords from the APS/PDU to equipment. For example, the APS or PDU may each contain one C14 inlet with several Sheet F outlets, or a C20 inlet with several Sheet J outlets. IEC 60320 Jumper cords carry amperages and voltages ranging from 2.5A-20A/125-250VAC—entire electrical designs are built around IEC 60320 components.

While the APS and PDU provide upwards of 12 IEC 60320 outlets, the PDU is mountable in a 19-inch rack—its metal housing is powder coated for durability and is offered in white, beige, and black. While the APS is often used on floors away from traffic, the APS can also be mounted to walls or other stable surfaces. Connector locks could then be added to either the APS or PDU to prevent accidental disconnects.

Cord Clips:

cord clips for long power cords and reducing tripping hazardsWhile cord clips aren’t considered accessory power components, they do complement accessory power since multiple cords often extend from the wall several feet before entering the APS/PDU. While cord clips help prevent injuries—such as falling after tripping—they also extend cord life by preventing cords from contacting machinery and tools—it preserves the jacketing by reducing drag.

Despite the universe of resin compounds listed on UL’s website, sometimes finding the perfect resin with the right additives is challenging, especially when mixing resin compounds with nonresinous material. Interpower’s cord clip can be molded onto 3 x 16 and 3 x 18 AWG cords as well as the 3 x 18 VCTF Japanese cords, and is constructed of a glass-reinforced Polypropylene resin compound to ensure molding consistency and optimal retention.

The clip is set at a convenient 4.75 inches behind the plug as an optimal distance after much experimentation and testing. The clips come in gray and black and are made in the U.S.A. Interpower cords and components are manufactured in accordance with Interpower’s product quality plan: hipot testing, continuity testing, and ground testing with multiple inspections.

“We test more than the standards require for our own benefit,” Interpower Product Development Manager Ron Barnett said. “We do so because it lends better reliability to our design.”

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Topics: designing for export, IEC 60320, Accessory Power, cord clips

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