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  5. Designing with Specific IEC 60320 Connectors and Inlets

Designing with Specific IEC 60320 Connectors and Inlets

When designing a product that will be used in a setting where the operating temperature of the equipment may be high, consider including the IEC 60320 appliance coupler combination of a C15 connector with a C16 inlet.

If the application does not need to be in a “hot” setting and does not require a ground path, then consider the IEC 60320 appliance coupler combination of a C17 connector with a C18 inlet.

The IEC 60320 is a set of standards from the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) specifying components for the connection of power supply cords to electrical equipment up to 250V. The advantage of using these kinds of components in a product design is that they are generally accepted globally.

C15 Connector and C16 Inlet

“The C15 connector and the C16 inlet can be used in settings where the operating temperature of the equipment may be high, which is why these components carry the ‘hot’ 120°C rating,” explained Ron Barnett, Product Development Manager at Interpower. “The rated temperature, as determined by the standard, is measured at the base of the pins in the inlet. An example of when this appliance coupler could be useful is in a data center where the equipment is in close proximity to each other in an enclosed environment.”

The IEC 60320 connectors are keyed to prevent the mismatch of connector and inlet “hot” and “cold” configurations. For example, a “cold” C13 connector will not fit into a “hot” C16 inlet. “A connector and inlet rated ‘hot’ can be used in a ‘cold’ environment, but not vice versa,” Barnett said. “There are specific test clauses in IEC 60320-1 that relate to components being rated ‘hot’ (120°C). The components must pass the testing required in these clauses.”

C15 Connector

C16 Inlet


C15 connectors offered by Interpower are considered “hot” with a temperature rating of up to 120°C.  They are rated at 10A/250VAC international and 15A/250VAC North American.

C16 inlets are also considered “hot” with a temperature rating of up to 120°C. They are rated at 10A/250VAC international and 15A/250VAC North American.

The mounting style for the C15 connector is cable-mount. The C16 inlet is available as a screw-mount or a snap-in.

C17 Connector and C18 Inlet

“The C17 connector with the C18 inlet can be used in applications not requiring a ground path. There are various types of equipment that could use this configuration, such as radios and shavers,” Barnett said. “This appliance coupler is classified as Class II (non-grounded) by international standards.”

C17 Connector

C18 Inlet


C17 connectors offered by Interpower are rated at 10A/250VAC international and 15A/250VAC North American with a temperature rating of up to 70°C.

C18 inlets are also rated at 10A/250VAC international and 15A/250VAC North American with a temperature rating of up to 70°C.

The mounting style for the C17 connector is cable-mount. The C18 inlet is available as a screw-mount or a snap-in.

Additional Resources

For more information, see the complete line of IEC 60320 products available at Interpower. IEC 60320 components are found in various Interpower product lines, including power cords and cord sets. See also the Featured Product page.

Interpower offers free technical support. For further assistance, please see Interpower’s contact information below.

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