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Meeting Power Requirements with Minimal Connections

A socket strip distributes electrical power through multiple sockets. It can be the power source for multiple pieces of equipment, allowing flexibility in a product design.

Also known as RPT (Relocatable Power Taps), power strips, power bars, power distribution units, or power boards, a socket strip is used to provide multiple sources of power (sockets) in an application with limited socket access.

There are several key components that guide and control the power in socket strips. These include power entry, power control, protection, and distribution.

  1. Power Entry
    Electrical power enters the socket strip through a country-specific input power cord.
  2. Power Control
    The power switch has the ability to power on or off the entire system with one switch.
  3. Protection
    The overcurrent protector helps to limit the amount of current in the entire system which helps to protect the equipment from drawing too much current and causing a fire hazard.
  4. Distribution
    The distribution of power comes through country-specific sockets, according to where the socket strip will be used.

“Overcurrent protection is a key element in the socket strip. It can take the form of supplementary circuit protection, such as in the form of a CBE (Circuit Breaker for Equipment). The CBE can be in combination with a switch or by itself. The CBE adds overcurrent protection for the socket strip and the equipment connected to the socket strip,” explained Dan Ford, Technical Support Specialist at Interpower®.

Most agencies have requirements regarding the strips having circuit protection and what that protection can and must be. An example would be the United Kingdom, which uses fusing rather than circuit breakers, or Canada, which requires circuit breakers for anything over two socket positions.

Knowing what the rating needs to be is another critical element. “When designing a socket strip, it’s crucial to know what the rating will be based on the country’s product safety standards and the application,” Ford said. “Ratings are listed in voltage and amperage. It’s important to realize that a rating on a socket strip covers the whole socket strip, not just individual components.”

It’s also significant to note that there is no single standard governing the design of socket strips. Country-specific socket strips typically have approval on the unit given by the product safety agencies from the countries in which the units will be used. Because there are different standards for each country, the application and approvals may differ.

At Interpower, the focus is on making it easy to design, build, and maintain products for worldwide markets. Interpower offers a variety of country-specific socket strips.

Because there are different standards and requirements around the globe, a number of different configurations are available. Country-specific socket strips offered by Interpower are available for the following countries/regions: Australia, Continental Europe, France/Belgium, North America, and the United Kingdom. These socket strips are available with a varying number of sockets and other features.

See the complete line of country-specific sockets strips available at Interpower. See also the socket strips highlighted on the Featured Product page.

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

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