More Information on High Power Pin and Sleeve Devices
Interpower Corporation offers IEC 60309 connectors rated up to 415VAC and 125A for international applications, and up to 480VAC and 100A for North American applications. Models include single and three-phase systems. Many in the Interpower line of IEC 60309 connectors carry VDE or SEMKO approval to EN 60309 and UL and CSA approval to bi-national standard UL 1682 and C22.2 no. 182.1.
Most of the products that we use each day at home and at work have standard plugs for power entry. In North America, the most common plug is a NEMA 5-15P which is rated at 15A/125VAC. There are several international plug standards, such as the widely utilized German-style CEE 7, used at a variety of ratings up to 16A/250VAC.
High power pin and sleeve devices made to specific national standards are available, but are not good choices unless sales are limited to a few markets. Plug configurations intended for one country and being used in another country, in most cases, would not be acceptable. For example, the higher power straight blade and locking NEMA plugs used in North America cannot be used in Europe. Another example is the 32, 40, and 50A Australian socket outlets used only in Australia. Note, the IEC 60309 connectors are used in Australia but are not as common as the 32, 40, and 50A Australian system.
There is another way to make high power connections. IEC publication 60309 defines a family of connectors—including plugs, socket/outlets, and couplers for industrial purposes—that can be used on equipment for both domestic and international markets. It is no longer necessary to stock connectors for every national standard. With a minimum investment, hard wiring can be avoided.
More and more, power-hungry equipment is smaller in size and mobile. Users can wheel equipment that was once stationary to individual work stations or to where needed on a work site and simply plug it in. This mobility extends the productivity of users by giving them sole control over more powerful equipment. It also increases equipment usage, thus giving your customers a greater return on investment. Flexibility such as this can give your products a competitive edge.
Some stationary equipment can also benefit from using IEC 60309 connectors. These products could be sold, in part, on the basis of how easy they are to install. In this case, specifications for the mating wall outlet and wiring instructions could be sent to the customer in advance. This wall socket might also be provided to the customer as an extra-cost accessory. The customer would then be instructed to have the outlet installed, by an electrician, prior to the equipment installation date. At that time, your product is simply plugged in and powered up. This procedure should eliminate one source of delays, distractions, and headaches for the installation team. This, in turn, should help control costs and gain higher customer satisfaction.
The IEC 60309 system was designed to ensure polarity and avoid mismating of connectors. Polarity is ensured with a polarizing key and keyway, and the diameter of the ground contact is greater than that of the other contacts. This ensures proper connection between the ground pins.
Color coded enclosures indicate the voltage ratings. (See chart at left.) The tables above show the color codes and configurations offered by Interpower Corporation. Additionally, the IEC 60309 system features a series of graduated connector sizes. Each size relates to the current rating and number of contacts.
IEC 60309 connectors and socket outlets feature hinged, spring-loaded covers which snap into place when the plug is removed. This reduces the risk that foreign objects will be inserted into the contacts. The hinged cover also serves as a locking mechanism to assure that once the plug and socket are mated they will not be accidentally uncoupled.
Models in this connector family come with seals that control the intrusion of moisture and solid objects. This is reflected in an IP (Ingress Protection) rating, which is derived from IEC 60529. Interpower IEC 60309 connectors are rated either IP44 or IP67. The symbol for the IP rating is embossed on each connector. See chart at right.
Pilot pins and contacts are included with many of the higher current carrying IEC 60309 connectors for use in electrical interlock systems. These systems ensure power is safely disconnected before the plug and connector are disengaged. The pilot pin and contact disconnect before all other connections in the IEC 60309 and when wired to an electrical interlock, this disconnect signals the electrical interlock to shut off power.
Note: Many in the Interpower line of IEC 60309 connectors carry VDE or SEMKO approval to EN 60309 and UL and CSA approval to bi-national standard UL 1682 and C22.2 no. 182.1. The connectors also bear the CE Marking.