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Accessory Power for Worldwide Markets

Video Transcript

Welcome to the Interpower webcast – Accessory Power for Worldwide Markets.

My name is Ralph Bright and I am the Vice President of Marketing at Interpower. Today I am talking with Dan Ford, who is the Technical Support Specialist at Interpower. Welcome, Dan!

Thank you, Ralph!

To begin with, what is accessory power?

Accessory power defines power connections to peripheral equipment from a central system.

This illustration shows a typical accessory power system using IEC interconnection components, with a country-specific cord set—in this example, a Continental European cord set—that connects to a wall socket. Country-specific plugs and sockets are not needed for accessory power connections.

There are two main advantages for international equipment designers to use accessory power. One of them is to specify one plug and socket configuration that is accepted for use throughout the world. Please elaborate on this.

Accessory power is specifying one plug and socket configuration that is accepted globally for connections between equipment systems. A country-specific mains connection is needed only for the primary power supply connection. This makes it easier to design and build equipment that can be accepted worldwide. For example, it is no longer necessary to use North American plugs and sockets on peripheral equipment destined for sale in the United States and Canada or for British plugs and sockets on equipment destined for sale in the United Kingdom.

The IEC international interconnection system is generally accepted for use throughout the world. By using a plug and socket configuration that is accepted globally, it can allow the equipment to be more marketable.

Another advantage is that accessory power distribution systems are commonly used to distribute and control power to peripheral equipment through a central system. Will you please explain further?

This is a key advantage for equipment systems that use multiple electrical and electronic devices, such as industrial, information technology, medical, laboratory, or food production. A key to success for a company trying to compete worldwide is to offer products that are easily adapted to the needs of the global markets without requiring reconfiguration by the user.

In order to design products that do not require reconfiguration by the user, will you please explain what components can be used?

Accessory power distribution components are based on the IEC 60320 standard. For a list of all of the components, Interpower has an IEC 60320 Coupler Sheet available on the website.

What are some of the most common configurations?

The most common IEC 60320 accessory power configuration is rated 10A international and 15A North America and includes the Sheet E plug connector, the Sheet F outlet, and the C14 inlet.

Another common configuration is rated 16A international and 20A North America. This includes the Sheet I plug connector, the Sheet J outlet, and the C20 inlet.

Let’s explore the IEC components of accessory power, starting with the IEC outlet.

The IEC outlet can be an important part of the equipment. It is typically either snap-mount or screw-mount and may be integrated with an EMI shield and filter to minimize radiated and conducted noise emissions. In applications where vibration or transportation of equipment could create unwanted power disconnections, consider the use of a connector lock.

What about the IEC plug connector?

The corresponding component to the outlet is the IEC plug connector which is commonly molded or assembled on to flexible cable. This is the IEC plug equivalent to a country-specific plug.

Next, please explain about the connector and the jumper cord.

The connector is commonly molded on or assembled on to flexible cable.

A jumper cord is a combination of a connector and a plug connector on flexible cable. This is the IEC cord set equivalent to a country-specific cord set.

What about the power inlet?

A component common to the input power and accessory power distribution is the AC power inlet. It is typically either snap-mount or screw-mount.

A final component of accessory power that we would like to talk about today is the Accessory Power Strip or APS. Why is this a key component to the accessory power system?

At its core, this power strip incorporates the AC power inlet, with multiple AC power outlets, typically four, but as many as 20 outlets. Other features commonly included are power on/off switches, circuit breakers, supplementary overcurrent protectors or fuse holders and fuses.

It is important to note that overcurrent protection is for the entire power strip. A power strip with a 15A circuit breaker does not mean that each outlet can deliver 15A maximum each. It means that the entire power strip, whether four or 20 outlets, can deliver up to 15A across all outlets combined.

At Interpower we offer several models of the APS which allow companies to design for global markets. How can an APS contribute to a company’s success?

At Interpower, we can make it easier to build equipment that can be sold worldwide because different components work together in one system. Instead of having to make five different systems to export to five different countries, a company can design one system and then add a cord set with a country-specific plug. This allows the same system to be exported globally with cost-saving benefits.

Are safety agency certifications needed?

Yes, to ensure global acceptance and safety, accessory power components should have the safety agency certifications.

Thank you, Dan, for all of this information. You can find more about accessory power on our website at

At Interpower, we have no minimum orders and carry over 4 million parts in stock. We offer same day shipments on in-stock products and have a 1-week U.S. manufacturing lead-time on most non-stock products.

Thank you for joining us today.