A socket strip distributes electrical power through multiple sockets. It is used to provide multiple sources of power (sockets) in an application with limited socket access.
Socket strips are called by a variety of names. UL 1363 refers to them as relocatable power taps (RPT). Other names include power strips, power bars (Canada), power distribution units or power boards (Australia).
Please see the complete line of Socket Strips offered at Interpower.
Socket strips are made up of several key components. These include: input power cord, on/off power switch, overcurrent protection, and sockets.
Input Power Cord
Electrical power enters the socket strip through a country-specific input power cord.
On/Off Power Switch
OEM applications frequently require the ability to power on or off the entire system with one switch.
An overcurrent protector limits the amount of current in the entire system. This protects equipment in the system against drawing too much current and causing a fire hazard. This can take the form of supplementary circuit protection, often in the form of a circuit breaker for equipment (CBE). The CBE can be a stand-alone or in combination with a switch. The CBE adds overcurrent protection for the socket strip and the equipment connected to the socket strip.
The distribution of power on a socket strip comes through country-specific sockets.
There are two styles for mounting socket strips: table and rack.
This is used to mount the socket strip to the work surface. It might be a tabletop, underside of a tabletop, wall or cabinet surface. The mounting style places the bottom of the socket strip flush with the mounting surface. This may occur through mounting tabs on the end, mounting holes on the back, or mounting brackets.
This places the mounting tabs in a position to be flush or even with the top (face) of the socket strip. This places the backside or bulk of the socket strip to the rear of the rack or under the table in which it is mounted.
Materials used in the construction of the country-specific socket strips include plastic and metal. Metal enclosures are either extruded or folded metal.
The plastic case socket strips have screw-mounting holes on the backside. The mounting tabs on the Continental European socket strip are made of plastic. They are attached onto the end of the can. The North American NEMA socket strips use a mounting bracket which mounts on the surface and the socket strip snaps in place.
The rating on a socket strip is based on the country’s product safety standards and the application. Ratings are listed in voltage and amperage. A rating on a socket strip covers the whole socket strip, not just individual components. An example is the Continental European five-position socket strip. Even though each socket, plug, and cable are rated at 16A/250VAC, the socket strip cannot have an overall rating higher than 16A/250VAC.
Standards and Approvals
The 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 provided may differ. There is not one standard governing the design of socket strips.
The International Socket Strip incorporates a number of the most common international socket standards on one device. Its intended purpose is to allow a company to test a product, but it does not change voltage or frequency.
The International Socket Strip can be used to test or burn-in electrical and electronic equipment that will be exported with international cords and cord sets. This allows testing of the equipment, complete with the power cord, in same manner that the global customer will use it.
It can be connected to a test system that has a source of 50Hz or 60Hz power to deliver power to the most commonly used international sockets for operational or burn-in testing. (If a source of 50Hz or 60 Hz is not available, this is an example of when the International Socket Strip and the International Power Source can work together.) To test a product, the correct international power cord needs to be installed into the product and connected to the proper socket.
It is occasionally used in Hipot testing systems.
Table-mount or rack-mount are available.
There are three models available. All three models include seven international sockets. One model also adds a NEMA 5-15 socket. The seven international sockets included are:
- Continental Europe—16A
- India/South Africa—15A
- Australia/New Zealand—10A
- United Kingdom—13A
|Table-Mount International Socket Strip
|Table-Mount International Socket Strip
|Rack-Mount International Socket Strip