A Brief Guide to Power Connectors

Electricity is an energy source that we now rely on for a grand number of applications, ranging from the powering of computers to lighting fixtures that illuminate spaces. As electricity can be derived from a variety of sources such as batteries and power grids, specific components are needed to transmit electricity correctly to accommodate a specific application. Known as power connectors, such components can come in a variety of forms to carry and transport voltage.

Across all power connector types, the most common classifications are light-duty, medium-duty, and heavy-duty connectors. With light-duty electrical power connectors, up to 250 V of current may be handled. To ensure that power transfer is optimal, the contact resistance of the component should always be kept low and stable. Furthermore, contaminants such as moisture, dust, and dirt may all cause the connector and its contacts to oxidate, thus such components should be well protected. Generally speaking, common types of light-duty power connectors include electronic car chargers, mobile phone chargers, radio device connectors, and much more.

Medium-duty power connectors are often used for applications with electrical current demands up to 1,000 V. With their capabilities, such power connector components are most often reserved for a variety of domestic and industrial applications. Due to the amount of voltage that medium-duty power connectors handle, they often face electrical wear over periods of time and should be closely monitored for any signs of welding or erosion.

With the heavy-duty power connector type, applications requiring high levels of voltage can be accommodated. With the capability of handling upwards of hundreds of kilovolts, heavy-duty connectors are most often used for large-scale power distribution applications. Additionally, such power connectors may also be employed within power protection systems, commonly assisting circuit breaker assemblies.

Aside from the amount of voltage that a particular connector may handle, there are also various types of connectors that can be chosen from to accommodate varying needs. With AC connectors, devices that rely on alternating current can be powered through a connection to a wall outlet through plugs and sockets. Generally, most AC power plugs will cater to standard devices, while industrial AC power plugs can serve much larger applications and equipment pieces.

When a particular device or equipment piece requires direct current powering, such as batteries, a DC connector may be used. Unlike AC connectors, there is no standardization set forth for DC connectors, and thus the user must ensure that the given DC power connector is compatible with the device in question. Examples of DC connectors include USB sockets, car lighter plugs and sockets, cylindrical connectors, snap and lock DC power connectors, and more.

As one of the most common forms of power connector components, plugs and sockets are male and female components that can mate for establishing a circuit. With the male component featuring pins and prongs, insertion into the female socket ensures that contacts are latched together securely. Plug and socket type connections are commonly seen for many equipment pieces and electronics, including devices that are plugged into wall outlets.

Beyond such examples, many other power connectors may be used to accommodate varying applications and electrical needs. At ASAP Fasteners, we are the premier purchasing platform for power connector components, offering competitive pricing and rapid lead-times on over 2 billion new, used, and obsolete components that we carry. As the only independent distributor with a no China sourcing pledge, each and every item has been sourced from leading manufacturers that we trust. If you would like to begin the purchasing process, fill out and submit an Instant RFQ form as provided on our website and a dedicated account manager will be in touch in 15 minutes or less.


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