A power cord is a piece of electrical equipment that carries electricity from a power outlet to a consumer product. These cords are subject to a number of international standards, regulations, and markings. Learn more about different types of power cords. In North America, the ground wire is usually green. Green with yellow stripes is used in the rest of the world. If you plan to plug a device into an outdoor power outlet, choose one that is marked with a yellow safety stripe.
AC power cords are most common in interior settings. While choosing a cord, consider the end use and environment. High-activity environments require more rugged materials. For example, right-angle plugs prevent cable bends and wear in tight spaces. Retractable cords can expand and retract quickly. These cords are common in the medical industry, among other settings. For maximum flexibility and safety, make sure the cord is rated for the particular country in which it will be used.
The international market for power cords has a wide range of standards. In North America, the most common standards generator power cord are UL 498 for plugs and CAN/CSA C22.2 no 42 for receptacles. Cord conductor size is measured in AWG (American wire gauge) or mm2 (millimeters). Several countries have a unique nomenclature for cords. Some common cords are SVT and JT, while others are IEC 60320.
IEC 60320 is the international standard for power cords for most appliances. Several countries use different standards for power cords, but the IEC 60320 standard is recognized globally. IEC 60320 includes the type of connector and voltage needed for certain devices. Depending on the country of origin, some power cords can be rated as “A” and others may be rated as “B”.
When selecting a power cord, look for a plug with a CEE designation. Plugs with a CEE designation are often marked “C” or “CEE” in North America. However, these designations do not always match up with the NEMA standards. While the NEMA standards are different for all countries, they are often the most common in North America. There are also NEMA standards that specify the configuration of plugs and receptacles in North America.
The C14 cords have a clover-leaf plug, while C15 and C16 have a round pin beneath the flat ones. The C16 cords are the most common because they are rectangular in shape and have a higher electrical current rating. Those cords will generally be the most expensive. A C17 cord will usually fit your device well. They can even be a great option if you plan to use your power cord often.
Interpower produces a wide variety of power cords and cord sets, and they follow both international and North American standards. For example, they derate the amperage rating of cords over 50 feet in the U.S. for the cable used in the assembly process. Additionally, they measure the cord sets from the connector to the plug without counting pins. If you are not sure, consider contacting Interpower for help. If you have questions, they are always happy to help.