Network engineers that work around the world are well aware of the many different plugs and sockets in use in data centers. But the first-time experience in a foreign data center might be hard if you don’t know which power cord is used there. There is more than one standard being used in the world. A different country may use different power cord types, different plugs and connectors, especially the plug types.
International Standards IEC 60320
IEC 60320 is a set of standards specifying power cords appliances up to 250 volts. Though different country owns different power cord types and standards, the IEC 60320 is recognized as an international standard used by most countries in the world. The “C” represents the code standard for connectors made by IEC 60320. Different types of connector are specified for different combinations of current, voltage and temperature.
Among the connector types, C13, C15 and C19 are the most commonly used ones in data centers. Details are listed in the table below:
IEC 60320 power cords uses even number for plug and odd number for the mating receptacle, and usually male appliance inlet is 1 higher than the sheet for the corresponding female cable connector. Therefore the most common used power cord types is C14 to C13 and C20 to C19. Other common power cord types also include C14 to C15 and C20 to C15.
Besides IEC 60320: Different Country Has Different Standards
Though IEC 60320 standard is used by most countries in the world, in fact it mainly aims the connectors types (C13, C15, C19). For plugs types, it differs from country to country.
North American: NEMA 5-15P (Type B)
The NEMA standards are commonly adopted in most North American countries and some countries that follow NEMA standard. Among the NEMA 5-15P plug are the most widely used in sockets. They are three-wire circuits (hot, neutral and ground), and are rated at 15 A at 250 V, although they usually carry 110 V.