New IEC appliance outlet from SCHURTER provides status indication

SCHURTER_Light_PipeSCHURTER’s 6610 series appliance outlet according to IEC 60320-2-2, Style F, is now available with an integrated light pipe. The fiberglass light pipe indicates operational status, or other function status, as an optional feature to standard connectors. It is designed to channel light from LEDs on the pc board to the front of the connector.

The new technology offers flexible design options including the number of light pipes, 1-4, as well as options for light pipe lengths and diameters. The flexibility of design allows for efficient customer-specific solutions, while enabling increased opportunity to signal status information from the power grid to the user.

A typical application consists of power distribution units used in data centers. With SCHURTER’s new appliance outlet, it becomes easier to extend the systems monitoring capabilities from the centralized display to each outlet. Service technicians are able to clearly see which systems are working properly, or respond to required maintenance adjustments. A connector could, for example, signal an outage with a red LED, or a critical power consumption pattern with a yellow LED. In this way, both repairs and preventive maintenance can be done more simply and efficiently.

The integration of the light pipe into the appliance outlet brings about multiple advantages: For one, the many types and number of light pipes available make it possible to completely individualize circuitry that assigns unambiguous signals to each outlet, potentially each corner of the outlet. There’s also the potential for substantial space and cost savings. The indicating light is located as close as possible to the outlet, instead of discretely mounted nearby the outlet, thus leading to a reduction in the strip size altogether, or increasing much needed space to add outlets to the strip. There’s also an overall cost reduction that results from integrating the light indication into the outlet, whereby the need for drilling separate holes and other associated logistical and manufacturing steps are reduced or eliminated.

The number, arrangement and diameter size of the openings for the light pipe provide flexible options for application specific requirements, also depending on the orientation of the power cord and its impact on visibility. The shape of the outlet and its flange determine the maximum diameters of the flange openings, and thus the selected fiberglass. It is possible to have diameters slightly larger than 3 mm, on the ground conductor side (beveled corners on the housing), as long as it is possible to adjust the punch radius to a correspondingly smaller degree (less than 2 mm) during connector manufacturing. On the line and neutral side of the outlet, it is possible to incorporate light pipe diameters up to a maximum of 1.5 mm.