Page 13 - Power & Data Connectivity Expand Electronic Capabilities eBook
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Mechanical requirements
Equally as important as the electrical specifications of any high-power connector are its mechanical characteristics. This includes the device’s dimensions, measurements, and design features – all of which impose certain limitations that can affect installation of the connector and its performance within the data center application. For this reason, consideration of the connector’s form factor and profile to determine whether it is compatible with the data center’s configuration is imperative. High-power connectors are required to handle high voltage and high current electrical loads, which in turn require that the connections have adequate separation from each other and from other devices in the system to prevent unwanted electrical contact or interference. Furthermore, the connected cables should be properly specified to handle the maximum rated voltage and current of the connector, using a similar design margin, or derating factor, to specify the cables. For example, a 50A connector would require a minimum cable size of 8AWG, whereas for a 32A connector the minimum requirement is a 10AWG cable. In addition, the connector’s contacts on the printed circuit board (PCB) need to be specified for the maximum power load, with adequate derating. It is also important to consider how the connector will be attached to the cable and the PCB – whether it be via screw, soldering, or the use of a lock function.
Quality assurance
After the mechanical requirements of a potential high-power connector are assessed, the next step is to determine whether it has undergone the prerequisite safety and quality assurance testing to prove that it satisfies the required standards and design expectations necessary for the data center to operate at optimum performance. Depending on the specific connector application within the data center, different safety standards can apply, both for the connector as a component, as well as for the overall circuit and system in which it is installed. Examples include materials used, blade/prong configuration, current rating, and whether it has a locking feature. Also, safety standards such as UL1977/EN61984 may apply for connectors in data, signal, and power applications.
Because the field environment in which the data center systems operate will also affect the reliability and functionality of the connector over the course of its life cycle, some indicated tests are required to satisfy those differing environmental conditions. Examples of such tests include high humidity tests, necessary for applications requiring a waterproof function, or corrosive tests, which are mandatory for high pollution environments. The connector materials also need to adhere to standards for flammability (ex: UL94 V0 or V2) and may need to be certified as halogen-free or RoHS-compliant.
» BizLink’s 745-07A/07B/07F/07G Series AC High-Power Whip Connectors, with maximum 32A/10AWG and 50A/8AWG cables, are designed for AC inputs for power shelves of standardized servers in data centers.

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