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Whitepaperlemohowtospecifyhighvoltageconnectors1678132448611 3 643f092646bef

How To Specify Voltage Connectors

April 18, 2023
An insider perspective on high-voltage connector specifications.

Specifying the right connector can have an enormous impact on the ultimate quality of your product or research equipment, both in the efficacy and longevity of its performance as well as the ongoing safety of its operation. This is true, of course, with any connectors, but with high voltage connectors, the necessity is more urgent still.

Indeed, the carrying of higher voltages and/or the tendency for more sensitive operations can not only bring with it increased safety concerns for operators, patients, technicians, manufacturers, surrounding communities, and other stakeholders, but also often presupposes the increasing threat of generating arcs or coronas, which can lead to reduced reliability and premature failure of the equipment.

While most equipment manufacturers understand that the engineering capabilities, advanced materials knowledge and other experience needed to develop effective high voltage connectors is far more extensive than that needed for their lower voltage cousins, and thus seek out proven expertise accordingly, many do not realize the value of forming an informational alliance with their selected high voltage connector partners. Indeed, optimum selection can involve much more than merely selecting a part number; there can be numerous other aspects to understand, consider and discuss in order to benefit from optimum results in the long term. These might include defining the impact of operating conditions, appreciating the various voltage levels that may be involved, selecting safety mechanisms to be built in, and more.

If application-specific information is not provided, it is incumbent upon the equipment manufacturer to at least determine and communicate the appropriate technical regulations and standards that will impact the application. This will provide the experienced high-voltage connector supplier with valuable information for appropriate design specifications. Providing this information is a vital first step, and you and your supplier can work together to communicate additional details from there.

Regulations we often see, for example, originate from the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and can include 60601-1, 60664-1, and 61010-1. Industry-specific standards from automotive or medical organizations or specialized research institutes often impact operation and salability or legal usability and should also be identified and communicated. If the final product needs to meet Underwriters’ Laboratory (UL), Canadian Standardization Association (CSA) or International Organization for Standardization (ISO) testing requirements, this would be useful information to impart as well.

In this white paper, LEMO engineers and designers specializing in high-voltage connectors will work to provide readers with an insider perspective, and take some of the mystery out of high-voltage connector specification. With this understanding, manufacturers and operators will be able to better specify the high-voltage connector that will allow them to design equipment that will deliver maximum performance, optimum longevity, long-term reliability, and ultimate safety for all stakeholders.

What You'll Learn:

  • What is "High Voltage" Anyway?
  • Voltage Is Not Only One Number
  • The Danger: Arcing and Coronas
  • The Intricacies of High Voltage Connector Design
  • The Special Engineering of Safety Devices in High Voltage Connectors
  • Assembly and Repair Issues

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