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I’m trying to work out if compliance with IEC60320 (appliance couplers for household and similar general purposes) is mandatory for type A equipment under IEC60950 (Safety of information technology equipment).

Our product is designed to go outside so instead of using a regular IEC power socket, we want to use a Bulgin PX0730/P and PX0731/P plug and socket for 240Vac input power on a Type A device so we can achieve an IP65 rating. http://www.bulgin.com/media/bulgin/data/Standard_power.pdf

According to IEC60950 2011, section 3.2.4 an appliance inlet shall meet all of the following.

  1. Be so located or enclosed that parts at hazardous voltage are not accessible during insertion or removal of the connector (appliance inlets complying with IEC 60309 or IEC 60320 are considered to comply with this requirement); and
  2. Be so located that the connector can be inserted without difficulty; and
  3. Be so located that, after insertion of the connector, the equipment is not supported by the connector for any position of normal use on a flat surface.

So, to me the first part of section 3.2.4 implies that compliance with IEC60320 is not mandatory.

Checking the definition in IEC60950 2011, section 1.2.5.5 of a detachable power supply cord

  • Flexible cord for supply purposes, intended to be connected to the equipment by means of a suitable appliance coupler.

Then, checking the definition in IEC60950 2011, section 1.2.5.1 connection to the supply for type A equipment.

  • Equipment that is intended for connection to a mains supply via a non-industrial plug and socket-outlet or non-industrial appliance coupler, or both.

So, I guess the only catch would be if the regulator considers the Bulgin PX0730/P connector an industrial or non-industrial connector. I couldn’t find any definition of what constitutes an industrial or non-industrial connector. I think the application environment would determine if a connector was industrial or non-industrial?

I realise that the easiest way to achieve the IP65 rating would be to make the power cord non-detachable and use a cable grommet to seal it’s entry to the enclosure. Unfortunately, due to requirements this is not an option (don’t ask….). Likewise with providing a sealed junction box housing terminals for a direct connection.

I’ve also considered using an external DC power plug pack which would avoid any potential IEC60950 issues, but the product requires up to 500 watts of power making this solution effectively unworkable.

My questions

  1. Is compliance with IEC60320 mandatory for pluggable type A equipment?
  2. Would the bulgin PX0730/P be considered an industrial plug?

I’m not sure on the legality of linking to a pdf of IEC60950, so have not included a link to it. My apologies for any inconvenience this causes.

EDIT: I should also add that a IEC60309 connector is mechanically unsuitable (way too big) for our application.

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Ok. I've discussed this with a standards testing house and the certifier in Australia. The bulgin plug complies with the requirements in IEC60950 3.2.4 and so is OK to use and does not need to comply with IEC60320.

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