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Five Things to Consider When Determining Connector Operating Voltage
S├ębastien Kempter, Product Design Expert at Fischer Connectors
Voltage ratings are often of crucial importance because they are safety-related. But identifying the proper connector voltage is not always a straightforward process, especially when it comes to harsh-environment applications. Unlike most product specifications, operating voltage is not an intrinsic characteristic of a connector. Voltage is affected by environmental conditions, such as humidity and air pressure, and is often subject to application- specific safety requirements. It is also affected by the degradation of connector materials over time in tough conditions. So, it can be challenging to determine the actual voltage that a connector can safely carry.
Keeping these five things in mind can help equipment manufacturers identify the conditions that impact operating voltage, effectively evaluate potential solutions, and specify connectors that will work as expected in even rugged- environment applications.
1. Standards and Regulations
The first step in the specification process should always be to identify which, if any, standards and regulations govern the design and performance of the end device, as these factors are of utmost importance and are likely to affect nearly every aspect of the connector selection process.
2. Types of Voltage
Breakdown Voltage
Breakdown voltage is a characteristic that defines the maximum voltage difference that can be applied before a disruptive discharge occurs between mutually insulated portions of a connector, or between insulated portions and ground. Breakdown voltage is measured in a destructive test.
Test Voltage or Withstanding Voltage
Test voltage, also known as withstanding voltage, is the voltage level applied to a connector during the qualification
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