What are Single Pole Connectors?
Single Pole Connectors are electrical power plugs. They are usually used for high current, low voltage applications within the power distribution industry. Single pole power connectors are employed for making electrical power connections where multi-pole connectors and cables would be impractical to handle (due to size, weight and cable bend radius).
They are typically used for connecting to large diesel generators and fixed power sources in venues where high-powered temporary equipment may be regularly used. Single Pole inputs are available on many large dimmers and on large power distribution units. Common application fields are also entertainment, sport events, airports, mining industry, railways industry, military and emergency missions.
Single & Three Phase Connectors
All versions can be used for single phase and, much more commonly, three phase applications. Three phase connections require five separate cables (or four if neutral is not required).
CamLock / CamLok Connectors
Early permutations of single pole connectors included camlock (Camlok) connectors. However due to several safety concerns, the device was outlawed across Europe, but is still used in the US. Powersafe connectors are suitable for use up to 800A and are ideal for US markets with UL approval.
Network Power Use
Some connectors can attach directly to busbars. These can be used for drawing off power for temporary installations, or for feeding power into busbars in situations such as temporary generator hook-ups during power outages.
Single Pole Connector Safety
Single Pole plugs are generally considered the safety option for high current connection. For instance, the Powersafe connector rated up to 800A, has safety features that help to protect the user against potentially fatal electric shock and other dangers as a result of connection errors. Such features include finger proof electrical contacts, IP67, colour-coded insulators, mechanical keys and locking devices.
Powerlock-style connectors can be used with sequential mating units. These units assist with the safe and controlled connection of the single core power cables, by controlling the sequence of connection to ensure earth and neutral connections are made before phase connections can be made, thereby improving safety by eliminating connection errors and ensuring safety circuits are always connected.
Nevertheless, the potential exists for connection errors, such as failing to properly connect earth or neutral, attempting connection / disconnection under load, incomplete connection of parallel circuits, or inappropriate combinations of circuit breakers and downstream equipment. For this reason all single-pole connectors are intended to be operated (connected and disconnected) only by trained professionals.
Colour & Gender of Single Pole Connectors
Single pole power connectors are available in colours to match wiring colour standards used in Europe, Australia and North America. The mechanical keying is however independent of the colours, for example a blue connector intended for a neutral connection in Europe will not connect with a blue connector intended for live (phase) connection in North America.
Powersafe single pole connectors are designated as source or drain. The source connectors are intended to have their permanent connection in the direction of the source of electrical energy, and the drain connectors are intended to have their permanent connection in the direction of equipment receiving power.