A Brief Overview of Common Power Connectors

Power connectors are essential for countless electronic devices and appliances, allowing for a power source to supply a system and its components with sufficient energy for operations. From the simple wall plugs for mobile phones to robust industrial machinery connectors, there are a wide variety of connector types that can accommodate different systems and voltage needs. To help you best find a fit for your particular needs, we will provide a brief overview of some of the most common power connector types available.

Depending on the environment, voltage needs, construction, and other factors, power connectors can be designed in a variety of ways to accommodate specific applications and requirements. As such, power connectors may be differentiated by whether they are permanent or removable, the genders of conductive interfaces, types of current handled, and their assembly and removal methods. It is important that one always utilizes the correct type of power connector for their system or device as faulty connections can damage either the connectors or the devices themselves.

Plug and socket power connector types are common for a number of applications such as phones, automobile power outlets, banana connectors, and more. The power connector male component is the plug, typically featuring pin contacts that protrude outwards. The power connector female component is the socket, and it has receptacle contacts designed for the insertion of the plug. As the socket power connector will be designed to mate with a correlating male plug, the resulting connection is secure for the transfer of current.

Screw terminals provide the ability for wires to be connected in a semi-permanent fashion with simplistic construction. While screw terminals will vary in their design, most types follow the basic function of utilizing a bolt to clamp a wire onto a circuit board or other conducting surface. Terminal blocks are a widely used type of power connector due to their high flexibility in their range of wire sizes and terminal quantity. With a terminal block, individual wires can be connected without the need for splicing or physical connections.

Soldering is another common option for mating wires, and it consists of soldering the wire’s conductors to the electrodes of a plug or socket connector. If soldered correctly, such methods can create reliable and robust attachments, and a backshell can be added to increase protection. It is important to avoid melting the dielectric between pins and wires when soldering wires as it can result in short circuits or flared insulation.

Crimp-on connectors are the final major power connector type, and such connections are solderless as mechanical friction and deformation is used to secure wires together. Crimping requires a special tool for connections, and such methods are used for certain coaxial connectors, multi-pin plugs and sockets, and splice connectors. Due to the method of connection, crimped contacts are permanent and cannot be reused.

With the various types of power connectors available, many devices can be efficiently powered for their operations. At Fulfillment by ASAP, we serve as a premier supplier of aviation, NSN, and electronic parts that have been sourced from top global manufacturers that we trust. Whether you are in need of a power connector board or cap power connector components, we leverage competitive pricing and lead-times on all that we carry for the benefit of our customers. If there are particular components that you wish to procure, fill out and submit an Instant RFQ form and a dedicated account manager will reach out to you in 15 minutes or less to provide a personalized quote based on your individual needs.


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