High-current connectors are electrical components engineered for use in high-current applications. They are found in a variety of electrical and electronic devices and systems, including battery storage units, power units, and manufacturing equipment. Typical industries that rely on them include aerospace, defense, lighting, and oil and gas.
Given the critical role high-current connectors play in various power distribution operations, it is important to ensure you choose the right one for a given application. However, since they are available in numerous styles, sizes, and configurations, the selection process may seem daunting. That’s why it is important to know what to look for when choosing a high-current connector. Below, we highlight some of the key considerations to keep in mind.
The high-current connector you choose should meet the electrical current and voltage requirements of the application. Otherwise, it may not be able to carry the power reliably or safely, resulting in overheating and other damage. The factors that affect a connector’s current rating (indicated in amps per circuit) are the wire size and the contact. The factors that affect a connector’s voltage rating (indicated in volts) are contact spacing and insulation material. In addition, connector elements like the cable jacket can provide different levels of resistance to oil, heat, oxidation, water, and other conditions depending on the material used.
Testing criteria and data publishing methods for high-current connectors can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. As such, it is important to look closely at the datasheet for potential product options to see how the manufacturer indicates their current and voltage ratings. While some products may seem to have the same ratings, they may perform differently depending on their exact manufacturer’s specifications.
One spec you should identify when evaluating a connector’s current rating is the temperature rise. This value indicates the product’s heat dissipation properties at a specific current level.
High-current connectors are available with a variety of termination options, such as soldered, crimped, wire wrapped, and loop and eye. The type of termination you should choose depends on the type of cable, its size, and the amount of current and voltage it is expected to carry.
There are many environmental factors that can affect the performance of a high-current connector. For example, dust, moisture, gases, and vapors can cause short-circuiting in the component. Additionally, high temperatures and vibrations can cause damage to the component, which can significantly reduce its integrity and service life.
It is essential to take all of these factors into account when choosing a high-current connector. It should be able to withstand all of the environmental conditions expected during normal and extreme operations.
The total cost of a high-current connector is more than the cost of its hardware components. It also includes the cost of the labor and equipment needed for its assembly and repair. While safety and performance are the most important considerations for any purchase, the price can also impact your final decision. You should find an option that satisfies both your component needs and budgetary constraints.
High-Current Connectors You Can Trust at Connectronics
High-current connectors are essential for many high-current electrical and electronic applications, which is why it is important to know how to pick the right one. While selecting the right one can be challenging, an experienced connector and interconnect system supplier, such as Connectronics, can help you navigate all of the important selection considerations.
At Connectronics, we’ve designed and manufactured high-quality standard and custom connectors for over 30 years. This experience enables us to deliver connection solutions for virtually any customer need. To find out more about our high-current electrical connectors, check out our catalog page. To discuss your requirements with one of our experts, contact us or request a quote today.