yellow NEMA power cord

Power cords and cables are integral to the electrical systems of the world. All thanks to the famed Thomas Edison—who notably developed the power distribution system in the late 1800s—our modern society can be fully digitalized and electrified with these innovative products. Power cords have a key function in transferring direct current (DC) or alternating current (AC) to power up devices or objects.

In the present day, each country has its own power cord connectors and interfaces to ensure safety and compatibility with its plugs and outlets. Manufacturers across the globe utilize preset standards set by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). However, NEMA cables are the most commonplace in North America. Why are NEMA power cords specific to North America? Let’s examine closer the memorable details of this type of power distribution supply.

What Is NEMA?

NEMA is an acronym that stands for the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. Established in 1926 by the Electric Power Club and the Associated Manufacturers of Electrical Supplies, this industry organization sets the standards for electrical equipment manufacturing. The origin of this groundbreaking merger is why NEMA power cords are specific to North America today.

NEMA wiring devices must fit set requirements for cord voltage capacity and receptacle configuration. As a critical service to the public, the main objective of NEMA is to produce and supply a wide range of compatible, safe, and effective electrical products for use in North America and other countries that utilize these standards.

Classification Systems: Capacity and Ratings

The rating of a power cord’s plug distinguishes its origin. NEMA power cords are the standard for North American electrical plugs. You’ll typically find type A plugs—with two conducting blades—or type B plugs with an extra grounding prong. Current NEMA cables come in voltage ratings from 125-600 volts and ratings from 15-60 amps. Diverse combinations and dimensions depend on site setup and requirements.

Manufacturers also classify NEMA devices in two distinctive ways: straight-blade or locking blade receptacles. Locking blade is relatively common in major industrial fields for reliable attachment and stability. When considering what electrical components to purchase for specific applications, keep intended use and intended energy capacity in mind.

Purchase Custom NEMA Power Distribution Units

PowerWhips supplies high-quality PDU power cables to fit any custom specifications of a facility. Our products can meet any cabling or power needs to supply connectivity for today’s most demanding market applications. If you require a NEMA power cable assembly, we have your back with prefabricated NEMA devices customizable to voltage capacity and grounding systems. Feel free to give us a call with any questions you have today.