Types of 220 3-Phase Electrical Plugs

Written by rebecca macken
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Types of 220 3-Phase Electrical Plugs
Different countries use various forms of the 220 3-phase electrical plug. (electrical plug adaptors image by John Hartley from Fotolia.com)

While single-phase electrical sources and plugs are dominant in much of the world, three-phase power sources provide an ideal generation of electricity. Europe and much of the rest of the world, except much of the Americas and Japan, operate on a 220 to 240 volt, three-phase electric system. To correlate to the electrical production, certain plug types are utilised in these countries.

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The "Europlug"

An ungrounded, two-wire plug with rounded prongs, the Europlug, as it is popularly known, is one of the most common internationally utilised plugs. Acceptable for use with a socket with 4mm to 4.8mm contacts, this plug should be limited for use to those electrical applications with no more than 2.5 amps. Used in many European countries, with the exception of the British Isles, Malta, and Cyprus, this plug's corresponding sockets are being replaced by grounded versions, in which the Europlug will still fit.

British Standard 546

Currently used primarily in India, Sri Lanka, Namibia, and Nepal, the BS546 was originally the standard plug of pre-1962 Ireland and the United Kingdom. This plug is constructed of a trio of large rounded pins, set into a triangle-shaped pattern. Rated at 5 amps, this plug can still be seen in some locations in Ireland and the United Kingdom, but almost exclusively for allowing a direct current connection.

British Standard 1363

Primarily seen in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Malta, Cyprus, Ireland, and the United Kingdom, the British Standard 1363 plug has three rectangular-shaped prongs that form a triangle. Three-wire ground and fused, this type of plug can be used for all power main connections, including appliances with two-wire plugs. While smaller appliances generally have three amps, larger appliances, such as heaters, have as much as 13 amps. Replacing the British Standard 546 in 1962, the 1363 is considered one of the safest plugs in the world, but it also tends to be the bulkiest.

Afsnit 107-2-D1

The Afsnit 107-2-D1 is unique to Denmark and Greenland. A rounded plug with two grounded clips on each side, the Afsnit 107-2-D1 is similar to the Schuko plug most commonly seen in Germany, Sweden, Norway, Spain, Eastern Europe, Portugal, Finland, the Netherlands and Austria. The two contacts are rounded and measure 4.8mm. However, this plug varies from the Schuko plug as it contains a grounding pin rather than the clips.

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