Power plugs used in EU countries

I am looking for the information on high power plug, i.e. >25A used in EU countries.
Thanks,
Scott

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I think most EU countries have adopted the old BS4343 standard (now called IEC 60309 I believe). It comes in 16A, 32A, 63A and 125A versions, and also single phase, 3 phase, and 3 phase + neutral versions.
Most EU countries had their own high current connectors before these became widespread, and some of those may still be in use.
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Andrew Gabriel
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writes:

Andrew,
Many thanks for your advice. I will have it to study. Are you living in European countries apart from UK? As I find very difficult in getting the information of those countries where English is not their native language, I contact some famous laboratory but still have unclear answers. Does normal household have 1-phase, 2-phase and 3-phase power supply? In our country, 3-phase power supply is only available to industrial use. Thus we know little about 3-phase power supply.
Regards,
Scott
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I live in UK. Visit some other EU countries from time-to-time, mainly France, Germany.

This varies throughout Europe. I think 3-phase is available to almost anyone who wants it in most places in Europe. Each country has a single phase supply limit, above which you have to take a 3-phase supply. Once you have a 3-phase supply, there is no limit on the supply you can order. In the UK, the single phase supply limit is 100A, and since very few houses need more than 100A supply, there aren't many which have 3-phase. In some other EU countries, the single phase limit is as low as 20A, and virtually everyone has 3-phase. 3-phase supplies are nearly all star (or wye as you call it) with loads connected between a phase and neutral, but there are a few pockets of the EU where the 3-phase supply is Delta (with one leg grounded) and loads are connected between phases.
Some high current appliances designed to be sold across the EU such as a large electric stove are usually designed so they can run on either 3-phase star/wye or single phase by connecting the 3-phases together (although that's obviously no use where you need phase rotation). However, there aren't a lot of such appliances.
Note that the IEC 60309 connectors cannot be used in UK homes, as our wiring regs require socket outlets in homes to be shuttered, and they aren't. High current home appliances are permanently wired in here.
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Andrew Gabriel
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writes:

Andrew,
Thank you very much for your useful information. Now I understand why they are using multiple phase on top of single phase. Do you have any idea the current limit for normal household mains sockets, i.e. 13A in the UK? Other than 13A, fixed connection is required. Must the fixed connection be handled by registered engineers?
Is there any 2-ph electric cooker? How can it work in balanced load in 3-ph power system?
Scott
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Yes -- I think it varies between 10A and 16A in different EU countries.

In UK domestic situation only. Regs don't say this, only that socket outlets in UK homes must be shuttered, but there aren't any commonly used shuttered sockets over 13A. Other EU countries don't have the requirement for socket outlets in homes to be shuttered, and can and do have special purpose higher current socket outlets.

Not in UK. Maybe in some other EU countries, but across most of the EU, no one takes any notice of that sort of requirement.

AFAIK, there are no 2-ph supplies in Europe like the US Edison system.

There's no requirement for the load to be balanced -- it's a 3-phase + Neutral supply.
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Andrew Gabriel
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writes:

I mean fixed connection on the product is to provide either no mains cord set with the product or no mains plug attached to the supplied cord of the product. How can we expect a normal user to make the connection by themselve? Thus, the product is required a registered engineer to make the connection. As far as I know, the user can buy a product that fitted with mains plug to plug in a normal mains outlet in your houseby themselve. The installation of mains outlets must by installed by registered engineer by law. Is it in IEE regulation?

I mean the product can be configured to use 2-ph power supply. Once done in this condition, how can they avoid unbalanced load? What is normal provision of power supply (normal mains socket, 10/16A, other industrial 3-ph power supply socket, fixed connection box) in the kitchen of European home? I notice that electric cookers are equipped a terminal block where you can configure to use 1-ph, 2-ph or 3-ph power supply for Sweden and Norway countries. It appears to me that in those countries, they have vary conditions of power supply so the manufactureres leave it to the installation engineer to do such work. I do not believe normal users are competent to handle by themselves.
Thanks,
Scott
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You have to provide instructions. That's a legal requirement.

There is no such class of appliance which requires a registered engineer to make the connection the UK. You can (and probably should) state that it must only be connected up by someone compitent to do so. However, that can be the home owner, or an electrician, and in both cases, detailed instructions have to be provided.

No, anyone can install mains outlets (or mains anything). In some locations, you are supposed to have them checked by the local council, but compliance with this (Part P) is apparently less than 1%. In the UK, other than the initial wiring when a house it built, most domestic mains wiring is DIY, and this has always been the case.

They don't need to avoid unbalanced load. They only need to ensure they don't exceed the max current draw for each phase. You would do this by distributing large loads, e.g. a 10kW shower on phase 1, and maybe your appliance in phases 2 and 3. (but remember that having more than one phase is unusal in the UK.)

In the UK, usually a high current flex outlet plate is provided on the wall behind the appliance. A switch for this outlet must be provided within 2 metres of the appliance but not directly behind it (i.e. you don't reach across the appliance to use the switch). The circuit runs back to the fuse box and has a dedicated fuse or breaker, normally 32A to 45A, depending on the conductor size.
Note however that all-electric cookers have not been fashionable for last 15 years or so in UK, and many houses built or rewired in this time will have no high current stove circuit. Most people regard the combination of electric oven and gas hob as optimal. This, combined with efficiency improvements in ovens, means that most ovens are now well under 3kW, and designed to plug in to a standard 13A socket outlet.
I'm not familiar enough to answer this for other EU countries.

That happens in UK too, but instructions are required to detail how to connect up in different situations.
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Andrew Gabriel
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I think, Andrew, you will find that any fixed appliance will come under part P of the building regs in a domestic situation.
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I didn't say it didn't, but what's the relevance?
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Andrew Gabriel
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If it is, then such an appliance *must* be installed by an electrician who is qualified under part P.
A ordinary home-owner cannot do this.
Note that although you could hard-wire, say a lathe, in your workshop (as long as you have the installation checked) kitchens are a special case. (we were talking about cookers here).
I agree that compliance with the legislation is probably low but Scott did ask the question:
"Must the fixed connection be handled by registered engineers?"
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That's wrong.

That's wrong.

Kitchens do have different rules, but none of them prevent the homeowner from from doing their own installation, or even rewiring the whole kitchen if they want to. Please go and read Part P.

to which the answer is No.
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Andrew Gabriel
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Well, suit yourself but your opinion does not agree with my understanding.

When I retired two years ago I passed all that kind of stuff onto a colleague. These days, by and large, I pass my time with woodwork, reading, photography and playing guitar.
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Stuart Winsor

For Barn dances and folk evenings in the Coventry and Warwickshire area
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Andrew & Stuart,
I am pleased to have lots of input and advice from you and do enjoy the discussion. In our region, we use gas rather than electricity on cookers in most situation. I feel very natual to appoint qualified personnel regardless how to call them to do fixed installation since we born. It is interesting to know it is different from other parts of world. Thus the communication takes so long that it should not be. However, I am lucky to have both of you so patient to explain the detail.
Thanks a lot!
Scott
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I think that is largely true of the UK too, especially in towns where it is piped directly to homes. However, there is a trend in many modern "fitted" kitchens, where appliances are "built in", rather than using traditional free standing units, to use a gas hob and electric oven.
Away from towns and "mains" gas supplies, the choice lies between electricity or LPG so the situation is less clear.
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That's true here for the stove top too, but not ovens, where electricity is preferred in the UK. However, both stove tops and ovens are available in both fuel types.

There are a lot of people who DIY in the UK -- it's always been popular, but it's dropping because the younger generation are much less interested and/or capable in doing so than their parents and grand parents. Many years ago, my father installed central heating (partly before I was born, and partly when I was a young child). 10 years ago, I installed my own central heating and 5 years ago, my own aircon. I've always done all my own wiring and plumbing. I used to have to use professional plasters, but some years ago, I booked myself on a course, and since then I've done all my own plastering (and it's much better quality than the professionals, although it takes me longer). 25 years ago when I bought my first house, I had a tradesman mend the leaking roof. 5 years ago when it started leaking again, I had the confidence to strip off the whole area, and rebuild it from the rafters up, rather than patch it as the tradesman had done. (It's been fine ever since!)
When you DIY, you are not normally thinking time is money, and so you have the extra time to do a better job, and do it exactly how you want it done. The money you save in paying for someone else's time you can put to other uses -- e.g. I fitted a significantly more expensive high efficiency boiler than was either required or common at the time, because I was interested in the technology. When rewiring, I could afford to use some high quality commercial wiring accessories which cost about 10 times what would normally be used for a domestic rewire, to achieve a good quality result.
However, it's important to know your limitations too.
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Andrew Gabriel
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writes:

The latest generation prefers chatting in cafe or facebook than doing DIY. They have their way to spend their leisure time.
Scott
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I live in Finland.
Here a normal household has either 1-phase or 3-phase power coming to household. Most households get 3-phase power to the lectrical panel. Some small older houses or apartments on older building coudl get only 1-phase power to electrical panel. So where I live 3-phase power supply is widely available to all uses and widely used (at least comes to main electrical panel).
The connectors used for 3-phase power are IEC 60309 connectors. Those connectors can be seen on both industrial and residential installations (for example main electical panel on residential building could have one IEC 60309 to take out 3-phase power when needed).
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Tomi Engdahl (http://www.iki.fi/then /)
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You might try contacting www.interpower.com . We use them quite a lot when we need to spec a european compatible plug/connector.
Charles Perry P.E.
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Charles,
Having visited their website, it appears to be knowledgeable one and get in touch them to see what they can offer.
Thanks and regards,
Scott
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