Driving enhanced efficiency

16th March 2021
Joe Bush

We are all familiar with USB integrated sockets, particularly with USB Type-A ports that provide increased end user flexibility for charging mobile devices such as phones and tablets. As the newer USB Type-C connector looks set to eventually replace USB Type-A, what are the real benefits behind fitting sockets with this type of port today? Emma Segelov, MK Electric’s EMEA Marketing Operations Manager, provides insight on the evolution of USB charging and explains why it is a vital part of powering the future.

When we look at the number of mobile devices we own, it is no surprise the demand for power and charging has noticeably increased across the build spectrum, from homes and offices to education facilities and beyond. Until recently, USB-A has been the staple charging connection for many of our portable devices. Although a fraction of the size of USB-A, the data transfer, power output and charging speed efficiencies of a USB-C connector far outweigh previous capabilities. With means to carry 100W of power and handle much higher rates of data transfer, including video in the future, the use of USB-C connectors is expected to quickly become the norm.

It is these possibilities that are resulting in greater USB-C adoption by mobile device manufacturers, and it is increasingly being incorporated in the latest smartphones, high-end laptops, headphones, external hard drives and more.

Optimising user experience

MK Electric recently unveiled its new USB-C Integrated Sockets as part of its Logic Plus range, designed to offer enhanced user experience, flexibility and safety, in one easy-to-install product, made in the UK.

A key benefit of the new Logic Plus range USB-C integrated socket is that it incorporates MK’s Dynamic Device Recognition (DDR) technology. It is a feature that allows each device to be charged in line with its individual, optimum requirements, whatever the make or model that is being charged, maximising time and power efficiency.

Available in white and graphite finishes, the latter to help provide a visual contrast between the wiring device front plate and wall, the USB-C integrated socket supports compliance to Part M of the Building Regulations 2010, which helps facilities be accessible to all.
Incorporating two USB ports – one USB-C, plus a USB-A port - with a total of 15W/3A across both outlets, the port options give installers and specifiers a solution that meets power requirements now, whilst being future-ready to support further adoption of USB-C.

Vertically stacked central USB ports

Featuring vertically stacked central USB ports, installers and specifiers can be assured knowing that the user access to USB ports is not restricted when using virtually any standard 13A, including transformer plugs. This also allows all four outlets to be used simultaneously.

ECO-Design Directive

Although the ECO-Design Directive is not yet a mandatory ecological requirement for energy using and energy related products in the UK, the Logic Plus USB-C socket already complies. While the standby current with nothing connected must be <0.1W, MK’s testing shows significantly lower power consumption of just 0.035W. Based on an energy tariff of 18.5p/kWh, it would cost less than 13p a year to run the product if nothing is attached.

Class leading anti-microbial protection

MK Electric’s Logic Plus range, including the USB-C socket, is made using urea formaldehyde, a high-grade thermoset material which has an inherent antimicrobial property.

Logic Plus is also the most widely tested wiring device range available, with new testing carried out by an independent accredited laboratory to the latest standards for antibacterial measurement for plastics – ISO 22196:2011.

Above: MK Electric’s Logic Plus range, including the USB-C socket, is made using urea formaldehyde, a high-grade thermoset material which has an inherent antimicrobial property

Designed to kill bacteria and now viruses too, and not just inhibit their growth, the Logic Plus range has a kill rate of over 99.99% against MRSA, E. Coli, Salmonella, Klebsiella Pneumoniae, Listeria and S.Aureus 6538p (which can be resistant to antibiotics) and has also been proven to have a kill rate of over 99.99% on the Phi-X174 virus1 which is one of the smallest known non-enveloped viruses which makes it harder to detect and destroy. Non-enveloped viruses are harder to kill than enveloped viruses.

This virus is used as an internationally recognised standard in anti-viral testing, such as to analyse the resistance of critical PPE and air filtration systems to blood-borne viruses.

Total safety

Protecting both the product and the end user, if the total charging current exceeds the rate level of 3A (2A for USB-A port), the device will enter a current limited safety mode. Likewise, if the voltage drops under short circuit conditions, the output voltage will shut down completely.

Unlike many other USB sockets on the market, the MK Logic Plus Integrated USB-C socket incorporates double pole switching for added user safety, suitable for specification in public buildings such as those designed for education use, where double-pole switching is frequently required as standard.

Designed to inhibit access to electricity supply, unless all 3-pins of a British 13A standard plug are inserted correctly, the MK Logic Plus integrated USB-C socket also prevents electrocution with its built-in 3-pin ‘Child Resistant Shutter System.’

Ease of installation

MK’s Logic Plus range is known for its simplified, easy-to-fit installation and the USB-C sockets continue to offer the same features and benefits. Like all Logic Plus sockets, the USB-C socket can be mounted into a standard 25mm back box, well suited for retrofits as well as new build projects across multiple developments. In-line terminals allow wires to be cut and stripped to the same length, speeding up the installation time. The USB-C also comprises of upward facing terminals with a funnel entrance to provide additional no-fuss fitting.

As charging needs are likely to only increase, and device manufacturers adopt USB-C as standard demand for powering our devices, it will mean that we will increasingly need USB-C integrated sockets. MK Electric’s USB sockets can solve many challenges and offer enhanced user experience, flexibility and safety with outstanding antimicrobial properties– making it well suited for the demands of today and tomorrow.

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