An electrical power cord for providing low-voltage alternating current outputs from a high-voltage alternating current source. The cord includes an input terminal that is operable to receive power from a high-voltage alternating current power source. The cord also includes first and second output terminals that are operable to output low-voltage alternating current. The input terminal includes two distinct neutral wires.
In the event of a power outage, a portable generator is often used to power certain appliances or electronics. However, using a portable generator often means that a user is only able to power a small number of appliances or circuits, due to the fact that portable generators typically only have a small number of outlets. Typically, large portable generators include a significant number of 120-volt outlets, but large generators are extremely heavy, hard to move, and expensive. Smaller, more economical generators are more appealing to users than larger generators, with the trade-off of having fewer outlets. A smaller generator may, for example, have two 120-volt outlets and one 240-volt, four-prong outlet.
In the event of a short-termed power outage, most users do not need to utilize the 240-volt outlet, but rather would like to use additional 120-volt outlets to run more appliances, such as a window-mounted air conditioner, a hair dryer, and a refrigerator, without having to purchase a large, portable generator.
In one embodiment, the invention provides an electrical power cord operable to output alternating current from a high-voltage (such as about 220 volts to about 250 volts) or low voltage (such as about 100 volts to about 125 volts) current source. The cord includes an input terminal, such as a four-prong male plug, that receives power from a high-voltage or low voltage power source. Two neutral wires are interconnected with a neutral prong of the input terminal. The cord also includes at least first and second output terminals, such as three-prong female plugs, operable to output low-voltage current, wherein each of the output terminals include a distinct neutral wire.
In another embodiment, the invention provides an electrical power cord that outputs low-voltage alternating current power. The power cord includes an input terminal, such as a four-prong male plug, that is operable to receive power from alternating current power source and to provide at least two current paths. In one embodiment, the input terminal may include two power wires, two neutral wires, and a ground wire. The power cord also includes at least first and second output terminals, such as a three-prong female plugs. Each output terminal outputs low-voltage current and provides a low-voltage current path. Each output terminal also includes a power wire, a neutral wire, and a ground wire. The power cord further includes a transition section, where one or more input current paths is split into a plurality of low-voltage current paths.
In the present invention, each input terminal has two distinct neutral wires, unlike prior art cords, which have a common neutral wire.
As is apparent from the above, it is an advantage of the invention to provide an electrical power cord operable to receive one or more inputs and to output multiple outputs. Other features and advantages of the invention will become apparent by consideration of the detailed description and accompanying drawings.