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Title:
POWER CABLE CONNECTOR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2013/052280
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A power cable connector (106) comprises a housing (108) having a mating end (174) and a cable end (176). The housing has a chamber (178) extending between the mating end and the cable end, and the housing has an engagement feature (194) configured to engage a socket connector (102) that extends from a substrate. A flat cable (110) is received in the chamber. The flat cable extends from the cable end (176), and the flat cable has a mating portion (136) extending from the mating end (174). The mating portion is configured to be received in the socket connector such that the flat cable directly engages a power terminal (114) of the socket connector.

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Inventors:
ORRIS DAVID PATRICK (US)
YI DANIEL (US)
GRZYBOWSKI RICHARD WAYNE (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2012/056193
Publication Date:
April 11, 2013
Filing Date:
September 20, 2012
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
TYCO ELECTRONICS CORP (US)
International Classes:
H01R13/33; H01R12/59; H01R13/02; H01R13/627
Domestic Patent References:
WO2010119905A12010-10-21
Foreign References:
EP1737074A22006-12-27
EP0908975A11999-04-14
US20040002255A12004-01-01
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KAPALKA, Robert J. et al. (Inc.4550 New Linden Hill Road,Suite 14, Wilmington Delaware, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A power cable connector (106, 206) comprising a housing (108, 208) having a mating end (174, 274) and a cable end (176, 276), characterized in that:

the housing has a chamber (178, 278) extending between the mating end and the cable end, the housing has an engagement feature (194, 294) configured to engage a socket connector (102, 202) that extends from a substrate (104), and a flat cable (110, 210) is received in the chamber, the flat cable extending from the cable end (176, 276), the flat cable having a mating portion (136, 236) extending from the mating end (174, 274), the mating portion being configured to be received in the socket connector such that the flat cable directly engages a power terminal (114, 214) of the socket connector.

2. The power cable connector of claim 1, wherein the flat cable includes a first planar surface (146, 246) and a second planar surface (148, 248), at least one of the first and second planar surfaces engaging the power terminal (114, 214).

3. The power cable connector of claim 1, wherein the flat cable is folded over at the mating portion (136) such that the mating portion of the flat cable is at least twice as thick as the portion of the flat cable extending from the cable end of the housing (108).

4. The power cable connector of claim 1, wherein the flat cable is flexible.

5. The power cable connector of claim 1, wherein the flat cable has a rectangular cross-section.

6. The power cable connector of claim 1, wherein the flat cable has a width (138) and a thickness (144) measured between a first planar surface (146) and a second planar surface (148), wherein the width is at least ten times the thickness.

7. The power cable connector of claim 1, wherein the flat cable is folded over at the mating end (174) to define a folded-over portion having first layer (150) and a second layer (152), at least part of the folded-over portion being received in the housing (108), and the flat cable has openings (158) extending through the first and second layers such that a post (182) of the housing extends through the openings in the first and second layers.

8. The power cable connector of claim 1, further comprising a sleeve (160) covering the portion of the flat cable extending from the cable end (176) of the housing (108), the mating end (174) of the flat cable being uncovered and exposed for direct engagement with the power terminal (114).

9. The power cable connector of claim 1, wherein the engagement feature (1 4) comprises a latch (190) configured to latchably secure the housing (108) to the socket connector (102).

10. The power cable connector of claim 1, wherein the engagement feature (294) comprises an arm extending from the mating end (274) along, and spaced apart from, the mating portion (236), the arm having a guide slot (296) configured to receive a guide feature (222) of the socket connector (202) to guide mating of the housing (208) and the socket connector.

Description:
POWER CABLE CONNECTOR

[0001] The invention relates to an electrical connector for use with a power cable.

[0002] Power connector systems, such as those used in the data communication field, typically include a busbar for supplying power to multiple cards or modules in the data communication system. The busbar typically includes one or more socket power connectors mounted to the busbar. Other power connectors are terminated to the socket power connectors. Such power connectors may be terminated to an end of a power cable and include a blade that is plugged into the socket power connector.

[0003] Known cable mounted power connectors are not without disadvantages. Such power cable connectors require an electrical connection between the blade and the power cable. The components and assembly time required to create such an interface add cost and complexity to the power cable connector. Further, such power cable connectors require mounting hardware for connecting to the socket power connector, and such power cable connectors are not separable from the socket power connector.

[0004] There is a need for a power cable connector that provides an economical, reliable and separable power connection between a power cable and a socket power connector.

[0005] This problem is solved a power cable connector according to claim 1.

[0006] According to the invention, a power cable connector comprises a housing having a mating end and a cable end. The housing has a chamber extending between the mating end and the cable end, and the housing has an engagement feature configured to engage a socket connector that extends from a substrate. A flat cable is received in the chamber. The flat cable extends from the cable end, and the flat cable has a mating portion extending from the mating end. The mating portion is configured to be received in the socket connector such that the flat cable directly engages a power terminal of the socket connector.

[0007] The invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein: [0008] Figure 1 illustrates a power connector system formed in accordance with an exemplary embodiment.

[0009] Figure 2 is front perspective view of a power cable connector and a busbar connector of the power connector system (shown in Figure 1).

[0010] Figure 3 is a rear perspective view of the power cable connector and the busbar connector shown in Figure 2.

[0011] Figure 4 illustrates the busbar connector shown in Figures 1 and 2.

[0012] Figure 5 is a side view of a cable of the power cable connector shown in Figures 2 and 3.

[0013] Figure 6 is a top view of the cable shown in Figure 5.

[0014] Figure 7 is an exploded view of a housing of the power cable connector shown in Figures 2 and 3.

[0015] Figure 8 illustrates a power connector system showing a busbar connector and a power cable connector in accordance with an exemplary embodiment.

[0016] Figure 9 is a rear perspective view of the power cable connector poised for mating with the busbar connector shown in Figure 8.

[0017] Figure 1 illustrates a power connector system 100 formed in accordance with an exemplary embodiment. The power connector system 100 includes a socket connector 102 mounted to a substrate 104. In the illustrated embodiment, the socket connector 102 is a busbar connector and may be referred to hereinafter as busbar connector 102. Other types of socket connectors 102 may be used in alternative embodiments. In the illustrated embodiment, the substrate 104 is a busbar and may be referred to hereinafter as busbar 104. Other types of substrates 104 may be used to power the socket connector 102.

[0018] The power connector system 100 includes a power cable connector 106 coupled to the busbar connector 102. The power cable connector 106 includes a housing 108 coupled to an end of a flat cable 110. Power is transmitted between the busbar 104 and the flat cable 110 via the busbar connector 102. The power cable connector 106 allows the flat cable 110 to be coupled directly to the busbar connector 102 at a separable interface.

[0019] Figure 2 is front perspective view of the power connector system 100 showing the power cable connector 106 poised for coupling to the busbar connector 102. Figure 3 is a rear perspective view of the power connector system 100 showing the power cable connector 106 poised for mating with the busbar connector 102.

[0020] The busbar connector 102 includes a socket housing 112 holding a pair of power terminals 114. The socket housing 112 may hold any number of power terminals 114. The power terminals 114 are electrically connected to the busbar 104 (shown in Figure 1). The power terminals 114 are electrically connected to the flat cable 110 (shown in Figure 1) when the power cable connector 106 is mated with the busbar connector 102.

[0021] The socket housing 112 has a socket 116 that receives the power terminals 114 and receives the flat cable 110. The flat cable 110 is directly coupled to the power terminals 114 within the socket 116. The power temiinals 114 are received in the socket housing 112 and are exposed in the socket 11 . The socket 116 is open at a mating end 118 of the socket housing 112. In an exemplary embodiment, the socket 116 has a chamfered lead in at the mating end 118 for guiding the flat cable 110 into the socket 116.

[0022] The socket housing 112 has a base 120 opposite the mating end 118. The base 120 is configured to be mounted to the busbar 104. In an exemplary embodiment, the power terminals 114 are loaded into the socket housing 112 through the base 120. The socket housing 112 includes engagement features 122 configured to engage the power cable connector 106 when the power cable connector 106 is mated to the busbar connector 102.

[0023] Figure 4 illustrates the busbar connector 102. The power terminal 114 is shown in Figure 4. The power terminal 114 includes a plurality of spring beams 124 that are configured to engage the flat cable 110 (shown in Figure 1) when the flat cable 110 is loaded into the socket 116. The spring beams 124 are deflectable and are configured to be spring biased against the flat cable 110 when loaded therein. Optionally, the socket 116 may be sized to receive a range of different sized flat cables 110. For example, flat cables having different thicknesses may be loaded into the socket 116, wherein the different sized flat cables 110 are configured to be engaged by the spring beams 124 to ensure electrical connection between the power terminals 114 and the flat cable 110. The socket 116 may also be wider than the flat cable 110 to allow the flat cable 110 to float within the socket 116. Multiple spring beams 124 are provided to ensure that the power terminal 114 engages the flat cable 110 when the fiat cable 110 is at different lateral (e.g. side-to-side) positions within the socket 116.

[0024] The power terminals 114 have mounting features 126 for securing the power terminals 114 to the busbar 104. The mounting features 126 are provided at the base 120, however the mounting features 126 may be at other locations in alternative embodiments. In the illustrated embodiment, the mounting features 126 constitute openings that receive fasteners therethrough to mechanically and electrically connect the power terminals 114 to the busbar 104. Other types of mounting features may be used in alternative embodiments, such as solder pads.

[0025] Figure 5 is a side view of the flat cable 110. Figure 6 is a top view of the flat cable 110. The flat cable 110 is a flexible cable. The flat cable 110 has a main body 130 extending longitudinally for a length between opposite first and second ends 132, 134. The flat cable 110 defines a mating portion 136 at the first end 132. The mating portion 136 is the portion of the flat cable 110 that is loaded into the busbar connector 102 (shown in Figure 1).

[0026] In an exemplary embodiment, the flat cable 110 has a rectangular cross- section. The flat cable 110 has a width 138 measured between first and second sides 140, 142 of the flat cable 110. The flat cable 110 has a thickness 144 measured between a first planar surface 146 and a second planar surface 148. In an exemplaiy embodiment, the first and second planar surfaces 146, 148 have substantially similar widths. In an exemplary embodiment, the width 138 is significantly greater than the thickness 144. For example, the width 138 may be at least ten times the thickness 144.

[0027] In an exemplary embodiment, the flat cable 110 is folded over at the mating portion 136 such that the mating portion 136 of the flat cable 110 is at least twice as thick as the other portions of the main body 130. Optionally, the flat cable 110 may be folded over multiple times at the mating portion 136. hi other embodiments, the flat cable 110 may not be folded over, but rather the mating portion 136 has the same thickness as the other portions of the main body 130. In the illustrated embodiment, the flat cable 110 is folded over one time such that a folded-over portion of the flat cable defines a first layer 150 and a second layer 152. By folding over the flat cable 110 at the mating portion 136, the first planar surface 146 is exposed on both sides of the mating portion 136. The second planar surface 148 engages itself at the interface between the first and second layers 150, 152.

[0028] In an exemplary embodiment, the mating portion 136 includes both an exposed section 154 and an encased section 156. The exposed section 154 is the section of the mating portion 136 that extends beyond the housing 108 (shown in Figure 1). The encased section 156 is the section of the mating portion 136 that is located within the housing 108. The exposed section 154 is configured to be received in the socket 116 (shown in Figure 2). The exposed section 154 may be plated, while the encased section 156 may remain unplated.

[0029] In an exemplary embodiment, the flat cable 110 includes openings 158 through the first and second layers 150, 152 in the encased section 156. The openings 158 receive a portion of the housing 108 to secure the flat cable 110 within the housing 108. Other features may be provided in alternative embodiments to secure the flat cable 110 and the housing 108 together.

[0030] Optionally, a sleeve or coating 160 may cover the portion of the flat cable 110 rearward of the mating ortion 136. The sleeve 160 may electrically isolate the flat cable 110 to avoid inadvertent touching of the flat cable 110. The sleeve 160 does not cover the mating portion 136, particularly at the exposed section 154, such that the exposed section 154 remains uncovered and exposed for direct engagement with the power terminal 114 (shown in Figure 2).

[0031] Figure 7 is an exploded view of the housing 108 (shown in Figure 1). The housing 108 is formed by a pair of shells 170 that are coupled together. In an exemplary embodiment, the shells 170 are identical with one shell 170 being inverted with respect to the other shell 170. The shells 170 define an upper shell and a lower shell, with the flat cable 110 being configured to be sandwiched between the upper and lower shells. In an exemplary embodiment, the housing 108 may be formed from different shells coupled together rather than identical shells 170 coupled together. The housing 108 may be formed from more or less than two pieces in alternative embodiments.

[0032] Each shell 170 includes a dielectric body 172 extending between a mating end 174 and a flat cable end 176. The shells 170 define a chamber 178 of the housing 108 in an interior of the housing 108. The chamber 178 extends between the mating end 174 and the cable end 176. The flat cable 110 (shown in Figure 1) is configured to be received in the chamber 178. Each shell 170 includes cable securing features 180 used to secure the flat cable 110 within the chamber 178. In the illustrated embodiment, the cable securing features 180 include a post 182 and an opening 184. The posts 182 of the shells 170 are configured to be received in corresponding openings 158 in the flat cable 110. When the two shells 170 are coupled together to form the housing 108, the post 182 of one shell 170 is received in the opening 184 of the other shell 170. Other types of cable securing features 180 may be used in alternative embodiments.

[0033] The shells 170 include channels 186 that are open to the chamber 178. The channels 186 define air pockets around the flat cable 110 to help dissipate heat generated by the flat cable 110.

[0034] The shells 170 include securing features 188 used to secure the two shells 170 together. In an exemplary embodiment, the securing feature 188 on one side of the shell 170 constitutes a latch 190 while the securing feature 188 on the other side of the shell 170 constitutes a catch 192. When the two shells 170 are coupled together to form the housing 108, the latch 190 of each shell 170 engages the catch 192 of the other shell 170 to secure the two shells 170 together. Other types of securing features 188 may be used in alternative embodiments.

[0035] Each shell 170 includes an engagement feature 194 configured to engage the busbar connector 102 (shown in Figure 1) to secure the power cable connector 106 to the busbar connector 102. In the illustrated embodiment, the engagement feature 194 constitutes a deflectable latch however other types of engagement features may be used in alternative embodiments. [0036] Returning to Figures 2 and 3, the power cable connector 106 is illustrated in an assembled state. The two shells 170 define upper and lower shells that are coupled together to form the housing 108. In an exemplary embodiment, two identical shells 170 are used to form the housing 108. The two shells 170 are hermaphroditic to allow the identical shells 170 to be coupled together. When the housing 108 is assembled, the mating ends 174 of the shells 170 define a mating end of the housing 108, which may be referred to hereinafter as the mating end 174 of the housing 108. The cable ends 176 of the shells 170 define a cable end of the housing 108, which may be referred to hereinafter as the cable end 176 of the housing 108.

[0037] The chamber 178 of the housing 108 receives the flat cable 110. The flat cable 110 is sandwiched between the upper and lower shells 170. When the shells 170 are coupled together to form the housing 108, the posts 182 (shown in Figure 7) extend through the openings 158 (shown in Figure 6) of the flat cable 110 to secure the flat cable 110 within the housing 108. The flat cable 110 extends entirely through the housing 108 such that part of the flat cable 110 extends rearward of the cable end 176 and part of the flat cable 110 extends forward of the mating end 174. For example, the exposed section 154 of the mating portion 136 of the flat cable 110 is the section of the flat cable 110 that extends forward from housing 108. The mating portion 136 extends forward of the housing 108 such that the mating portion 136 may be loaded into the socket 116 to mate with the power terminals 114. During mating, the power cable connector 106 is coupled to the busbar connector 102 in the direction of arrow A. The socket 116 is sized to receive the mating portion 136 of the flat cable 110. Optionally, the socket 116 may be oversized allowing slight misalignment of the power cable connector 106 with respect to the busbar connector 102.

[0038] When the power cable connector 106 is coupled to the busbar connector 102, the engagement features 194 engage the corresponding engagement features 122 of the busbar connector 102 to secure the power cable connector 106 to the busbar connector 102. The engagement features 194 are releasable from the engagement features 122 such that the power cable connector 106 may be removed from the busbar connector 102. The power cable connector 106 is thus separable from the busbar connector 102 allowing separable and repeatable mating of the power cable connector 106 with the busbar connector 102. Optionally, the engagement features 194 may be latches, wherein rear ends of the latches may be pressed to release the engagement features 194 from the engagement features 122. Each engagement feature 1 4 includes a window 196. When the engagement feature 194 engages the corresponding engagement feature 122, the engagement feature 122 is received in the window 196. When the engagement feature 122 is received in the window 196, the side-to- side floating of the power cable connector 106 with respect to the busbar connector 102 may be limited, ensuring proper positioning of the power cable connector 106 with respect to the busbar connector 102.

[0039] In an exemplary embodiment, a power connector 198 is terminated to the flat cable 110 proximate to the second end 134 of the flat cable 110. The flat cable 110 is flexible between the power connector 1 8 and the housing 108. The flat cable 110 may have any length between the power connector 198 and the housing 108. Having the flat cable 110 flexible allows the flat cable 110 to be routed between and/or around other components in the system.

[0040] The flat cable 110 is easily manufactured. The flat cable 110 does not need to be shipped or prepared prior to coupling to the housing 108. The flat cable 110 provides a large amount of surface area for heat dissipation, which may allow the power connector system 100 to transmit higher currents or operate at a reduced operating temperature. The flexibility of the flat cable 110 allows the power connector system 100 to fit in confined spaces. The flat cable 110 may have a low resistance, a low inductance and/or a high capacitance. The flat cable 110 is directly connected to the power terminals 114 at a separable interface. Other components, such as terminals or contacts, are not provided between the flat cable 110 and the power terminals 114. The number of mating interfaces between the flat cable 110 and the busbar 104 is limited to the interfaces between the power terminals 114 and the busbar 104 and the power terminals 114 and the flat cable 110.

[0041] Figures 8 and 9 illustrate a power connector system 200 showing a busbar connector 202 and a power cable connector 206. Figure 8 is a front perspective view of the power connector system 200 showing the power cable connector 206 poised for coupling to the busbar connector 202. Figure 9 is a rear perspective view of the power connector system 200 showing the power cable connector 206 poised for mating with the busbar connector 202. [0042] The power connector system 200 includes the busbar connector 202, which is configured to be mounted to a busbar, such as the busbar 104 (shown in Figure 1). The busbar connector 202 may be similar to the busbar connector 102 (shown in Figure 1). The power cable connector 206 is configured to be coupled to the busbar connector 202. The power cable connector 206 includes a housing 208 coupled to an end of a flat cable 210. The flat cable 210 may be similar to the flat cable 110 (shown in Figure 1). Power is transmitted between the busbar and the flat cable 210 via the busbar connector 202. The power cable connector 206 allows the flat cable 210 to be coupled directly to the busbar connector 202 at a separable interface.

[0043] The busbar connector 202 includes a socket housing 212 holding a pair of power terminals 214. The power terminals 214 are configured to be electrically connected to the busbar. The power terminals 214 are directly connected to the flat cable 210 when the power cable connector 206 is mated with the busbar connector 202. The socket housing 212 has a socket 216 open at a mating end 218 of the socket housing 212. The socket housing 212 has a base 220 opposite the mating end 218. The socket housing 212 includes engagement features 222 configured to engage the power cable connector 206.

[0044] The flat cable 210 has a main body 230 extending longitudinally for a length between opposite first and second ends 232, 234. The flat cable 210 defines a mating portion 236 at the first end 232. The mating portion 236 is the portion of the flat cable 210 that is loaded into the busbar connector 202. The flat cable 210 has a thickness measured between a first planar surface 246 and a second planar surface 248. In an exemplary embodiment, the flat cable 210 is folded over at the mating portion 236. The mating portion 236 extends forward of the housing 208 such that the mating portion 236 may be loaded into the socket 216 to mate with the power terminals 214. During mating, the power cable connector 206 is coupled to the busbar connector 202 in a mating direction in the direction of arrow B. The socket 216 is sized to receive the mating portion 236 of the flat cable 210. Optionally, the socket 216 may be oversized allowing slight misalignment of the power cable connector 206 with respect to the busbar connector 202.

[0045] The housing 208 is formed by a pair of shells 270 that are coupled together. Each shell 270 includes a dielectric body 272 extending between a mating end 274 and a cable end 276. The shells 270 define a chamber 278 of the housing 208 in an interior of the housing 208. The flat cable 210 is configured to be received in and secured in the chamber 278.

[0046] The shells 270 include mounting features 280 used to secure the housing 208 to another component, such as a panel, card, board or other component, designated generally at 282. The panel 282 is movable toward and away from the busbar and the busbar connector 202. The housing 208 is movable with the panel 282 for mating and unmating the power cable connector 206 with the busbar connector 202. Optionally, multiple power cable connectors 206 may be mounted to the panel 282, wherein all of the power cable connectors 206 are movable with the panel 282 for simultaneous mating with corresponding busbar connectors 202, which may or may not be mounted to the same busbar.

[0047] In the illustrated embodiment, the mounting features 280 constitute mounts that receive shoulder screws, however other types of mounting features 280 may be used in alternative embodiments. Optionally, the mounting features 280 may be able to float or move slightly with respect to the panel 282 to allow for shifting of the position of the housing 208 with respect to the panel 282. The floating of the housing 208 with respect to the panel 282 allows for corrective alignment of the power cable connector 206 with respect to the busbar connector 202. In an exemplary embodiment, the housing 208 is able to move in at least one direction transverse to the mating direction (arrow B). For example, the housing 208 may be movable in a first lateral direction (arrow C) and/or a second lateral direction (arrow D). The housing 208 is movable in a floating window, which is large enough to accommodate corrective alignment of the power cable connector 206 with respect to the busbar connector 202 for proper mating therebetween. For example, the position of the housing 208 may be collected without lateral movement of the panel 282 (which may be restricted by the system to only linear movement along the mating direction).

[0048] In an exemplary embodiment, the power connector system 200 may be used in a data communication application as part of a server. The server may have a backplane with an associated busbar with multiple busbar connectors 202 mounted thereto. Many cards or modules may be coupled to the backplane, and such cards or modules may require power. One or more power cable connectors 206 may be associated with each card or module. As the cards or modules are plugged into the server and/or backplane, the power cable connectors 206 are coupled to the busbar connectors 202. Optionally, the power cable connectors 206 may be blind-matable because the power cable connectors 206 are not separately held by an installer and plugged into the busbar connectors 202, but rather the power cable connectors 206 are moved with the panel 282 and are coupled to the busbar connectors 202 without individually aligning the power cable connectors 206.

[0049] The shells 270 include securing features 288 used to secure the two shells 270 together. The shells 270 include engagement features 294 configured to engage the busbar connector 202 to secure the power cable connector 206 to the busbar connector 202. In the illustrated embodiment, the engagement features 294 constitute arms (which may be referred to hereinafter as arms 294) extending from the mating end 274 along, and spaced apart from, the mating portion 236 of the flat cable 210. The arms 294 may be parallel to the mating portion 236. The arms 294 have guide slots 296 along interior surfaces thereof that face the mating portion 236. The guide slots 296 receive the engagement features 222 of the socket housing 212, which act as guide features to guide mating of the housing 208 and the busbar connector 202. The guide slots 296 may have a chamfered lead-in. The guide slots 296 may be wider than the width of the engagement features 222 to allow side-to-side floating of the power cable connector 206 with respect to the busbar connector 202. The engagement features 294 are releasable from the engagement features 222 such that the power cable connector 206 may be removed from the busbar connector 202. The power cable connector 206 is thus separable from the busbar connector 202 allowing separable and repeatable mating of the power cable connector 206 with the busbar connector 202.

[0050] In an exemplary embodiment, a power connector 298 is terminated to the flat cable 210 proximate to the second end 234 of the flat cable 210. The flat cable 210 is flexible between the power connector 298 and the housing 208. The flat cable 210 may have any length between the power connector 298 and the housing 208. Flexibility of the flat cable 210 allows the flat cable 210 to be routed between and/or around other components in the system.

[0051] Figure 10 illustrates a power connector system 300 formed in accordance with an exemplary embodiment. The power connector system 300 includes socket connectors 302 mounted to a substrate 304. Any number of socket connectors 302 may be provided. In the illustrated embodiment, the socket connectors 302 are card edge connectors and may be referred to hereinafter as card edge connectors 302. Other types of socket connectors 302 may be used in alternative embodiments. In the illustrated embodiment, the substrate 304 is a circuit board and may be referred to hereinafter as circuit board 304. Other types of substrates 304 may be used to power the socket connector(s) 302.

[0052] The power cable connectors 106 are coupled to the card edge connectors 302. Alternatively, the power cable connectors 206 (shown in Figure 8 and 9) may be coupled to the card edge connectors 302. Power is transmitted between the circuit board 304 and the flat cables 110 via the card edge connectors 302. The power cable connectors 106 allows the flat cables 110 to be coupled directly to the card edge connectors 302 at separable interfaces.

[0053] Each card edge connector 302 includes a socket housing 312 holding power terminals 314. The socket housing 312 may hold any number of power terminals 314. The power terminals 314 are electrically connected to the circuit board 304. The power terminals 314 are electrically connected to the flat cable 110 when the power cable connector 106 is mated with the card edge connector 302.

[0054] The socket housing 312 has a socket 316 that receives the power terminals 314 and receives the flat cable 110. The flat cable 110 is directly coupled to the power terminals 314 within the socket 316. The power terminals 314 are received in the socket housing 312 and are exposed in the socket 316. The socket 316 is open at a mating end 318 of the socket housing 312. In an exemplary embodiment, the socket 316 has a chamfered lead-in at the mating end 318 for guiding the flat cable 110 into the socket 316.

[0055] The socket housing 312 has a base 320 opposite the mating end 318. The base 320 is configured to be mounted to the circuit board 304. In an exemplary embodiment, the power terminals 314 are loaded into the socket housing 312 through the base 320. The socket housing 312 includes engagement features 322 configured to engage the power cable connector 106 when the power cable connector 106 is mated to the card edge connector 302. In the illush'ated embodiment, the engagement features 322 are tabs or projections that extend outward from the socket housing 312. The deflectable latches 194 of the power cable connector 106 are configured to engage the tabs to latchably secure the power cable connector 106 to the socket housing 312.

[0056] The power terminals 314 include spring beams 324 that are configured to engage the flat cable 110 when the flat cable 110 is loaded into the socket 316. The spring beams 324 are deflectable and are configured to be spring biased against the flat cable 110 when loaded therein. The power terminals 314 have mounting features 326 for securing the power terminals 314 to the circuit board 304. In the illustrated embodiment, the mounting features 326 constitute compliant pins that are received in plated vias of the circuit board 304. Other types of mounting features may be used in alternative embodiments, such as solder tails.

[0057] Figure 11 illustrates a power connector system 400 formed in accordance with an exemplary embodiment. The power connector system 400 includes a socket connector 402 configured to be mounted to a substrate, such as a circuit board. Any number of socket connectors 402 may be provided. The socket connector 402 may be similar to the socket connectors 302 (shown in Figure 10), however the socket connector 402 is wider than the socket connectors 302 and is configured to mate with more than one power cable connector 106.