The electrical outlet and power plug type N are mainly used in Brazil and South Africa.
Brazil made the type N socket and plug its standard plug and socket in 2001, while South Africa followed in the latter’s step in 2013.
Both moves were prompted by the wide variety of power plugs of different types in the country, as well as safety standards.
The type N plugs have three round pins. Two power pins, and one grounding pin, arranged in a triangular pattern.
The line and neutral pins have an insulated sleeve of 10 mm, preventing electrocution when accidentally plugs halfway.
The plug has three variants. In Brazil, the 10 amp and 20 amp variant is used, while the 16 amp variant is circulation in South Africa.
In all the Type N plug variants, the pins’ length is equal, but there’s a difference in the diameter.
The 10 amp version pins have a diameter of 4 mm, the 16 amp pins diameter are 4.5 mm, while the 20 amp pins diameter is 4.8 mm.
In all variants of type N, the line and neutral pins are 19 mm away from their center. The middle of the imaginary line, which connects the power pins, and the grounding pin, has a center-to-center distance of 3 mm.
The type N plug looks similar to Switzerland’s standard type J plug, but both plugs are incompatible.
This is because the type N plug’s center-to-center distance from the imaginary line connecting the power pins, and the grounding pin, is closer than that of type J (type N – 3 mm, type J – 5 mm).
Type N sockets can accommodate the type C plug, which is unsurprising, as it was designed to do so.
The plug, which is codified IEC 60906-1, is based on the international standard 230 V household plug system.
The International Electrotechnical Commission published the standard in 1986 with the aim of making the standard the general standard for Europe and every region with 230 Volts mains.
The effort to push the type N plugs, as the general standard for regions with a standard volt of 230 Volts, ceased in the mid-1990s.
The type N power plug is the safest, most robust, and compact power plug in the world due to modern injection molding technology, which was not available when other types of plugs were designed.