Global regulations on external power supplies and their implications

April 18, 2014 // By Scott Brown
Global regulations on external power supplies and their implications
Scott Brown of Dialog Semiconductor takes a look at some of the implications of the global regulations on external power supplies.

So far, in the few months that have passed in 2014, the US and the EU have imposed new regulations for external power supplies. As of January, tier 1 of the EU Code of Conduct (v5) standard for external power supplies became effective. On the 10th of February, 2014, the US Department of Energy issued the final ruling on an updated external power supply standard, restricting even more the efficiency standards initially created in 2007 under the original EISA standard.

Both of these new rulings further restrict the efficiency and no-load power consumption requirements on external power supplies to the highest levels in the world. The purpose of this article is to discuss the evolution of the different power supply standards up to now, what the new rulings mean and how they impact the power supply market.

At a global level, mandates for power efficiency exist for most consumer electronics and home appliances. External power supplies have had regulations dating back to 2004, when the California Energy Commission created one of the first mandates for efficiency of external power supplies used to power appliances or consumer electronic devices. Since then, the US, European Union, China and other countries adopted both voluntary and mandatory external power supply standards as part of energy conservation legislation.

Table 1 shows a breakdown of some of the current voluntary and mandatory standards by region. Japan has a mandatory energy efficiency standard and a voluntary program called Top Runner, but neither includes an external power supply specific standard.

Table 1: Worldwide Voluntary and Mandatory External Power Supply Efficiency Standards

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