XP Power calls for an industry-standard for ‘green’ component power supplies

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By eeNews Europe

Peters says that Energy Efficiency Level V specifications, as defined by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), apply to external power supplies and finished electrical/electronic goods but not to component power supplies. Peters points out that currently designers of the end equipment have no way to quickly identify the most suitable AC-DC power supplies that will help them achieve compliance for their end products.

Energy Efficiency Level V specifications include considerations of efficiency when equipment is operating under less than full load, which in many applications can be more than 80% of the time. For example, items of office equipment, such as printers and faxes, are used only intermittently.

The major contributor to electrical losses in equipment operating in standby mode is the power supply. Power supply efficiency decreases as the load decreases.

To address the requirement XP Power has developed its own ‘green power’ standard that specifies power limits for no-load operation of its AC-DC power supplies and minimum average efficiency for when they operate at 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% load. Appropriate criteria are defined for power supplies below 1 Watt (where linear regulators are often still used), from 1 Watt to 49 Watts, and greater than 49 Watts. XP Power has developed a ‘Green Power’ logo, used in its documentation, to highlight products that meet standard. Peters says he wants other power supply vendors to adopt the same definitions in order that specifiers and buyers of power supplies can make better-informed choices.

Commenting on the initiative, Peters said: “The power supply industry can do more to contribute to reducing energy consumption than the EPA legislation demands, without adding cost or complexity to its products. The fact that the EPA does not specify requirements for component power supplies means that some opportunities for energy reduction, and subsequent reduction in CO2 emissions, are being missed.  Based on our experience of power supply design and an understanding of the demands of our customers around the world, we’ve created a practical set of standards for our own products that we would like to see adopted by others. We’re asking industry trade associations, other vendors and end-customers to back this initiative so that product designers will find it much easier to compare power supplies from different manufacturers and to identify the most energy-friendly units for their products.”

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