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Global regulations on external power supplies

Posted: 31 Jul 2014  Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:external power supplies  power consumption  EISA 2007  CoC v5 

The United States and the European Union have recently 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.

US: California, Energy Star and the Department of Energy
After California released its initial state regulation on external power supplies in 2004, Energy Star developed and released its first national standard for external power supplies. The specification was largely based on the original California specification, but eventually became the foundation for the first federal mandate, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The EISA 2007 act regulated all single-output external power supplies up to 250W of output power and stipulated minimum efficiency requirements for external power supplies, including standby power consumption at no load.

In February, the Department of Energy filed a final ruling on their new External Power Supply Energy Conversation standard, a significant expansion of the original EISA 2007 EPS standards. The original EISA standard had two classes of power supplies, Class A and Non-Class A power supplies. The new proposal, started originally in 2009, published in 2012 and finally ruled upon in 2014, breaks down the Class A power supplies into five new classes, with the bulk of the power supply market falling into Classes B and C. Tables 2a and 2b show a summary of the original and new class breakdowns for the Department of Energy External Power Supply regulations.

Table 2a and 2b: Table 2a shows the EISA 2007 Classes. Table 2b shows the new Classes in the final DoE External Power Supply Energy Conservation ruling.


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