[fosscomm] Multiple Standards Confound Power-Supply Designers

Venkatesh Hariharan venkyh at gmail.com
Fri Jul 24 01:52:52 PDT 2009

In the context of the Draft Policy on open standards, here's one
example of why multiple standards can lead to chaos.


Multiple Standards Confound Power-Supply Designers

The melange of energy-efficiency standards used to be good for a
“green” label. But how much difference really exists between them?

Don Tuite  |   ED Online ID #13109  |   August 3, 2006

What's a poor power-supply designer to do? The U.S. alone has four
standards for energy efficiency: Energy Star, Executive Order 13221
(1-W Standby), 80 Plus, and the regulations of the California Energy

Europe grapples with at least seven: the International Energy Star
program, Blue Angel, the Group for Energy Efficient Appliances, the
European Code of Conduct, EU Eco Label, Energy Plus, and Nordic Star.
Then there's the Australia Greenhouse Office (Australia also
participates in Energy Star), the China Energy Conservation Project,
Korea's Energy Saving Office Equipment & Home Electronics Program, and
Japan's Top Runner program. Many similarities weave through these
programs, but there are enough differences to make powering a product
for a global market an exercise in anxiety.

Fortunately, many of the programs are voluntary. Therefore, you could
still play in those markets even if you don't meet their standby power
of efficiency specs. But you won't get the compliance sticker, which
would mean mean you'd most likely be positioning your brand as a
"value leader" while sacrificing your profit margin.

A better approach would be to familiarize yourself with the programs
out there, go to the key Web sites to get the latest updates, and then
design your product to meet as many energy-friendly label criteria as
practical. This should help you get yourself onto the most popular
energy-program Web sites—and position your product among the green
good guys.

More at: http://electronicdesign.com/Articles/Index.cfm?AD=1&ArticleID=13109

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