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Re: [RFI] California: The Switchers are HERE!

To: rfi@contesting.com
Subject: Re: [RFI] California: The Switchers are HERE!
From: Tim Groat <tcgroat@mesanetworks.net>
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 2006 21:46:46 -0700
List-post: <mailto:rfi@contesting.com>
This is California's version of EPA's "Energy Star" program for power 
adaptors. The goals of both programs are similar: reduce power use by 
improving both stand-by power use and operating efficiency. There are 
similar programs in other parts of the world, including Europe  You can 
read more about them at 
<http://www.efficientpowersupplies.org/>, and 
The big difference between them is whether the standard is recommended 
(Energy Star) or mandatory (California).

Switch mode supplies aren't the only way to meet the standard, but they are 
the design choice for cost reasons. Transformer lamination prices have 
risen dramatically, along with other grades of sheet steel. Feel the weight 
of your cell phone charger: if it was made in the last few years, there's 
probably no line-frequency transformer inside. Lap-top computer power 
supplies have been switchers for years, because a line-frequency 
transformer powerful enough is too bulky and heavy for that market.

The encouraging news is that it's possible to make them RF-quiet, and most 
reputable brands *are* reasonably quiet. The discouraging news is that it's 
cheaper to build noisy ones, there are plenty of customers who care only 
for the lowest price, and some of those customers are Famous Name Brands 
that re-sell low grade products under their own name. You don't always get 
what you thought you paid for.

--Tim (KR0U)

>"Cortland Richmond" <ka5s@earthlink.net>:
>The California Energy Commission has just published an efficiency standard 
>dated April 2005. It requires that by 1 July 2006 most appliances made or 
>sold in California meet state mandates for efficiency. For example, single 
>voltage external power supplies* of between 51 and 250 watts must be 84 
>percent efficient, and consume not more than 0.75 watts when not under load.

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