Will 2016 bring tighter energy efficiency requirements for external power supplies (EPSs) sold in the EU? The answer could be yes, if revisions being proposed to the Ecodesign Directive EPS standard* are approved.
Currently in the EU, single-output EPSs under 250 W are required to meet the efficiency levels contained in the now “sunsetted” U.S. ENERGY STAR EPS program specification (version 2). As with other EPS efficiency programs, a minimum average efficiency (over 4 load points; 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%) and a maximum no-load power consumption are required. A compliant product is marked with a Roman numeral V, confirming that the EPS meets the required efficiency of that level, per the international marking protocol.
The new Ecodesign levels being proposed in a “Working Draft” harmonize with requirements in other active EPS efficiency programs, albeit with some minor exceptions. Two efficiency tiers are specified. Tier 1 (effective January 2017) aligns with much of the U.S Department of Energy’s (DOE) new 2016 EPS level VI standard, but it does not include higher power (>250 W) product or make a distinction between indirect and direct operation applications. Tier 2 (effective January 2018) aligns with the slightly tougher EC Code of Conduct (CoC) version 5 (tier 2) for EPSs, but without the CoC’s 10% load efficiency requirement.
The proposed levels and the relationship with other programs are shown below.
Current and Proposed U.S. and European EPS Efficiency Program Requirements
Legend notes: EISA2007 is the current U.S. EPS efficiency standard, Ecodesign Dir. is the current EU requirement, Ecodesign Dir. T1 and T2 are the proposed EU requirements, CoC is the EU’s voluntary Code of Conduct, and DOE 2016 is the 2016 revision to the EISA2007 EPS standard.
The Working Draft proposed revisions are expected to be approved by the Ecodesign Directive Regulatory Committee by the end of 2015. For a copy of the Working Draft and related information, visit the Power Integrations Ecodesign Directive Green Room page (scroll down to Working Documents section).
* Regulation No. 278/2009