Can standardizing the external power supply (EPS) used with laptops and related communication devices reduce greenhouse gas emissions and e-waste?
That’s the goal of the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) new standard, Recommendation ITU-T L.1002, External universal power adapter solutions for portable information and communication technology devices.
The ITU is a United Nations agency that addresses information and communication technologies (ICTs). Among other duties, it develops technical standards that allow networks and technologies to seamlessly interconnect. ITU-T L.1002 was developed by the Union’s Study Group 5, a standardization expert group for ICTs, the environment, and climate change.
A final draft version of ITU-T L.1002 was approved last month. It defines requirements and recommendations for universal power adapters (UPAs) that are used with portable ICT devices, including portable computers and related portable peripherals, hubs, projectors, printers, scanners, loudspeakers, and additional battery packs. It does not cover UPAs defined in ITU-T L.1000 (handheld devices like mobile phones) and L.1001 (stationary devices like xDSL modems).
Two main topics covered are:
- Interconnectability and functionality to multiple devices Basic UPA configuration is described including recommendations for detachable input and output cables, cable connectors, and interfaces. The ITU believes this will increase a UPA’s usable lifetime and delay/avoid landfill e-waste.
- Improved performance and energy efficiency Specifications are included for energy efficiency, no-load power consumption, safety, and electromagnetic compatibility. Active mode efficiency and no load power consumption requirements basically align with the U.S. Department of Energy EPS standard Level VI requirements. No-load power consumption must be less than or equal to 0.1 W for UPAs with rated output power of 45 W and below and less than or equal to 0.21 W for UPAs above 45 W. The ITU believes that the eco-design principles presented in ITU-T L.1002 will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions based on the energy consumption of UPAs currently in use.
ITU-T L.1002 is currently under edit review by union members. After final edits, it will be available to the general public on the ITU website. While the recommendation is voluntary, it could still have an impact on UPA product design; the ITU currently has close to 200 member states and more than 700 sector members and associates. To learn more about the ITU, visit the ITU website. To read more about ITU-T L.1002, click here.