China has officially joined the battle in reducing large screen flat panel TV energy consumption. The new standard, GB 24850-2010, published in June, becomes effective on December 1, 2010. The specifications include the usual components – standby power consumption and active mode efficiency/power consumption. But while the standby power limits (see Table 1) fall in line with levels outlined in other TV efficiency programs issued by the US EPA (ENERGY STAR), California Energy Commission and the European EuP Ecodesign Directive, it takes a non-harmonious path in determining a television’s active mode energy efficiency.
Unlike other TV efficiency programs, which basically take into account only the viewing area when calculating the maximum allowable annual energy consumption*, the Chinese standard also includes a luminance measurement, the type of input signal processing used, the on-mode power, and different constants depending on the type of display technology used (LCD versus Plasma) and resolution (see Table 2). The end result is an Energy Efficiency Index (EEI) number which is then compared to the standard’s three efficiency tiers. (see Table 3). All televisions sold after the effective date, regardless of display technology, must have an EEI of ≤ 0.6.
Even though it doesn’t become effective until the end of the year, manufacturers have already begun testing to the standard. One Chinese TV manufacturer recently announced a 55” LCD TV which achieves an EEI of 1.444.