Last month, the US Department of Energy published amendments to its Battery Charger Systems (BCSs) and External Power Supplies (EPSs) test procedure. This completes an important milestone for the DoE,
allowing the focus to turn to the next (and extremely important) part of the EISA2007 BCS and EPS requirement – issuing its first energy conservation standard for BCSs and expanding its current EPS standard. Both of these standards could impact not only the US, but international efficiency programs, too.
In the new DoE BCS document, active mode energy consumption is now part of the test procedure which had included only maintenance mode and no-battery mode power consumption in an earlier version. This puts the DoE in harmony with the California Energy Commission (CEC) and ENERGY STAR test methods for consumer BCSs.
On the EPS front, the DoE is expanding the scope of the current products covered by including multiple output voltage EPSs (the current standard regulates single output voltage products only), EPSs that communicate with the load, EPSs that perform current limiting, or those with output power > 250 W.
With test procedures finalized, the big question now is when the final efficiency standards will be published (EISA 2007 actually required them by July 1 of this year with an effective date of 2013). As mentioned earlier, the impact could extend beyond the US. It’s expected that other countries will review and adopt the same BCS test procedures and possibly similar energy consumption limits. Also, the expanded EPS standard could result in international adoption, continuing the current worldwide EPS efficiency program harmonization trend.
To review the DoE’s test procedures for both BCSs and EPSs, download a copy of the US Federal Register notice,
“Energy Conservation Program for Certain Consumer Appliances: Test Procedures for Battery Charger and External Power Supplies”.
For more information on the DoE’s BCS and EPS program activity and to sign up for email notifications, click here.