External power supply standards to enable efficiency gains

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A new ITU-Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) report has revealed that standards for the manufacture of external power supplies (EPS) could enhance their reliability and extend their lifecycle while decreasing their average weight by up to 30 percent. This could eliminate 300,000 tons of e-waste annually, the report estimated. Putting it in context, this amount of waste is equivalent to the weight of 300,000 dump trucks. In addition, the report highlighted that standardizing efficiency characteristics could reduce the energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of EPS by between 25 and 50 percent. Finding a large variation in the weights of EPS, the report titled underlined a major opportunity to reduce the weight of chargers across a range of power-supply categories, to increase their reliability and lifecycle and enable their effective reuse. It also highlighted marked variations in the energy efficiency of different EPS, with some operating at an efficiency level more than 10 percent below the mean. Noting that roughly four billion EPS are produced each year, weighing roughly a million tonnes and resulting in 500,000 tonnes of e-waste, the report pointed to an urgent need for standards to correct glaring inefficiencies in the EPS production process. ITU secretary-general Hamadoun I. Tour? said, ?An economic culture prioritizing energy efficiency and environmental responsibility is the only means through which we will create sustainable models of economic growth. In the ICT sector, international standards present the ideal mechanism to encourage an industry-wide commitment to these essential values.? Luis Neves, chairman of GeSI, said, ?Every bit of e-waste we avoid or energy efficiency we gain will translate directly into increased future capacity to invest in innovation and progress; funds that would otherwise have been required to retroactively correct mistakes of the past. I expect to see the recommendations of this EPS report quickly reflected by international ICT standards and the practices of equipment manufacturers.? The study, authored by Raffaele Bolla, Roberto Bruschi, and Luca D?Agostino (Department of Communication, Computer and Systems Science (DIST), University of Genoa), analyzed 300 commercially available EPS, testing the correlation between chargers? weight, volume and supplied power. ]]>

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