Universal power adapter seen to cut tech waste

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[/caption] The standard will complement ITU?s successful Universal Charging Solution for mobile devices, enabling further energy savings, reductions in e-waste, and enhanced consumer convenience by expanding the concept?s application to the vast majority of ICT devices. The ITU is the ICT agency under the United Nations. ITU?s Study Group 5 agreed on the new draft recommendation standardizing the requirements of ?External UPA solutions for ICT equipment for stationary use? at a recent meeting led by ITU?s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau. The ITU said the UPA will also benefit countries not equipped with reliable AC power grids, as it will be compatible with standalone AC produced by renewable energy sources including the 5V and 12V power interfaces of small photovoltaic systems (solar energy). Globally, the recommendation will reduce the number of power adapters that need to be manufactured by widening the range of compatible devices, facilitating adapter reuse and recycling, and increasing build-quality and resilience to over-voltages. Designed to promote an adapter lifespan of at least ten years, the new ITU standard will drive substantial reductions in energy consumption used in information and communication technology (ICT) equipment manufacture, limit device duplication, reduce strain on raw materials, and enable enormous reductions in e-waste. Hamadoun Tour?, secretary-general of the ITU: ?Our global standard for universal phone chargers received a very warm welcome from vendors and consumers, and I am certain that this new universal power adapter standard will enjoy the same worldwide success. These important environmentally-oriented standards will markedly reduce e-waste and greenhouse gas emissions, while saving money for vendors and consumers through more efficient use of raw materials and energy.? A study carried out by the University of Genoa, commissioned by ITU and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), estimates that the widespread adoption of an energy-efficient UPA solution will eliminate an estimated 300,000 tons of e-waste annually. In addition, the study shows it could reduce the energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of external power supplies by between 25 and 50 percent. The new standard includes basic configurations and general requirements of UPAs and their interfaces: cable; connectors; voltage; current; ripple; noise; energy efficiency; safety; electromagnetic compatibility; resistibility and eco-environmental specifications. The UPAs are designed for ICT devices in people?s homes, and provide a low-voltage input to a device by converting the AC mains voltage to a low-voltage DC output. Future capabilities could include compatibility with a DC interface from renewable energy systems or power sockets found in transportation systems (boats, trains, planes, buses, etc.). ]]>

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