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External Power Supplies Must Meet Level VI Energy Efficiency Requirements for U.S. DoE

External Power Supplies Must Meet Level VI Energy Efficiency Requirements for U.S. DoE
February 16, 2016

External power supplies sold in the U.S. must meet updated and expanded U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) Level VI Energy Efficiency requirements by February 10, 2016.
While Energy Star it’s still a voluntary process, the DoE level VI energy efficiency regulations it’s a mandatory requirement in the US for external power supplies.

Performance Specs
The internationally approved test method for determining efficiency has been published by the IEC as AS/NZS 4665 Part 1 and Part 2. The approach taken to establish an efficiency level is to measure the input and output power at 4 defined points: 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% of rated power output. Data for all 4 points are separately reported as well as an arithmetic average active efficiency across all 4 points.

Level VI
Power supply manufactures are already preparing for the coming transition in February 2016 to the more stringent Level VI standards. Along with tightened regulations for existing adapters, the new standard expands the range of products that fall under the standard to now include:

  • Multiple-voltage external power supplies
  • Products with power levels >250 watts

Direct Vs Indirect Operation
The new standard also defines power supplies as direct or indirect operation products. A direct operation product functions without the assistance of a battery. An indirect operation supply is not a battery charger but cannot operate the end product without the assistance of a battery. The new standard only applies to direct operation external power supplies. Indirect operation models will still be governed by the limits as defined by EISA2007.

Exemptions
The Level VI mandate also includes these exemptions:

  • A device that requires Federal Food and Drug Administration AS/NZS 4665 listing and approval as a medical device in accordance with section 360c of title 21.
  • A direct operation, AC-DC supply with output voltage less than 3 volts and output current ≥1,000 milliamps that charges the battery of a product that is fully or primarily motor-operated.

Certified Products
The DOE consider ‘Date of Manufacture’ as the date the product is Imported into the US.
According to DoE notice, http://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014/02/f7/eps_ecs_final_rule.pdf, it’s stated that products imported into the US after the enforcement date of 2/10/16 must be Level VI compliant.

Global Market Requirements
Globally, it is expected that other nations will soon follow suit with this standard.  In the EU, the mandatory European Ecodesign Directive for external power supplies is currently undergoing revision discussions and it is expected to harmonize with most, if not all, of the U.S. standards.  Countries with existing efficiency regulations in line with the U.S., including Canada and Australia, are expected to harmonize with the new standard as well.

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