Feeds

ITU suggests replaceable cables for power supplies

Standards body hopes to reduce e-waste, match connectors with voltages

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has kicked off its Green Standards Week with a proposal for the world to standardise the power supply units (PSUs) provided with devices like mobile phones and laptop computers.

One of the standards the ITU proposes would see the ubiquitous devices equipped with replaceable cables, because after testing more than 300 PSUs the organisation found the main reason for their failure “is a weak point where the low-voltage cable is connected to the power supply.”

The idea for replaceable cables may seem trivial until you consider the ITU's estimates that four billion PSUs will be summoned into existence this year alone and will collectively weigh one million tons. The organisation predicts that PSU numbers will grow by 12 per cent a year for the foreseeable future. After testing 300 PSUs the Union also found that “The main cause of failure in all power supplies ” A new design standard featuring “a detachable, replaceable cable on the low-voltage side of the device” is therefore recommended as a way to avoid a lot of PSU purchases, saving rather a lot of landfill along the way.

That's not all the ITU wants. Indeed, the organisation has managed to crank out 105 pages on the topic of An energy-aware survey on ICT device power supplies (PDF) that recommends proper standards be developed to replace the de facto standards currently in force.

The standards the ITU wants will, it says, reduce the materials required to build a PSU by 30% and, by reducing obsolescence of PSUs, prevent 300,000 tons of discarded power supplies becoming e-waste each year.

The ideas the ITU thinks will help to achieve that outcome include:

  • New connectors sized by output voltages, to help punters understand which PSU powers different devices;
  • More accurate labelling of PSUs' output;
  • Smaller size and lighter weights, to reduce resource use, shipping costs and improve products for users;
  • Increased power efficiency, as a response to ITU testing that found many PSUs provide too much power or continue to power devices when they are switched off;
  • Standardized plugs with two prongs only.

Just where these ideas go from here is not clear, as the ITU has no power to compel manufacturers to adopt a new standard. Indeed, the report politely asks manufacturers to consider the issues it raises. The organisation can, however, point to some success from its past campaign for a standard mobile phone charger. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?