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Universal power supply for home ICT products

11/05/2012 - 10:00 AM

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A further step to reduce costs and environmental impacts with more efficient reusable adaptors

After the recent L.1000 Recommendation on the mobile charger, ITU-T (International Telecommunication Union), the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies – ICT, recently consented the new Recommendation L.1001 on universal power supplies for household ICT products. This Recommendation will have an impact on billions of external power supply  users buy every year with their ICT devices. It will enable their reuse avoiding the longer lasting power supply to be dumped with its ICT device while still fully operational and usable.
Basically this new Recommendation defines a limited set of classes of standard power supplies to respond to the different power requirements of the vast plethora of equipment and to minimize the cost to the customer. The goal is to make available increasingly efficient objects, with better quality, lower cost and what is really important, reusable.

In particular, the eco-design requirements will ensure at least 10 years of operational life and, together with the standard connector, will maximize the reuse of the power supply with different devices, increasing the benefit for the customer while reducing significantly the problem of electronic waste (e-waste). On the other hand, the energy efficiency boost will ensure the containment of consumption (.. .and of the domestic bill!).

This Recommendation has also particular importance for developing countries to ease them from e-waste problems and provide more economical solutions, better quality and longer lasting equipment.
To understand the reach of the new Recommendation, which impact on a market by billions of pieces, it is sufficient to quote a study from the University of Genoa and Turin Polytechnic University  (developed for ITU-T and GeSI) that indicates the widespread adoption of universal power supply will allow a reduction of 300,000 tons of e-waste, as well as reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions associated with these products between 25% and 50%.

L.1000 and L.1001 Recommendations will take effect in the first instance on a wide range of ICT equipment (such as mobile phones, DSL modems, Set-Top boxes, cordless, external hard drives, MP3 player, ...), but can extend their advantage to many other common products such as clock radios, electric razors, alarm clocks etc.

The new Recommendation (as well as the one on universal charger) was obtained thanks to the essential contribution of Telecom Italy, Orange-FT and Huawei, the strong support from many European and African administrations including Italy's, and that of many other international operators and vendors. The next step will be the standardization of power supplies for portable devices (such as laptops, tablet, ...): here again, Telecom Italy will continue to be among the most active promoters.