NEW YORK — It may be a bit late in coming, but the universal PC charger is on the way. The International Standards and Conformity Assessment organization for Electro-technology (IEC) published technical specifications Thursday for single external chargers for a wide array of personal computers.
The new IEC specs cover external chargers of notebooks, connectors, and plugs as well as measures for safety, interoperability, environmental protection, and performance. The estimated e-waste for chargers of computer and communications devices is more than half a million tons each year, and each year billions of external chargers are shipped worldwide.
Power supplies for personal laptop computers weigh 300-600 grams and are generally restricted to use in one computer. There is also waste from damage or loss of the charger.
IEC general secretary and chief executive Frans Vreeswijk said in a press release:
The IEC International Standards for the universal charger for mobile phones has been widely adopted by the mobile phone industry and is already starting to help reduce e-waste. A single power supply covering a wide range of notebook computers is the next step in lowering e-waste and its impact on our planet. I am proud that the IEC has yet again managed to make the best possible technical solution available...
The IEC is all about bringing concrete, feasible solutions to the market place. We welcome input from many sides to make our work as broadly relevant as possible. The result are state-of-the art tools that allow policy makers to initiate achievable and effective energy-efficiency and waste-management programmes. They also enable industry, research institutions and other stakeholders to consistently develop better, more environmentally friendly products.
The IEC first published a standard with global coverage in 2011 aimed at chargers for mobile phones with data. A similar group in Europe, the ITU-T, has been working in tandem with the IEC for many years. As a result, 82% of European standards for electro-technology are unified under the IEC.
The IEC technical specification report consists of contributions from experts from across the globe and has been accepted by national committees involved in the technical committee known as IEC TC 100.
— Zewde Yeraswork, Associate Editor, EE Times