This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

March 09, 2005

International Competition Recognizes Efficient Power Supplies

It's a far cry from the Super Bowl, but the first-ever competition to create energy-efficient power supplies—called "Efficiency Challenge 2004"—drew entries from companies and universities around the world. The Grand Champion award winner in the "market-ready" category, announced on March 7th, was a power supply for a home phone designed by Power Integrations, Inc. The power supply operates at an average efficiency of 69 percent, compared to operating efficiencies of at most 55 percent in conventional models. The Grand Champion in the "open" category is a stand-alone AA battery charger designed by Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The battery charger operates at 74 percent average efficiency and draws only 0.16 Watts of power when not in use. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Energy Commission jointly sponsored the Efficiency Challenge 2004. See the Power Integrations press release and the full details on the competition, including a press release (PDF 68 KB) and fact sheet about the winners (PDF 46 KB), on the Efficient Power Supplies Web site. Download Acrobat Reader.

While the Efficiency Challenge covers a wide variety of power supplies, electric utilities and energy efficiency programs in eight states (California, Connecticut, Idaho, Massachusetts, Montana, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington) are focusing their efforts on computer power supplies. The "80 Plus Program" offers financial incentives for desktop computer power supplies that are at least 80 percent efficient across a wide range of loads. In mid-February, the program announced its first successful entry: a power supply from Sea Sonic Electronics Co., Ltd. See the Sea Sonic press release and the 80 Plus Web site.