SuperSafeTM shopping
SuperFair.Shop badge

1 April 2020 - an important date for switching power supplies

1 April 2020 - an important date for switching power supplies

1 April 2020 - an important date for switching power supplies

The so-called Ecodesign (ErP) directive was passed 10 years ago, to which the EC implementing regulation 2019/1782 appeared in mid-October 2019. It brings a new regulation for the efficiency of switch mode power supplies and has been adapted to market realities and the fact that US energy efficiency regulations (DoE Level VI) have become widespread in the meantime. The regulation comes into force on 1 April 2020.

What is regulated and what is not regulated?
The Ecodesign regulation applies to external voltage power supplies: plug-in, desktop, rail-mounted. Importantly, it also covers multi-voltage power supplies (the previous one did not take them into account and only applied to single-voltage ones). The following are not subject to ErP regulations: a) voltage converters; b) uninterruptible power supplies; c) battery chargers without a power supply function; d) lighting inverters (power supplies) - LED power supplies e) external power supplies for medical devices; f) active power injectors via Ethernet - PoE power supplies

Efficiency and no-load power requirements
As far as the efficiency and standby (no-load) power requirements are concerned, since 1 April these have complied exactly with the DoE Level VI regulations.

The regulation defines terms such as:

  • "low-voltage external power supply" means an external power supply with a rated output voltage of less than 6 volts and a rated output current of at least 550 mA. i.e. a 5 V 3 A power supply and a 3.3 V 1 A power supply are "low-voltage external power supplies" under ErP, but a 5 V 0.5 A power supply is no longer such a power supply because it has too low an output current. For such a power supply, the efficiency requirements are somewhat more lenient.
  • "Average operating efficiency" means the average operating efficiency calculated at 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% of the rated output power. This parameter corresponds exactly to the average efficiency required according to DoE Level VI.
  • "Efficiency at low load" - efficiency at 10% of rated load.

Information obligations
The new regulation also imposes additional information obligations on suppliers. These concern information on the energy efficiency of power supplies. Thus, from 1 April 2020, technical material and product descriptions must contain the following information, in the order specified below:

  • Average efficiency during operation
  • Efficiency at low load (10%)
  • No-load energy consumption

External power supplies with a rated output power of 10 W or less are exempt from this requirement. The idea is that the consumer's choice will now be more informed and that they will take efficiency issues into account when selecting a product and when comparing prices. Until now, such data has been hidden in the data sheets, but now it must also be presented in the printed descriptions and in the online shops.

No specific ErP conformity marking symbol is foreseen. The regulation is part of the CE conformity requirements.