Aren't our politicians wonderful (electrical engineers)?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by studiot, Mar 23, 2014.

  1. studiot

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 9, 2007
    5,005
    513
    I refer to the new EU directive

    The Energy Labelling Directive.

    Now that the politicians have finished dickering and come up with the usual committe camel which states: (my additions in brackets)

    (electrical and electronic) equipment shall consume no more than .05 watts in any off-mode condition.

    (Note there are completely separate clauses for any standby modes.)

    How many way can equipment be off?

    And why should they consume any energy at all if they are truly off?
     
  2. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
    5,984
    3,719
    This directive came from the fact that each house had 6 to 10 cell phone, tablet, GPS, or other chargers that consumed up to 50 mA when they were plugged into the wall but no device connected to the charger (or when the device was fully charged).

    I know it is stupid but that was the origin. Mostly bu lobbiests because some chargers were found to consume less than 1 mA so those that consume 50 were deemed wasteful.

    No study was done to include the cost (actual and environmental) of additional shutdown circuitry.
     
  3. studiot

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 9, 2007
    5,005
    513
    Thank you for the reply, but my point is not that saving energy is good or bad.

    It is the idea that something electrical can be considered 'off' if it is not disconnected from the supply.

    This is the old requirement in UK electrical regulations and the only one that makes engineering common sense.
     
  4. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
    5,984
    3,719
    For someone designing devices that consume ultra low power when not in use (essentially off), a requirement of zero watts seems just as rediculous to them as 0.0xxx seems to you. They would claim it is lost in the noise of what a house would consume with nothing plugged in.

    12 AWG wire in the US has 15 pF/foot and about 1000' of wire is not unusual. That is a total of 15nF of capacitance and, at 60 Hz, about 175k ohms of capacitive reactance. At 120 volts, that corresponds to 82 mW. With that noise, a requirement of zero for OFF is not reasonable. If it is a question of semantics, then we need a new word for a condition somewhere between OFF and STANDBY.
     
  5. studiot

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 9, 2007
    5,005
    513
    I'm sorry.

    I didn't know that capacitors in the US were able to consume real power.

    This has nothing to do with hand waving explanations.

    IN the early days of pcs, the machine was operated by a mechanical disconnect switch, in the same way as many other pieces of equipment. When it was switched off it was not live. period.

    These days it is operated by an El Cheapo contact switch that merely initiates a power up sequence in an always on piece of equipment. That piece of equipment is always live and consumes some power to maintain vigilance awaiting the go push.
     
    inwo likes this.
  6. crutschow

    Expert

    Mar 14, 2008
    12,977
    3,221
    In common usage "off" just means the equipment off button is pushed. With much modern electrical equipment this turns off the power to the electronics but leaves the DC supply on (such as when powered by a wall-wort). Thus the requirement for a minimum power usage when the equipment is "off". This differs from the 'standby' mode when part of the electronics (such as the IR remote receiver) remains active when the rest of the electronics power is removed.
     
  7. inwo

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2013
    2,433
    315
    That's what I was thinking.:confused:
    I squared R losses are going to be a tiny fraction of that 82 mW.
     
  8. crutschow

    Expert

    Mar 14, 2008
    12,977
    3,221
    Actually the capacitance reactance does a tiny bit to improve the typical inductive power factor of a home.
     
  9. PackratKing

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2008
    850
    215
    ... A prime example of uneducated shyt-fer-brains politicians sticking their noses where they have no business !!!
     
  10. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,764
    2,534
    I'm leaving this thread open for the moment, but keep politics to a minimum.
     
  11. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
    16,248
    6,745
    Not a surprise to me. The last time I signed an application for a permit, I had to swear that electric heaters have an efficiency of at least 3.4 BTUs per watt.

    Makes about as much sense as swearing that squares have corners.
     
  12. crutschow

    Expert

    Mar 14, 2008
    12,977
    3,221
    Yes, if companies want to cause the consumer to waste electricity to save a few cents on the price of the appliance that's their business. :rolleyes:
     
  13. tcmtech

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2013
    2,032
    1,622
    What happened to the rule of 'if you cant afford the electricity you probably can't afford the device'?
     
  14. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
    5,435
    1,305
    Agreed! But is the new directive going to change anything? Cell phone chargers still do not have an on/off switch, so they don't have an "off mode". So they will still be left plugged in, using power.

    They would have achieved more making all wall-warts have a on/off switch, and a big nasty flashing red light on them when they are switched on.
     
  15. atferrari

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 6, 2004
    2,644
    759
    Simple and effective. Yes.

    If I forget things in stand bay in my bench, including my PC, monitor and modem, with lights off, the place looks like a funfair.
     
  16. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
    12,415
    3,354
    Or they would be better off to legislate that all DC powered devices use the same voltage and connector so you can reuse the same wall wart.
     
  17. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
    5,984
    3,719
    They already did that in the European Community. Micro USB is the standard. For some reason, Apple is allowed to escape the regulation for now.
     
  18. tcmtech

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 4, 2013
    2,032
    1,622
    So what exactly is the big fuss about how much power those little bitty thing take any way?
    To me the few dollars they use a month in electricity is well worth the convenience of having them on when I need them.

    Heck I have single devices that burn more power in one hours run time than any wall wart or TV in standby mode uses in year.
     
  19. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
    16,248
    6,745
    There is already legislation about cars, appliances, air conditioners, and furnaces. Maybe there isn't much left to pick on.
     
  20. alfacliff

    Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2013
    2,449
    428
    our washing machine is a fairly new one from sears. it radiates all over the shortwave spectrum while off, the computer in it is still on, just waiting to come to full life and make me more miserable on the ham frequencies with its broadband noise and the noise from the vfd controlling the motor.
     
Loading...