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April 29, 2008

What if we all changed our chargers?

Ok. So I am a bit loony, but I’ve been excited for a long time by the Nokia High Efficiency Charger. From what I’ve been told, normal Nokia chargers draw about 150mA power when just plugged in and not charging a device (when the charger is on standby). The High Efficiency Charger only draws 15mA when plugged in and idle (I might have to be corrected here, but I do know it’s a 1:10 ratio).

Why is this important? There are over 3 billion phones out there. And I am sure there are more than 3 billion chargers. That’s a lot of power being consumed just to leave the charger plugged in. This wasted standby power is called sometimes Vampire Power.

I thought our High Efficiency Charger had no load during standby. Sure, it’s still a really efficient charger, but I wished we could do better.

Well, I hear that there are some folks in Nokia Design working on chargers that produce no Vampire Power.

James reports from the recent Nokia Design Event that:

Rhys Newman and the future product design team have produced nine prototype chargers which produce zero waste. Looking at the possibilities the team came up with three basic concepts.

This is exciting. Lots of chargers. Lots of Vampire Power. The world waking up to the problem. Now Nokia doing something about it, too.

As for what we should do while we all wait for these chargers to start showing up: 1) unplug chargers when you’re not using them, 2) get newer chargers that are Energy Star compliant (which I would expect most major brand chargers to be, these days), 3) demand zero standby energy from all your favorite electronics companies.

What do you think of Vampire Energy? What are you doing about it? Or do you think it’s just a drop in the bucket?

Photo from hermanturnip