Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC), Austin, TX – March 7, 2005 – The California Energy Commission and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today jointly announced the winners of Efficiency Challenge 2004, an international design competition for energy-efficient external power supplies. Among those winning top honors, were all four of the university teams ON Semiconductor supported with parts, technical assistance and $8,500 in monetary prizes.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University team’s power supply design for an external stand alone AA battery charger was named both Grand Champion and Best in Class in the Open Category. With an output power of 2.5 W, an output voltage of 6.25 V and an output current of 0.4 A, the team’s design delivered an average active power efficiency of 74 percent. The design was implemented using the NCP1215A variable OFF time switch mode power supply (SMPS) controller from ON Semiconductor. The judges noted that the design’s low part count was impressive, that it delivered an extremely good efficiency for such a low output power and that the no load power consumption of 0.16 W was remarkable.
"ON Semiconductor's support of Efficiency Challenge was a key component in getting university teams involved in the contest," said Andrew Fanara of the U.S. EPA's ENERGY STAR program. "We are really pleased that an industry leader has taken up the challenge to bring new ideas into the marketplace that will help drive efficiency improvements."
The other university teams supported by ON Semiconductor that won Best in Sub-Class awards were:
Hong Kong Polytechnic University – was awarded Best in Sub-Class B2 for their second entry, an external power supply for a cordless phone. This design delivered an average power efficiency of 82 percent with an output power of 6 W, an output voltage of 9 V, an output current of 0.667 A. The design implemented the NCP1215A variable OFF time switch mode power supply (SMPS) controller from ON Semiconductor. The judges noted that the average efficiency at this output power is about 50 percent – so the 82 percent efficiency the team achieved was a difficult accomplishment. In addition, the judges commented that the no load power consumption of 0.2 W was remarkable. For this placement and the team’s Grand Champion honor, ON Semiconductor awarded the team a $5,000 cash prize
University of Illinois – was awarded Best in Sub-Class A1 for its external power supply for a Cordless Vacuum, Standalone AA Battery Charger. The design delivered 68 percent efficiency with an output power of 2.5 W, an output voltage of 6 V and an output current of 0.417 A. This design implemented two diodes, a bipolar transistor and three different zener diodes from ON Semiconductor. The judges noted that the average efficiencies of these types of power supplies are around 50 percent in active and that to achieve 68 percent efficiency represented a true leap in what is possible with power efficiency levels. ON Semiconductor awarded this team a $2,000 prize award.
Dartmouth College – was awarded Best in Sub-Class C2 for its external power supply for an Office Phone, Computer Peripheral. The design delivered 88 percent efficiency with an output power of 11.2 W, and output voltage of 7.59 V and an output current of 1.48 A. This design implemented both a zener diode and Schottky devices from ON Semiconductor. The judges noted that the design had remarkable active mode efficiency considering typical output power is at 60 percent in active mode. ON Semiconductor awarded this team a $1,000 award.
National Taiwan University of Science and Technology – was awarded Best in Sub-Class D1 for its external power supply for an LCD Monitor. The design delivered an average efficiency of 89 percent with an output power of 80 W, an output voltage of 12 V and an output current of 6.7 A. This design was accomplished using NCP1601, a novel power factor correction (PFC) controller from ON Semiconductor for discontinuous mode PFC. The judges noted that the design remarkably approaches the 90 percent active mode efficiency level. ON Semiconductor awarded this team a $500 honorable mention award.
“ON Semiconductor is committed to the goal of active mode efficiency improvement in power supplies used for everyday applications, and by sponsoring this event for academic institutions, we have provided a channel for truly innovative ideas to emerge so that the industry as a whole can benefit from them,” said Andy Williams, ON Semiconductor vice president of Power Conversion Products. “With ON Semiconductor’s proven leadership in helping the industry surpass the most stringent standby power requirements, we are confident that in the coming years, we will lead the way in active mode efficiency solutions as well.”
About the Contest
When the Efficiency Challenge contest was first announced at APEC 2004, the intent was to showcase highly efficient technologies and foster their success in the marketplace. Since then, the Energy Commission passed mandatory standards in December 2004 and the EPA’s ENERGY STAR® program launched a voluntary labeling specification in January – both for external power supplies. Many of the winning entries not only meet those programs’ requirements, but go well beyond them, pointing to what is possible with high efficiency and very compact size in future power supply designs.
The Efficiency Challenge design competition – which was announced at APEC 2004 - featured two major categories. The Open Category showcased the most efficient power supply designs from industry and academia without cost constraints. The Market Ready Category covered internal and external designs that could cost-effectively save energy in particular types of consumer electronics products. Entries came in from companies and universities in the United States, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Visit https://www.efficientpowersupplies.org/competition.html for more information on power supply efficiency or to download the complete Efficiency Challenge 2004 press kit.
About Power Supplies
Power supplies are devices that convert incoming AC (alternating current) power from wall outlets into low voltage DC (direct current) power needed for numerous consumer and office electronic products, such as cellular and cordless phones, computers, televisions, etc. EPA’s ENERGY STAR program and the Energy Commission's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program have identified AC-DC power supplies as a major opportunity for reducing global energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
Highly efficient power supplies offer powerful advantages to consumers. They tend to be much smaller and lighter than typical power supplies, increasing portability and convenience. They produce very little waste heat as well, so rarely require noisy cooling fans. EPA estimates that efficient external power supplies alone could save the United States 5 billion kWh per year - equivalent to preventing the emissions of 700,000 cars.
About ON Semiconductor
With its global logistics network and strong portfolio of power semiconductor devices, ON Semiconductor (Nasdaq: ONNN) is a preferred supplier of power solutions to engineers, purchasing professionals, distributors and contract manufacturers in the computer, cell phone, portable devices, automotive and industrial markets. For more information, please visit ON Semiconductor’s website at https://www.onsemi.com.
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