The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made two key changes to its external power supply (EPS) specification. The recently released Energy Star Version 1.1 EPS specification removes the exclusion for products now covered under the Energy Star BCS specification, which covers battery charging systems. The revised specification also delays the date on which the EPS Tier 2 requirements take effect.
With the EPS and the BCS specifications now covering a wide range of power conversion products, the EPA felt the exclusion for products now covered by the BCS specification was no longer needed. The corresponding language in the EPS specification has therefore been revised to account for the release of the new specification. The BCS program covers products such as cordless power tools, personal care products (shavers), and floor care devices (handheld vacuums).
The EPA has also delayed the effective date for Tier 2 standards in order to collect additional data for analysis through the new Online Product Submittal (OPS) tool. The agency plans to use the new data to create Tier 2 specification levels that are both fair and challenging for manufacturers. In the coming months, the EPA will determine a revised schedule for the implementation of Tier 2 requirements. The EPA is currently considering a target effective date of January 1, 2008.
The web-based OPS tool was released to Energy Star partners in January. The OPS tool provides an easy and secure way for manufacturers to submit new models for Energy Star qualification and manage revisions to existing listings. With the release of the OPS tool, partners will also now be able to qualify EPS model families under the specification. Model families are defined as a group of switch-mode EPSs that feature the same design (e.g., circuitry and components), transformer, and output wattage, but differ in rated output voltage.
With the OPS tool in operation, the EPA is no longer accepting EPS model submittals with the Access database system. The OPS tool can be accessed at www.energystar.gov/ops. For more information on the EPS specification, see http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=prod_development.power_supplies.