Energy efficiency- EuP directive

4th January 2013

Sustainability in electronics – the EuP Directive and what it means for your company

The EuP Directive came into force in 2007 and established a framework under which designers and manufacturers of energy using products (EuP) are required to reduce the environmental impact of products. But what does it really mean?

The Directive already covers a wide range of products from water heaters to washing machines with guidelines being produced to cover further product categories. It will be mandatory to meet the EuP Directive in these products to gain a CE certificate. So it is important and must be complied with.

However, at Heber we believe that we have a duty to protect the environment whilst producing intelligent designs and smart engineering that improve product performance. William Gardiner, Heber Technical Director says: “the EuP Directive may sound like another obstacle to success for your products, but actually it is trying to do something very useful. Significant amounts of energy are wasted by products in standby mode which has an environmental impact. The Directive tries to ensure that new designs are less wasteful when they are not actively in operation; effectively meaning the development of better, as well as more efficient, products.”

Many older electronics designs contain transformers within their power supply architecture. Transformers tend to be very inefficient – efficiency ratings as low as 10% in standby mode are not uncommon. So what are your design options and what should you be asking your electronics designer to do? Heber has been innovating for customers in line with the Directive for a number of years and there are many options that can be considered to ensure compliance without reducing technological effectiveness – or increasing cost and complexity.

William continues: “Some designers are offering toroidal transformer design which, although tried and tested technology, is heavy and quite expensive. Another alternative; high frequency switching technology, can create EMC issues. At Heber we have been working with switch mode power supplies, low cost capacitive droppers and capacitive dividers for clients in differing sectors with great success.”

In our next e-newsletter we will be looking further at the EuP Directive and discussing how these topologies work and the benefits and issues associated with using each.

To find out more about the EuP Directive and how Heber has already ensured customer compliance in many sectors, please contact william.gardiner@heber.co.uk

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