Today the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) published its single charger for notebook computers technical specification. The new specification covers notebook computer chargers, their connector and plug, "as well as safety, interoperability, performance and environmental considerations". The IEC believe the new specification will lead to a significant reduction in the amount of e-waste related to power supplies. Thanks to a similar IEC spec published for mobile phones in 2011 the body says that 82 per cent of these devices in the EU have identical spec chargers.
This has happened a lot to laptop chargers in our family
According to data gathered by the IEC, the weight of e-waste produced every year that is brought about by laptop charger failure is equal in weight to approximately 500,000 automobiles. Due to chargers developing faults, breaking or being lost both computers and chargers end up in the bin says the IEC.
The newly accepted IEC Technical Specification 62700: 'DC Power supply for notebook computer' aims to reduce waste dramatically and allow consumers to use a single type of charger with a wide range of notebook computers. The move would also make it much easier for consumers to buy replacement chargers if the one they received with their notebook gives up the ghost.
"The IEC International Standards for the universal charger for mobile phones has been widely adopted by the mobile phone industry and is already starting to help reduce e-waste," commented IEC General Secretary and CEO Frans Vreeswijk. "A single power supply covering a wide range of notebook computers is the next step in lowering e-waste and its impact on our planet. I am proud that the IEC has yet again managed to make the best possible technical solution available."
Charger life nearing its end.
The IEC blog post also noted that some organisations are "discussing and examining the merits of a universal power adapter covering numerous ICT devices," but as such an adapter is probably a long way from being achievable this new specification can help bring a concrete solution to the notebook computer market much sooner.