How Much Power Does a Charger Actually Consume?
I’m sure most people have plugged in chargers all over their homes and we all know that this actually slowly drains electricity, yet don’t think so. So how much electricity does this situation actually use? Look at the figures below and you’ll see. Here it is still recommended that you unplug the charger when it is not charging.
With the development of smartphones, mobile phones are consuming more and more electricity, which has led to the current smartphones being charged almost once a day, or even several times a day. As a result, many people leave their chargers in the socket all the time for the convenience of use, not realising that the power consumption is horrendous. If one in eight of the country’s one billion mobile phone users left their chargers in their sockets, it would consume enough power to run 6,000 home air conditioners at the same time. At this point we wonder why chargers consume electricity, how much electricity they consume, and whether other appliances consume electricity?
Why do chargers consume power?
Most mobile phone chargers are switching power supplies, which first rectify 220V into DC, then through high frequency conversion, coupled by a pulse transformer, a one-way rectifier outputs low voltage DC. Even if there is no output current, the high frequency conversion part is still working and needs to consume some power. For example, the control circuit in the charger, mainly senses whether the phone is connected to the charger or not, and works when the charger is not connected to the phone. Another example is the load element (the indicator light on individual chargers), which also works when the charger is plugged in and consumes some power. In short, a device such as a charger will inevitably consume power when it is plugged into the mains.
In fact, individual chargers do not consume much power at no load. The People’s Republic of China Communications Industry Standard yd-t1591-2009 “Technical Requirements and Test Methods for Power Adapters and Charging/Data Interfaces for Mobile Communication Terminals” states that the rated output current of a power adapter should be in the range of 500 mA to 1500 mA, as determined by the manufacturer. With no load energy consumption of the power adapter, the power consumption is less than 150 mW. The regular chargers we use will comply with the relevant national standards. But as mentioned above, if most users’ chargers are in a state where they are left on the power supply all the time, the accumulated power consumption over time is still very shocking.
Will other appliances consume electricity?
The most common chargers we use at home are adapters for mobile phones, computers or other electronic devices, which consumes power to varying degrees when it is not loaded. Other devices in our homes, such as televisions, refrigerators, air conditioners, etc., also consume power when they are in standby mode. Before a product leaves the factory, it is tested for standby power consumption, and this is usually done with a power meter set up on the production line. The measurement results are used to determine whether the product meets the national standards and whether it can be shipped.
When it comes to testing the standby power consumption of home appliances, the domestic Zhiyuan Electronics PA300 series digital power meter adopts a new design architecture with a number of optimisations in low-power measurement. With a minimum measurement current as low as 50μA, it is capable of measuring power consumption as low as 0.01W, which is in line with international standards (IEC62301, Energy Star, SPECpower) for testing. In addition, with a sampling rate of up to 500KS/s and a bandwidth of 300KHz, the PA300 series digital power meter is capable of measuring higher frequency signals, meeting the power consumption measurements of new technology products such as inverter appliances and switching power supplies.