It's about time we get the adapter equivalent of the Universal Remote Control. Ever since engineer Doug Palmer lost his cell phone charger (a hardship that has practically become part of the shared human experience), he has sought to develop an adapter that supplies power to every last iPod, laptop and digital camera.
Now, such a device is in the works at California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology. There, Palmer is creating an adapter that can communicate with its wall socket. When an electronic is hooked up to his "smart" device, it will request the exact amount of voltage it needs–and no more. This is a substantial improvement to current adapters, which use 100 to 200 more volts than necessary. For a few more bucks, customers can also purchase a solar panel to power their adapter, thus bypassing the energy-sucking U.S. power grid altogether.
earth is pretty cool
you lived on earth for how long?
and you just noticed that?
Hope they keep the price competitive...
Went to the referenced web site for more info, and I still think that this is a solution looking for a problem.
Wall warts do consume some excess power, and there are possibly some efficiencies to be had, but the focus here seems to be on this intelligent power bus ( which has been often discussed before).
So now, we're going to get manufacturers who can't agree on the size or polarity of the power plug to adapt a universal smart interface -- sure they will.
How about a little focus on the actual problem. Design an efficient power supply with multiple outputs that has adapter plugs available to match the bezillion different connector sizes . ( Not quite a bezillion, but a truly amazing number).
Give it some kind of simple controls (maybe even CHEAP switches) that one could use to adjust the various outputs
-- volts/polarity/ac-dc/max current. You'd have to color code the plugs and devices, so you knew what plugged into what, but then you'd be good to go.
Then you might have an efficient device that would elimimate a lot of clutter , and it would still be cheap enough so that you could have several -- most of us require wall warts in various household locations. Yes, I know that the plan is to rewire all of our houses, well won't that save a lot of energy and expense.
BTW a lot of wall wart applications have nothing to do with charging. Many companies use them because it simplifies the regulatory issues -- no high voltage ac in your video game or whatever.
I also liked the solar power gimmick -- a lot of hand waving, but I doubt that there's been any real practical design done to date.
Finally, I think that the vast energy drain savings are significantly overstated. The phys.org website claims that the dreaded warts use 4% if the US electricity. I don't know how they figured that, but even if they're right, this concept won't reduce that figure to 0. It MIGHT get it to 3% or maybe 2.5%.
How about if we were a little more judicious with some optional activities. Say, folks spent a little less time on there ATVs, or limited themselves to 25 inch tvs. Not targeting anybody in specific -- just a couple of what ifs
Don't we already have a universal charger...USB? Of course you can't connect everything to your computer though
Already saw a backpack with a solar pannel on it. pretty cool invention. I guess solar pannels are more and more popular and we will be seeing more of them soon. Just hope prices go down a bit :P
I applaud this - OK it's only a small difference, but if we ALL did it, then it would be a BIGGER "small difference".
If you really want to do your bit - the guys here can claim you can power your whole house with a combination of solar and wind power.
<a href="http://zanderboon.earth4.hop.clickbank.net">Home solar and wind power</a>
Not sure I believe the "whole house" claim, but you can definitely make a big difference to your grid consumption. If more people actually DO this, then it will reduce the major suppliers' profits - then they might take notice!
You at least have to applaud the effort. If one is attempting to be "off the grid", one will use the least resources as possible. I'm glad the engineers are beginning to think this way, bravo.
just spreading the word. i think instead of considering an energy efficient phone charger now, people shoudl realize that it already exists.
i recently found a website called solarstyle.com on which they sell many different chargers and other electronics and gadgets which are 100% solar powered. now that is what i call energy efficient.
i found a coupon code as well which saved me 10% on my puirchase.
i think this is the technology everyone should be looking into. you can use it on the go and all you need is sunlight.
trust me and go to solarstyle.com and enter YNR322 as the coupon code.
this is really really worth it for the here-and-now and in the future.