The latest trends in external power adapters of up to 250 Watts

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Apart from technical requirements, necessary certificates, and compatibility, more and more customers are paying attention to energy efficiency and low power consumption during “standby” mode when choosing power adapters of up to 250W.


Power consumption in “stand by” mode

Since February 2016, all power adapters in the United States must comply with the DOE level VI energy directive. This directive requires appropriately low power consumption during standby mode. Taking into consideration the ongoing talks about free trade zones between the EU and the USA, we should expect the unification of such norms. This will, of course, contribute to the ban of devices with inadequate parameters. As a matter of fact, the EU committee is already recommending the same parameters as the American Department of Energy in the ERP 2017 norms.

Member states have until 2017 to implement the new recommendations of EU regulation No. 278 / 2009 levels I and II, and until 2019 to implement level III. The aim of the new directives is the minimization of losses associated with the functioning of power adapters without load. The EU committee estimated that the implemented changes could lead to 3 TWh of savings annually.

Market research conducted in 2012 by the German TUV institute ( showed that in order to comply with the requirements of the first level, 52% of models must be redesigned, and 93% must be redesigned in order to meet the requirements of the second level. The aforementioned regulatory considerations in the EU and America lead us to the conclusion that the power adapter market in Europe will soon change drastically. Producers, distributors, and customers will be forced to look differently at the parameters of these devices.

The EU committee proposes introducing new guidelines:

  • Level I: January 2017 (= US DOE the VI Level, will be in force from 10 February 2016)
  • Level II: January 2018 (= EU CoC the II Level, in force from 01 January 2016)

The progressing miniaturization of components doesn’t neglect this group of products and future versions of power adapters will be characterized by smaller and smaller volumes while maintaining the same power output.

In the design studios of many renowned producers, work is ongoing to reduce dimensions while simultaneously keeping and even increasing their parameters.

Standard height – 32~37mm

Semi – low – 24,5mm

fsp semi slim

The following series of Semi Slim power adapters from the FSP company is an example of the latest trend, made with the new standard of smaller volume.

We offer power adapters of Semi Slim series with powers of 5-220W:

  • height up to 25 mm;
  • efficiency < 0.88;
  • in accordance with DOE Level VI and ERP 2017;
  • standard output voltages: 12, 19, 24, 48, 54 V;
  • protection against current surges at powering plug-in devices PoE (6 kV / 4 kV).