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By georgem4
#9004
An average home in the Western World has more than 40 power supplies for electronic devices from phone chargers to LCD TVs (internal or external). Power supplies transform AC current to DC, usually 5-12V. We can easily produce power supplies that can serve multiple devices in a single box - we already do that in personal computers. All the electronics industry have to do is remove the power supplies from their devices and give us standardised plugs to plug into the standardized sockets of these new power supplies.

The benefits: First of all no fiddly power supplies, smaller and cheaper devices, smaller and more flexible power cables, no problems with 110V/220V differences, no problems with plug/socket differences (same product can be sold anywhere in the world without modifications). You chose your power supply separately so you can buy the budget one or the really expensive one with remote control flashing little lights and little buttons that usually men really like. It's a whole new product on its own!

Also, if needed, add some rechargeable batteries to your power supply and you have a mini-UPS that keep powering some or all of the devices (phones are a good example) during a black-out.

Later, homes can have a central power supply (or power supplies, depends on maximum distance from devices due to losses) that are hidden from view and feed all electronic devices through wall sockets. Furthermore, it is far easier to locally produce low voltage DC with solar panels and that can be fed to the system and reduce AC electricity usage.

I am only surprised it hasn't been implemented yet.

Reward: A mention of whose idea it was would be nice.
By gabewinter
#9264
You lost me a little but Radio Shack in the US has started your idea by making a universal phone charger that they sell tips for. That way if you change phones you only have to by a new tip for your charger not a whole charger.

Maybe I'm way off???
By georgem4
#9266
Thanks for your input.

You are not way off but more specific than what I suggested.

My suggestion is that ALL devices that use a transformer (internal or external) to convert AC to DC can instead use these new power supplies. Just a quick example list from what I can see around me:
- LCD TV
- Cordless phone
- VCR
- DVD Player
- Cable Modem
- Phone charger
- Stereo
- Weather station
- Cable TV decoder

None of these devices need AC power, they invariably convert it to DC. Just remove the transformer/power supply from the device (if it is internal) and standardize on a plug to connect to the new universal power supply. This is more of an industry move than a "quick fix" with exchangeable tips - which we have seen before.
By Rishi
#9268
georgem4 wrote:Thanks for your input.

You are not way off but more specific than what I suggested.

My suggestion is that ALL devices that use a transformer (internal or external) to convert AC to DC can instead use these new power supplies. Just a quick example list from what I can see around me:
- LCD TV
- Cordless phone
- VCR
- DVD Player
- Cable Modem
- Phone charger
- Stereo
- Weather station
- Cable TV decoder

None of these devices need AC power, they invariably convert it to DC. Just remove the transformer/power supply from the device (if it is internal) and standardize on a plug to connect to the new universal power supply. This is more of an industry move than a "quick fix" with exchangeable tips - which we have seen before.

There are a large number of such multi value input -output unbranded power supplies already on the market. Some have both AC and DC outputs. A few even have builtin battery backup.

For household use there are many inverters that can be easily integrated into the house wiring (There is one installed in my home), which comes on automatically when power fails (alas, at least once a day in Bangalore, India) and gives a back up power for about four hours at 1 KW costing about 400 Euros.

These things are a necessity in the third world countries, where technically advanced products come in but the infrastructure is poor. Any number of enterpreneurs get into the act to make and sell such backup products.

rishi
By georgem4
#9280
Thanks for your reply rishi.

The real proposal is not the power supply itself - although it is necessary - but a shift in attitude from the electronics manufacturers. Instead of providing a power supply that connects to the AC sockets we all have at home, they can provide their products with a standardized connection to these new power supplies.

You mention yourself that your backup power supply has both AC and DC output. Batteries do not supply AC power, it has to be transformed from DC with some loss only to be converted (with further loss) back to DC for the electronic device to use.

The new power supply and new electronic consumer products are ideal for places where AC power is either intermittent or non-existent. Just install a solar panel and some rechargeable batteries (in the power supply) and without the considerable losses of converting DC to AC and back to DC again you should easily be able to run a few standard electronic devices.
By Rishi
#9284
georgem4 wrote:Thanks for your reply rishi.

The real proposal is not the power supply itself - although it is necessary - but a shift in attitude from the electronics manufacturers. Instead of providing a power supply that connects to the AC sockets we all have at home, they can provide their products with a standardized connection to these new power supplies.

You mention yourself that your backup power supply has both AC and DC output. Batteries do not supply AC power, it has to be transformed from DC with some loss only to be converted (with further loss) back to DC for the electronic device to use.

The new power supply and new electronic consumer products are ideal for places where AC power is either intermittent or non-existent. Just install a solar panel and some rechargeable batteries (in the power supply) and without the considerable losses of converting DC to AC and back to DC again you should easily be able to run a few standard electronic devices.


There is a lot of sense in what you are saying. But because of the huge diversity of devices and manufacturers, there is a problem of standardizing. One way out would be if every device can have an 12 V.D.C. input power option. Your idea of a solar panel with a standard 12 V battery charged by a solar panel would then be workable.

We should also keep in mind that a 10 sq.ft. (1 Sq. meter) commercial solar panel can deliver only 40 watts average power (80W peak) between 9 am and 3 pm on a cloudless summer day not too far from tropics.

rishi
By georgem4
#9286
I have already thought of the differences power supply needs. As I mentioned before the vast majority of devices need 5-12V DC.

The standardized plugs need not have just two connectors but many. You can have one ground and 1 each for 5, 6, 12V for example. That's only 4 connectors but you can have more. You can even have communication connectors that provide info to the power supply etc.

As for the source... Solar panels are becoming more efficient. There are also other means of providing electricity. This idea is not meant to solve this particular issue of energy generation but help with the way energy is used.
By Daryl666
#9398
the reason the electricity is transported using alternating current is to do with efficiency. The voltage is set where it is because the ammount of power you can push through a wire is higher with higher voltages. basically the higher the voltage the smaller the wire has to be for same ammount of power transported. wires are limited in the ammount of amperage they can carry. aswell the only thing between 12 VAC and 12 VDC is a rectifier (Diode bridge for those of you that are electronic savy) Transformers are actually alwayse AC.(common mistake) and they are sized in the devices to just exceed maxium usage by the unit they are powering. if all the devices using 12 volt power were moved to a central power supply the line loss ( energy lost to resistance in the wires ) and the Size of the wires required would be massive at such a low voltage. if you do the math to get the power in wattage (voltage * amperage) using this chart ( numbers are approximate) you will see that 110v or more untill absolutly necessary is very justified.

Gauge 110V 12V
22 5A 5A
20 7.5A 8A
18 10A 15A
16 13A 30A
14 17A 50A
12 23A 100A
10 33A 150A
By georgem4
#9402
if all the devices using 12 volt power were moved to a central power supply the line loss ( energy lost to resistance in the wires ) and the Size of the wires required would be massive at such a low voltage.


Thanks for the input Daryl666.

I am not sure I understand your point. I am not actually suggesting a whole-house-central-transformation of AC to DC but rather a number of power supplies around the house serving multiple devices each. A single central transformer would only be applicable in small appartments.

I am not sure about other places but in my appartment most devices are concentrated in one place, so having a 12-way power supply, not more than a metter from the devices, would do just fine.
By UnLeashed
#9746
Well georgem4 your idea could not work for long distances becuse all protective items would pull to many amps and stop responding or burn the wires up and to run 12 volts circut unless you went passed the protection circut which is a opamp if lightning strick anywhere in 10 mile radius then everything would be destroyed in a second and your main wire to pull 500 amps becuse you would use more than one item would be 3 ott wire which still would get very hot and be unsafe to be around becuse amps kill volts don't imagine starting your car for 10 mins with out the plugs in then touch the battery wire thats if the battery don't explode first you would see all the plastic melted off it but all in all its a nice try anyway
By Rishi
#9749
UnLeashed wrote:Well georgem4 your idea could not work for long distances becuse all protective items would pull to many amps and stop responding or burn the wires up and to run 12 volts circut unless you went passed the protection circut which is a opamp if lightning strick anywhere in 10 mile radius then everything would be destroyed in a second and your main wire to pull 500 amps becuse you would use more than one item would be 3 ott wire which still would get very hot and be unsafe to be around becuse amps kill volts don't imagine starting your car for 10 mins with out the plugs in then touch the battery wire thats if the battery don't explode first you would see all the plastic melted off it but all in all its a nice try anyway


The analogy of running the engine on the battery needs to be qualified. There are any number of cars, hoists, and fork-lift trucks working continuously on batteries. The design has to take care of the ampere-hour rating for each device. There is nothing technically obnoxious about a 12 VDC supply for devices. Most audio systems internally work at around this voltage.

!2 VDC is very safe even for infants and children. There is the issue of higher diameters of conductors needed to minimise line losses (IR drops). Otherwise it is workable.

rishi
By UnLeashed
#9750
yes electric motors for cars can work only if the line is very short and with thick wires and tight terminals and yes i could work for most of the house but no majior appliances and in a closed invorment not placed on a grid like the 2200 volt on the pole
#9754
UnLeashed wrote:Well georgem4 your idea could not work for long distances becuse all protective items would pull to many amps and stop responding or burn the wires up and to run 12 volts circut unless you went passed the protection circut which is a opamp if lightning strick anywhere in 10 mile radius then everything would be destroyed in a second and your main wire to pull 500 amps becuse you would use more than one item would be 3 ott wire which still would get very hot and be unsafe to be around becuse amps kill volts don't imagine starting your car for 10 mins with out the plugs in then touch the battery wire thats if the battery don't explode first you would see all the plastic melted off it but all in all its a nice try anyway


Well I don't think I claimed this would work over long distances. It will work like today's AC plug-in adaptors but they will be merged into one device instead of having 10 of them just in the TV area of your living room.
By UnLeashed
#9757
in that case yes it will work most defenatally mabe have a stamp or label on the appliance for an adaptive supply for an multi connector but would connect to 110v Power supply with its on protective circut but to have the industry converge on the power connection that would be for that power level which is almost there anyways far as the size of plug for the voltage size +/- 5v except for rechargers ofcorse but all and all the idea as far as a plug-in stepping powersupply with detachable 10 lead multi-connector w/optional power battery backup would be a great idea and alot of ppl would buy alteast one for the house now i see what you ment great idea
#9784
Rishi wrote:The analogy of running the engine on the battery needs to be qualified. There are any number of cars, hoists, and fork-lift trucks working continuously on batteries. The design has to take care of the ampere-hour rating for each device. There is nothing technically obnoxious about a 12 VDC supply for devices. Most audio systems internally work at around this voltage.

!2 VDC is very safe even for infants and children. There is the issue of higher diameters of conductors needed to minimise line losses (IR drops). Otherwise it is workable.

rishi


just as some information most of these devices operate at much higher DC voltages it is not uncommon to see a 48VDC or 120 VDC motor although there are motors that operate as high as 500-600 VDC seen a lot aswell. that is how they use the wires without smoking them with amperage. hell even a helicopter starter in a bell helicopter is 48VDC.
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