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Smarter plug adapter

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000240665D
Publication Date: 2015-Feb-17
Document File: 1 page(s) / 50K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

This article describes a "smart" power socket that may be interacted with by a connected appliance or device, such that the connected item may actively switch the power state of the socket. Such situations are advantageous since mobile phones know when they no longer need to be charged, and internal fault diagnosis could switch power to a socket before a fuse is tripped or a dangerous situation is entered.

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Smarter plug adapter

Many devices, even when switched off will still draw a voltage from the wall, for example http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~recycle/ssec/download/Phantom%20Load.pdf. This power drain is often called a phantom load and is made up of two main causes:

Stand-by power drain, is caused by electronics that go into stand-by state instead of being fully turned off, to allow reduced functionality such as receiving a remote signal or displaying a clock.

No-load power drain, is from inefficient devices that draw power from the wall even though the devices aren't doing anything. This is most prevalent in transformers and chargers. It is desirable to stop all no-load power drain, and power drain from stand-by devices when stand-by provides no benefit to the user.

Current solutions are as follows:
Manually switching off devices from the mains. This is the best solution, but cumbersome.

Using energy star rated appliances to reduce waste. Eases the problem slightly. Manual interaction with a remote controlled power socket, to switch appliances off directly at the mains. More convenient than manually switching devices off, but the receiver will drain small amounts of power (e.g. items from http://www.lightwaverf.com/)

Using a power socket that will turn on and off on a timer. These sockets however do not know what the device wants to do, which could cause the devices to switch off at inconvenient times.

Using a big capacitor as a battery to stop power drain: http://www.wired.com/2011/11/toshiba-eco-chip-tv/

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