A new power measurement software package for Yokogawa’s range of precision power analysers has been released by the company. The software is specifically designed for testing standby power in accordance with the latest IEC62301 Ed.2.0 (international) and EN50564:2011 (European) standards.

The software is targeted at manufacturers of domestic electrical appliances and related equipment, who need accurate measurements to ensure that their products operate at optimum energy efficiency with minimum standby power consumption.

‘The standby mode on electrical appliances has long been in use and is mostly taken for granted by consumers’, comments Terry Marrinan, Yokogawa’s Vice President, Test & Measurement, for Europe & Africa: ‘The fact that in this mode the equipment is consuming electricity – and that this is something of which most people are unaware – has been a major concern for regulators.’

‘A recent estimate that by 2020 appliances using standby mode will contribute as much as 50 terawatt-hours of electricity consumption per year – similar to the annual electricity consumption of a country such as Portugal or Greece – emphasises the importance of this issue.  Ensuring that manufacturers improve the efficiency of equipment in the standby mode can lead to significant reduction in electricity consumption’.

The new standards will help to ensure that power efficiency is incorporated into all the key stages of the product manufacturing process.

The EU has supported an initiative by the International Energy Agency to limit the standby power consumption of a single piece of equipment to 1 W, a threshold which is expected to decrease to 0.5 W by 2013.  These guidelines have been adopted by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), which has recently released the second edition of its International Standard IEC 62301 (Household electrical appliance – Measurement of standby power). The European EN50564:2011 standard adopts a similar approach.

These standards define the relevant test conditions for accurate measurement of standby power, and emphasise the fact that determination of the relevant low power levels requires accurate  measurement .