Low Energy Standby

STANDBY POWER CONSUMPTION - What kind of technology is this? -

Standby power is the power that is consumed even when the operation of a product with a connected plug is stopped. This occurs when power, even if it is a very small amount, is consumed for a timer or a power source control. Brother has developed a new low standby power technology, “Low Energy Standby,” in which the standby power can be very close to zero.

Comparison of Standby Power

  • Low Energy Standby Inkjet Printer

    approx 0.04W

  • Low Energy Standby Laser Printer

    approx 0.05W

  • Desk Lamp

    approx 0.1W

  • Electric Fan

    approx 0.3W

  • Monitor for PC

    approx 0.8W

*Research Report standby power consumption in 2007(Japan)

TECHNOLOGY- What's kind of technology is it? -

  • ON A capacitor that works as a rechargeable battery is charged when the power of the printer is on. Because minimal power is used, excellent energy saving can also be achieved during operation.
  • OFF In standby mode (when the power is off), the output of the power supply board and most of the product are stopped, and a condition of power off is artificially created.

THE ENGINEERS' STORY- Development story -

The standby power in an inkjet printer is “approx 0.04 W”, and the standby power in a laser printer is “approx 0.05 W”. It is “Low Energy Standby,” a new low standby power technology from Brother in which the conventional low value of the standby power is drastically improved. In the process of development, the engineers adopted a new way of thinking that changed the future technical development of power saving. There were the cooperation and challenges of two engineering groups who worked hard together. What were the expectations of the developers of each group who had been grappling with power saving technology for a long time? The scenes behind the birth of Low Energy Standby shall be observed.

  • A New Common Sense around Energy Saving Technology. Taking Up the Challenge of “Zero Standby Power”.

    Inkjet Printer Developer Arimoto-san (pictured right)
    Laser Printer Developer Tsujimoto-san (pictured left)

  • Searching for a new way of thinking that exceeds the limits of the power saving technology

    Arimoto-san:
    “Let’s make a product with zero standby power.” This is our unique company concept that aims for the top level of energy saving performance in the industry. However, at first I felt it was rash. The standby power had decreased from 6.5 W to about 0.2 W in ten years due to the improvement of the power saving technology on which we worked on countless occasions since I joined the company. However, in the case of an inkjet printer, periodic maintenance of the head is necessary to maintain the quality. When the minimum necessary power is considered, the cutback of power beyond this seemed to be impossible.

    Tsujimoto-san:
    Tsujimoto-san: I felt the limits of conventional power saving technology for laser printers as well. At that time, I was informed that Mr. Arimoto and his group were working on a new development toward zero standby power, and a joint project was started. “I was secretly burning with the thought of coming up with a number that no other companies could follow if I do it.” At the same time, a development was started to install an auto off mode (a function of stopping automatically if the user did not operate for a certain period) that corresponds to the European regulation for the coming year 2013.

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  • Way of thinking of “stopping” not “reducing” electricity

    Arimoto-san:
    A new idea was necessary that would neither reduce power consumption nor increase the efficiency of the use of power in order to aim for zero standby power … an original way of thinking that did not exist in conventional power saving technology. As a result of brainstorming various ideas, we came to the idea of “stopping the electricity when the power is off.” The capacitor would be charged for only the very small amount of power necessary for restarting, and the majority of the electricity in the product would be cut off. With this, an objective could be realized at the same time of performing periodic maintenance by restarting while artificially creating a condition of power off. It may sound easy, but the development of a brand new power infrastructure was necessary in order to realize this idea. The circuit was designed from scratch, and all the parts were reselected. The modules that had been ordered from other companies were produced by ourselves etc. It was a continuous process of trial and error.

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  • Designing, testing, and evaluating were repeated to achieve the ultimate low standby power.

    Tsujimoto-san:
    In Low Energy Standby, the power consumption decreases as the number of charging cycles on the capacitor gets smaller, and the standby power can be kept closer to a zero state as the discharging time gets longer. In the case of a laser printer, periodic maintenance such as that of the inkjet printer is not necessary. Therefore, a point of the development was to repeat charging and discharging of a capacitor with good efficiency. In addition, restarting due to an operation mistake by the user also had to be considered. When the product is restarted often by unintended operations, the power consumption increases more. Ultimate specifications of a low standby power and low power consumption were investigated thoroughly while repeating designing, testing, and evaluating many times.

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  • Cooperation of two teams accelerated the realization of a new technology.

    Arimoto-san:
    The cooperation system of two teams accelerated the realization of Low Energy Standby. Because we had meetings together from the stage of determining the specifications of each product in this project, a system was investigated in detail that could be used commonly in both an inkjet printer and a laser printer.

    Tsujimoto-san:
    I think the environment also contributed, in which we could exchange opinions frequently on the same development floor. For example, we refined each other’s design specifications by discussing the situation of an inkjet printer when a problem occurred in the evaluation of a laser printer. Then, we reached one goal of the standby power of an inkjet printer “0.04 W” and the standby power of a laser printer “0.05 W.”

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  • Ever-Newer Horizons of Energy Saving Technology

    Tsujimoto-san:
    Looking back, I think we could not have reached the realization of the Low Energy Standby if we had not had the cooperation of both teams. The base of the idea in this model involves the characteristics of the inkjet printer. Therefore, I think there must be a different approach that exceeds 100% of the present status. When the Low Energy Standby that is unique to a laser printer is considered, I believe that a new horizon for power saving technology can be brought to light.

    Arimoto-san:
    The standby power can be close to zero even when the plug is not disconnected. I am proud of being able to show a new directionality for power saving technology. However, there is still some room for improvement in the technology of Low Energy Standby, and there is a possibility of applying it to all products. Our objectives are to improve this technology, to have more versatility and change the substance of power saving technology.

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  • Technology that surprises the world now and forever

    Tsujimoto-san:
    “We can surprise the world if Low Energy Standby is realized.” I tackled the development with excitement by picturing such a future. As a result, the level of the standby power of our products that we worked on outperforms that of other companies’ products by one digit. I would like to release a technology of “Made by Brother” that aims to be the top level energy saving performance in the industry in the future as well.

    Arimoto-san:
    “A product was made in which I can throw out my chest to my children by proudly saying, This printer was made by your father.” I joined Brother thirteen years ago hoping that I could do such work, and one of my dreams came true. As an engineer, I would like to create a product in which the environment is considered while supporting the progress of power saving technology from now on. There is no end to the development of technology. Low Energy Standby taught us so.

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With this technology, we limitlessly approach zero watts
the state of being unplugged

Aiming at an infinite supply of
zero standby power.

  • Power Consumption*1 ··· When the power is off: Inkjet Printer approx 0.04 W*2*3 / Laser Printer approx 0.05 W*2
  • *1: Power consumption varies slightly depending on the usage environment or part wear.
  • *2: Measured according to IEC 62301 Edition 2.0.
  • *3: Even when the machine is turned off, it will automatically turn itself on periodically for print head maintenance, and then turn itself off.

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