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Towards a New Common Sense in Power Saving Technology
The challenge of energy conservation in the printing business
To use electricity, we need to generate power. Renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power have increased in recent years, but most electricity is generated by thermal power using oil, coal, and natural gas. Therefore, the use of electricity creates carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which lead to global warming. Brother is developing power-saving technologies for printers to reduce CO2 emissions to deliver eco-friendly products.
Low Energy Standby technology
Unless they are unplugged from the outlet, televisions and air conditioners consume a small amount of electricity to maintain their functions even when they are off, known as standby power. Printers also consume standby power, but we want to reduce this energy consumption to as close to zero as possible. Brother developed a low standby power technology called Low Energy Standby to achieve this dream goal.
Pursuing the ultimate low standby power
Brother's goal of achieving the industry's top level of energy-saving performance was to achieve zero standby power. The key to achieving this seemingly reckless goal was the idea of stopping the flow of electricity when the power is off. To achieve this goal, it was necessary to develop a completely new power supply board. The circuit had to be designed from the ground up, and all the components had to be re-selected, a process that involved a lot of trial and error.
In Low Energy Standby, the fewer times the capacitor is charged, the less power it consumes, and the longer it is discharged, the closer to zero standby power can be maintained. Also, if the user frequently restarts the device by mistake, power consumption will increase. So we took this into consideration and through repeated trial and error, we achieved low standby power and low power consumption.
Low Energy Standby continues to evolve
Low Energy Standby is a new technology that reduces standby power to nearly zero. Inkjet printers and laser printers use approximately 0.04W and 0.02W, respectively, dramatically surpassing previous record lows. In addition, laser printers have achieved an overwhelmingly high power efficiency of 1/500th of the power consumption of ordinary low-capacity power supplies, thanks to the dual power supply system that uses an ultra-low-capacity power supply developed by Brother. Standby power is now completely reduced to zero. Until the day when such a dream technology is realized, the challenge will continue.
SDGs goal 13 "Climate Action" calls for "taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts." By lowering the power consumption of its products, Brother contributes to alleviating climate change by reducing the generation of large amounts of CO2 emissions which have a significant impact on global warming.
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