When Power Adapters Get Energy Smart: Interviewing Green Plug

Consumer electronics manufacturers are getting more and more into integration of green technologies into their products as a way of being more eco-friendly and perhaps earning a little more green for their coffers. Sometimes these green technologies are built in-house, but other times they come from third part developers. Green Plug is one such outfit. This particular company focuses upon “digital technology that enables real-time collaboration between electronic devices and their power sources.” Green Plug is working to get its tech integrated into the products of manufacturers. We got a hold of them over email recently to inquire about their intelligent power adapter technology specifications.

EarthTechling: What is Green Plug?

Green Plug: Green Plug is the first company to develop technology for making power adapters intelligent. Just look at this recent article from PC World and you’ll get a feel for how strong the passion is to improve the way we currently get power for our consumer electronic devices. Green Plug certainly agrees and has developed technology to make it possible for a power adapter to power any compatible device, and to be part of a smarter power eco-system. Simply put, Green Plug enables smart power.

ET: Tell us a little about the technology behind Green Plug. What makes it eco-friendly?

GP: The basic idea behind our technology is to allow devices needing power to communicate and collaborate with power supplies, using the power cable.

Green Plug

A Green Plug system consists of:

1. The Green Power Processor – providing control and communication on the power supply
2. A Green Load Processor – providing communication and Green Plug functionality on consumer devices
3. Greentalk – a software and hardware protocol stack enabling communication and providing power-specific services.

This technology allows a couple of things to happen:
• Any enabled device can be powered by any adapter, so there is natural reuse. This is good for the environment since the way things are done today results in hundreds of millions of power adapters being disposed of as e-waste even though they are in perfect working condition. Using our technology, this waste doesn’t happen.

• Devices can optimize their power usage, in collaboration with power supplies. They can request different voltage levels, turn the supply off and on to suit changing circumstances, and generally avoid wasting any of the power that is so often burnt unnecessarily with today’s power adapter technology. In addition, the GPP is ideally suited for controlling modern power supply technologies, giving state of the art efficiency in every mode of use.

So, less wasted resources (recycling is good but still wastes more resources than reusing the adapters) and less wasted energy (without the user having to remember to do anything) are significant contributions to the environment, especially when you remember that there are billions of power supplies in use and so many are discarded every day.

ET: What kind of consumer devices would benefit from Green Plug-enabled technology?

GP: If it has a power supply, it can benefit from this technology. Initially, we see that higher power mobile devices like laptops are the ideal target, but, as more and more devices become enabled and there are more and more smart power adapters out there, it will eventually make sense for all consumer devices to be included in the eco-system.

I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.