80 PLUS is a certification and performance standard for power supply units (PSUs) used in computers and other electronic devices. The certification is awarded by 80 PLUS, a voluntary certification program created and administered by Ecos Consulting and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). The program aims to promote energy efficiency and reduce electricity consumption in computer systems.
The 80 PLUS certification evaluates the energy efficiency of power supply units based on their ability to convert AC (alternating current) power from the electrical outlet to DC (direct current) power used by the computer's components. PSUs that meet or exceed certain efficiency criteria are awarded different certification levels, indicated by the "+" symbol.
The certification levels include 80 PLUS (80% efficiency at 20%, 50%, and 100% of rated load), 80 PLUS Bronze (82% efficiency), 80 PLUS Silver (85% efficiency), 80 PLUS Gold (87% efficiency), 80 PLUS Platinum (90% efficiency), and 80 PLUS Titanium (92% efficiency). Each higher certification level represents a higher level of energy efficiency and reduced energy waste.
By selecting a PSU with an 80 PLUS certification, consumers and businesses can ensure that their computer systems operate with higher energy efficiency, leading to lower electricity consumption and reduced operating costs. Additionally, greater energy efficiency also means less heat generation, contributing to better overall system cooling and potentially longer component lifespan.
The 80 PLUS certification program has become widely recognized and adopted by PSU manufacturers, computer builders, and consumers as a standard for energy-efficient power supplies. Many computer manufacturers and retailers now specify or require 80 PLUS certified PSUs in their products to meet energy efficiency goals or comply with environmental regulations.
It's worth noting that the 80 PLUS certification program focuses specifically on power supply units and does not assess the overall energy efficiency or environmental performance of the entire computer system. Other energy efficiency programs, such as ENERGY STAR, may cover broader aspects of system efficiency.