Despite technical advances in efficiency, devices in standby continue to consume up to 16% of residential electricity. Finding practical, cost-effective reductions is difficult. While the per-unit power consumption has fallen, the number of units continuously drawing power continues to grow. This work reviews a family of technologies that can eliminate standby consumption in many types of electrical plug loads. It also investigates several solutions in detail and develops prototypes. First, burst mode and sleep transistors are established as building blocks for zero-standby solutions. This work then studies the application of two types of wake-up signals. The first is from an optical transmission, and is applicable to remote-controlled devices with a line-of-sight activation, such as set-top boxes, ceiling fans, and motorized curtains. The second is from a wake-up radio, and is applicable to any wireless products. No single technology will address all standby power situations; however, these emerging solutions appear to have broad applicability to save standby energy in miscellaneous plug loads.
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