Can the 80 PLUS efficiency rating be falsified?

Can the 80 PLUS efficiency rating be falsified?

80 PLUS is a voluntary certification program intended to promote efficient energy use in PC power supply units (PSUs). It divides power supply efficiency into six levels: Titanium, Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Standard. 80 PLUS certification only regulates the energy efficiency that a power supply unit meets but has nothing to do with its quality.

Secret of getting a better testing result

People often wonder if the results of the 80 PLUS certification be fabricated? Although the answer is no, there are still some secrets we want to share with you. The outcome of 80 PLUS certification testing cannot be faked however the unit a company sends in for the testing can be, and often is, a special sample unit produced only for getting a better result. 

There are two common ways that manufactures often use to get a higher 80 PLUS certification:  

1.  Use tier one materials to build a special sample for testing but use inferior materials for mass production. This is the most common way manufactures operate to get a better test result because the unit will be listed after testing and the 80 PLUS organization won't conduct a second test on retail units. 

2.  Enhance specific parts of the test sample to perform better such as thickening the soldering to get better conductivity or adding more copper threads on the convertor.

How to choose a genuine certified power supply unit

The best way to purchase a genuine certified power supply unit is to choose from an established brand and avoid unreasonable high cost and performance ratio units. 

Another myth of 80 PLUS certification is that the higher the rating level a power supply unit has the better quality it is overall. But this is false. The key point we want to express is that power supply units are a highly complex product with various factors and standards that have to be addressed when judging overall quality. 80 PLUS is just a single category from a long list of regulations and standards.