USB-C Power Delivery: An Intro

USB-PD, or USB-C Power Delivery, is a new protocol specification that allows for faster and more flexible charging. It was developed concurrently with USB Type-C (USB-C) which is the physical connection, and it is a subset of the new USB 3.1 standards. What this means is that:

  1. The USB-C connector is reversible, so you won’t have to struggle with flipping the plug until it fits – exactly like the iPhone’s lightning connector
  2. Devices no longer need a separate USB and power jack, as older computers often have
  3. Devices can charge and discharge through the same port, meaning power direction is no longer fixed
  4. And most importantly, devices charge much faster! Without USB-PD, the fastest rate for USB-C would be 15W, but with PD it can go up to 100W

How does USB-C Power Delivery Work?

The basic gist of how it works is that two USB-PD enabled devices negotiate a power contract, or a handshake, when they’re plugged into each other. They discuss how much power the source can support, as well as how much power the device being charged can handle. The standard for USB-C devices without PD is 5V/3A, but the voltage is configurable depending on the device and can go as high as 20V/5A (with an EMCA cable). Then they settle on a compatible rate which both the supply and device support and the charging (or discharging) begins.

It’s important to note that not all USB-C ports support USB-PD, nor will all USB-C devices charge with all USB-C chargers. Take a look at PCWorld’s post written three years ago to see someone’s compatibility test; the key example here is that HP’s Spectre X2 will only charge from its own charger. However, take a look at their sequel, and you can see that USB-C has since become a near-universal standard.

Voltaic’s New V88 Portable Laptop Battery with USB-C Power Delivery

V88 with Power Delivery is available now!

For Voltaic Systems’ new battery pack, the V88, the max input and output rate is 20V/2.2A, or 44W. This means that from a USB-PD enabled charger such as the new MacBook Pro AC charging block, the V88 will charge at a 44W rate. This also means that it can charge a new MacBook Pro at 44W, through the same port – but not only a MacBook Pro, almost any device with a USB-PD supported connection! This allows the V88 extreme flexibility in its supported devices, as well as a faster charging rate.

You’ll no longer have to drag around AC bricks for two devices and multiple cables and adapters – all you’ll need is a high quality USB-C cable and one wall adapter to maximize your use of the V88.

For smartphones with USB-PD, it’ll be the same rate it charges from its included wall adapter.

V88 USB-C Power Delivery Charging Table

Take a look below at some of the estimated laptop charge times you’ll be getting using the V88 with USB-PD:

Dell XPS 13 MacBook Pro 15″ Lenovo Thinkpad 13 Acer Aspire S13 Asus Zenbook 3
Battery Capacity 54Wh 83.6Wh 42Wh 44.7Wh 40Wh
Charge Time to Full (Hours) 1:45 2:00
(91% Charge)
1:30 1:30 1:20
No. of Charges (approx.) 1.5 0.9 2 2 2

 

Have a question about your specific USB Type-C device? Contact our Technical Support Team at support.voltaicsystems.com

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