iOS 16's Clean Energy Charging arriving later in 2022

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in iOS
A future update to iOS 16 will make the iPhone even more environmentally friendly, with Clean Energy Charging prioritizing recharging at times when cleaner energy sources are available.




Apple has worked hard to reduce the carbon footprint of the company as a whole, and it's making its products work in a more environmentally-minded way. In an upcoming update due later in 2022, Apple will add a feature to iOS 16 called Clean Energy Charging.

According to Apple, Clean Energy Charging will try to cut down the carbon footprint of the iPhone created by recharging. To accomplish this, the feature will optimize the timing of charges for "when the grid is using cleaner energy sources."

The change is seemingly an expansion of the idea of the Optimized Battery Charging functionality that arrived in iOS 13. That feature protected the battery of the iPhone from prolonged charging and leaving the battery fully charged for long periods, by managing charging patterns.

Optimized Battery Charging would charge the iPhone to 80%, if it believes it will be left on charge for a long time, such as overnight. Before it expects to be picked up and used, the feature would restart charging so that it will reach 100% charge at the right moment.

It is unclear exactly how iOS would be able to know when "cleaner energy sources" are being used, but it is likely checking in with Apple's servers to determine the grid's status. It will also be limited only to the United States, which suggests there is some data sourcing at play.

Apple doesn't state when Clean Energy Charging will arrive in iOS, except it will be "later this year." It will be accompanied by other features, including iCloud Shared Photo Library, Live Activities, and Matter support for Homekit.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,913member
    Ridiculous.  Corporate virtue signaling at its finest.  
    watto_cobramarkbyrn
  • Reply 2 of 12
    This is a California meme feature right?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 12
    sdw2001 said:
    Ridiculous.  Corporate virtue signaling at its finest.  
    100s of millions of iPhones do add up
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 12
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,947member
    Needs an API so we can feed local power spot pricing to work off as well as our own power supply over-generation.
    Should also be able to set our own rules around the 80/20 split of early and late charge. 
    I know I'm putting my phone on charge after a certain time it will be there until my alarm goes off it can get up to 20% just in case then wait till later for the 80%
    watto_cobraFileMakerFellerAlex1N
  • Reply 5 of 12
    thttht Posts: 4,630member
     It is unclear exactly how iOS would be able to know when "cleaner energy sources" are being used, but it is likely checking in with Apple's servers to determine the grid's status. It will also be limited only to the United States, which suggests there is some data sourcing at play.
    Apple just asks the grid operator for their realtime power mix and their future power prediction, by type. The rest is having the phone calling their server for optimal charging times. The data is public and you can check it yourself, of if you are good at HTML parsing, you can continuously crawl for the data if wanted.
     
    The grid operator definitely knows what power source is energizing the grid on an hour by hour basis, at least, if not minute by minute basis. If you live in Texas ERCOT, the best time to charge is from 2 am to 6 am or so, when wind power is about 20% to 50% of grid, on average and depending on time of year. In a few years, it's going to be something like 30% to 70% wind at those hours, with solar+wind creeping towards 20% to 50% during the day.

    watto_cobraFileMakerFellerAlex1N
  • Reply 6 of 12
    sdw2001 said:
    Ridiculous.  Corporate virtue signaling at its finest.  
    Tell me you’re from the U.S. without telling me you’re from the U.S. 
    watto_cobracrowleymattinoz
  • Reply 7 of 12
    "optimizing charging times for when the grid is using cleaner energy sources" - that sounds noble but when people can't charge their phone when it's low or empty, they're going to be very unhappy with Tim Apple.   How will it even know that the source you're charging it with is renewable?   What if you're using the Apple MagSafe battery pack to charge the phone? 
    edited September 13
  • Reply 8 of 12
    thttht Posts: 4,630member
    markbyrn said:
    "optimizing charging times for when the grid is using cleaner energy sources" - that sounds noble but when people can't charge their phone when it's low or empty, they're going to be very unhappy with Tim Apple.   How will it even know that the source you're charging it with is renewable?   What if you're using the Apple MagSafe battery pack to charge the phone? 
    They will know what percentage of the grid is being powered by renewables. The grid operator provides this data. If Apple gets this data from the grid operator, then they can provide that info for when the best times for charging with renewable energy is. You can do it yourself by just looking at the grid operator's data throughout the day and throughout the year.

    iPhones know if it is being charged by a MagSage battery pack, if it is being charged by an MagSafe wired charger, if it it is being charged through Lightning from an external battery, and if it is being charged by a wall charger. Charging accessories are handshaken between the iPhone and the host charger. There will be edge cases, but for the big middle among millions of users of this sort of thing, it will be good enough.
    FileMakerFellerAlex1N
  • Reply 9 of 12
    First things first : consume less by using a wired charger (wireless charging uses about 50% more energy, according to https://debugger.medium.com/wireless-charging-is-a-disaster-waiting-to-happen-48afdde70ed9).
    Only then worry about when to consume.

    Apple (& all others) should first dissuade from using wireless charging (or even remove this feature).


    muthuk_vanalingambeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 10 of 12
    First things first : consume less by using a wired charger (wireless charging uses about 50% more energy, according to https://debugger.medium.com/wireless-charging-is-a-disaster-waiting-to-happen-48afdde70ed9).
    Only then worry about when to consume.

    Apple (& all others) should first dissuade from using wireless charging (or even remove this feature).


    If they truly cared about reducing their customers' energy usage, and not just their own, this is exactly what they'd do.  Even aside from the fact that current "wireless" charging solutions have exactly as many wires running from the wall to the phone as do wired ones, they are less efficient.
  • Reply 11 of 12
    maltzmaltz Posts: 350member
    First things first : consume less by using a wired charger (wireless charging uses about 50% more energy, according to https://debugger.medium.com/wireless-charging-is-a-disaster-waiting-to-happen-48afdde70ed9).
    Only then worry about when to consume.

    Apple (& all others) should first dissuade from using wireless charging (or even remove this feature).


    Wireless charging is horribly inefficient, but I've no idea how many people actually use it.  I expect that a large majority do not.  So with that in mind, it's hard to say how much of a real-world carbon impact removing wireless charging would have vs this feature.
    tht
  • Reply 12 of 12
    thttht Posts: 4,630member
    maltz said:
    First things first : consume less by using a wired charger (wireless charging uses about 50% more energy, according to https://debugger.medium.com/wireless-charging-is-a-disaster-waiting-to-happen-48afdde70ed9).
    Only then worry about when to consume.

    Apple (& all others) should first dissuade from using wireless charging (or even remove this feature).
    Wireless charging is horribly inefficient, but I've no idea how many people actually use it.  I expect that a large majority do not.  So with that in mind, it's hard to say how much of a real-world carbon impact removing wireless charging would have vs this feature.
    It's a $40 accessory. I don't think market penetration of induction chargers is all that high. 5% of iPhone owners? That's probably too high. If it doesn't come in the box, don't think many people will spend $40 on it when they already are using that money for a case, or a MagSafe accessory to come with the case.

    One the one hand, the premise from the medium article (73 coal plants to charge 3.5b phones and induction charging is wasteful) is silly. It was basically a vehicle to dramatize his article. It's 10 to 20 Watts per person per 1 hour block of time. The power needed to charge phones will be amortised over a 24 hr day worldwide. It's a very small, <1% level, portion for a person's power consumption. If I did my math right, I use about 10 WHr per day for an iPhone 6.1" (only use about 70% of charge daily).

    That is about 0.15% of the average electricity usage per person in my household. There's a lot bigger fish to fry in the efficiency and energy used in a household. Like, just unplug your Internet modem+router for 8 hours a day while you sleep. It's about 20 to 40 Watts. Across 8 hrs that is 160 to 320 WHrs. The energy of about 10 to 20 phone batteries. That's the smallest of the smallest of fries. Switching to LED lighting is big. 1 °F higher for AC or lower for heating is huge. Weather stripping is huge. An ICE vehicle uses about 1 kWHr worth of energy per mile. That's per mile. The energy for about 100 phone batteries. An EV is about 5x more efficient per mile than an ICE car.

    On the other hand, Apple's clean energy charging setting will nick at the problem and should be lauded. The more push the better off we are. There's a perception that the renewable energy era is going to be expensive and scarce. It's going to be the total opposite. It's going to be so cheap and so local that it threatens the grid itself. You will be able to cut the power cord just like you can cut the cable cord. The incumbents - power generators and grid owners - will not appreciate that. Theoretically though, maybe grid energy prices will actually cheapen if they actually have to compete for customers. Renewable energy will be a big feature that they will have to offer.
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