All You Need to Know About USB Power Delivery

USB Power Delivery USB-C Type-C Charging Cable

Created in the mid-1990s, USBs (Universal Serial Bus) are the general go-to standard for connecting devices, charging, and data communication. And with such a long running standard, it has been updated over the years with 2.0, 3.0, Micro-USB, and Type C versions (just to name a few).

While USB was once used as mainly for data communication with limited charging capabilities, many devices now use a USB primarily for charging. This includes many mobile phones, computers, and plenty of other devices. However, this can lead to some issues as certain devices or cables are not compatible with other types of ports. Compounding that is the fact that there are speed differences between different types of USB. Case in point, Type C is faster than USB 3.0 which in turn is faster than 2.0. This leads to a lot of e-waste as people are constantly buying new cables or devices when USB technology advances further.

 RAVPower Power Bank Charging Battery Saving


What is USB Power Delivery?

However, this issue of compatibility is about to be a thing of the past with the introduction of the USB Power Delivery Specification. USB Power Delivery (or PD, for short) is a single charging standard that can be used all across USB devices. Normally, each device charged by USB will have their own separate adapter, but not anymore. One universal USB PD will be able to power a wide variety of different devices.

Women Charging Power Bank Portable Charger iPhones Work Table

Three Great Features of USB Power Delivery?

So now that you know a bit about what the USB Power Delivery standard is, what are some of the big features that make it worthwhile? The biggest draw is that USB Power Delivery has increased standard power levels to up to 100W. This means your device will be able to charge much faster than before. Also, this will work for most devices and will be great for Nintendo Switch users, as there have been many complaints about it charging slow.

Another great feature of USB PD is the fact that the power direction is no longer fixed. In the past, if you plugged your phone into the computer, it would charge your phone. But with Power Delivery, the phone you plug in could be responsible for powering your hard drive.

Power Delivery will also ensure devices are not overcharged and will only provide the necessary amount of juice needed. While most smart phones won’t be able to take advantage of the added power, many other devices and computers will be able to.

iPhone Samsung Galaxy S8 Galaxy Charging

Power Delivery – Delivering The Future

In conclusion, this new standard for USB charging could change the world of technology as we know it. With Power Delivery, a range of devices can share their charges with one another and power each other without hassle. Power Delivery is simply a much easier and a streamlined way to go about charging all of your devices.

As our phones and devices continue to use up more and more power, USB Power Delivery is likely to become more and more common. Even power banks now have USB PD to charge or operate devices that demand a lot of power (think MacBooks, Switches, GoPros, drones and more). We are certainly looking forward to a future where power can be shared.

Are you using a device with USB Power Delivery? Let us know what you think.

Share power with your own USB Power Delivery power bank. Now $63.99 until March 7, use code GIAKOJRK when buying the RAVPower 26800mAh PD Power Bank.

47 Replies to “All You Need to Know About USB Power Delivery

    1. I hacked together a USB-PD trigger module and a dummy battery for my Panasonic g80 so now it runs from my power bank. Normal usb wouldn’t provide enough wattage through a booster (9v 1.5A minimum requirement)

    1. It’s much better than QC 3 in that it offers much higher wattage. I have a Pixel 2 and a Belkin PD USB-C charger. I never charge my phone overnight. It gets a full charge in about and hour and uses very little power if I leave it on overnight.

  1. What happens if you plug a power-only USB cable into a USB PD power supply, and then into a low voltage device like a mobile phone (5V)? Will the power supply say:
    “Oh, I’m missing a signal on 3 or more wires, so it must be a primitive device, so I’ll only send 5V at 2.4A”
    or will it say:
    “I’m sending the higher power (volts and/or amps) because you aren’t saying anything”?

    I’m assuming it’s the first one, i.e. there has to be a positive dialogue using the non-power wires, for it to step up the voltage from 5V, and if those wires aren’t there, it refuses to send any higher.

    1. Hi Alan, the PD protocol (5V, 9V, 12V, 15V, 20V) on the output of Port C when charging the device will output a set of signal packets (including 5V, 9V, 12V, 15V, 20V) to the charging device. After the charging device receives the signal, it will feedback a set of signals to the power bank (if the device needs 5V, it will feedback a 5V signal, and if 9V is required, it will feedback a 9V signal………..). In the end, the power bank receives feedback from the device, the corresponding voltage will be output.

    2. I jad been searching for the answers for the same. Did you get that resolved.
      I would assume the technology to negotiate and if negotiation fails then default to lowest power.(Thats how i would design a safe device)

  2. But a POWER-ONLY usb cable will not have a wire with which to send down a ‘signal packet’. So I’m asking what happens in that case.

    Maybe you’ve never seen a power-only USB cable, but they make them for magnetic plug/fasteners cables.

      1. My nephew burned his HP laptop by connecting power only usb cable from apple charger 19v to his USB-C 5v port . looks like this technology not communicating well.

        1. Hi, we wouldn’t suggest a 19v charger for a USB-C 5v port. Please contact Apple for more answers about your Apple-charger issue.

  3. Hi thanks for your article. I noticed from the new iPhone 20W adapter that the outputs are 5V/3A (15W) and 9V/2.22A (20W). If I were to buy a new adapter, must it have 9V/2.22A in order to support 20W?

        1. The default value of the iPhone is 20W, and the actual test can be up to 25W (when the screen is turned on), but the continuous charging is 20W.

  4. After reading “All You Need to Know About USB Power Delivery” I still have the same question: What is it?!?! You mention it’s a std used all across USB types, so I assume an A, C, Micro etc can all be PD, but I’d like to see a Micro handle 100W. Then you mention one universal “USB PD”… So what is it, physically? As in show me a picture of this new universal connector, device or whatever is it because you never actually say….
    Sorry if I’m a noob to power banks, because I have no real need for one, but I saw one I liked and it has a “PD” input that seems to be about C size but if it were C it should say that so I’ll assume it’s not…
    So what it is physically, how is it physically different than whatever existing connector(s) and at what voltage is this 100W taking place? I ask voltage because obviously it can’t be the normal 5V.
    Thank you…

    1. USB Power Delivery is a charging standard where if you have a USB Type-C cable connected to a USB Power Delivery system, you can get up to 20V/5A with maximum power of up to 100W through a USB port.

  5. Hi. I used RavPower powerbank with PD port to charge my Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. But it doesnt show “Super Fast Charging” as it does with a normal PD port from a Travel Adaptor. It just shows normal “Fast charging” and takes long too.

  6. Hi, i’m Victor, how can i know this Type C to C cable is fast charge ? and watts ? does PIQ USB to type C cable better ? or Qualcomm 3.0 , 4.0 adapter and cable better ?

  7. it’s said that in ravpower 20000maH, there are 3 inputs(microusb, lighting and pd) and 3 outputs (q.c, ismart and pd). i just want to know if the PD port can be used both as input and output??

  8. Strange question: is there such a thing as a USA 2-prong female to USB-male adapter? Or do I need to buy a different adapter for every country I visit?

  9. Hi, I have seen some photographers using a 30A QC – PD Battery pack to feed their camera for outside and long time works. That battery is connected to a “false battery” (a plastic case with contacts and a wire with a C type usb) wich is placed in the battery comparment of the camera….But the PD battery pack supplies 5V-3A, 9V-2A, 12V-1,5A. As most cameras are using 7.4V batteries to work. My question is: How the system works not blowing out thecamera. Thank you for the answer.

    1. Hi Joan, use the PD decoy and set the voltage to the voltage supported by the camera. It is important that you have a good knowledge of electronics before you try.

  10. Can someone tell me what happens if I use a non-PD device with a PD charger?
    For example:
    – old phone with quick charge 3
    – music player that support 5V ==2A
    – power bank that support 5V==1.5A
    All devices have type C port.

    I’m considering to buy a xharger that can delivery max 45W
    (PIQ 3.0 usb-C: 5V ⎓ 2.4A / 9V ⎓ 3A / 15V ⎓ 3A / 20V ⎓ 2.25A)

    It’s the charger too powerful only for the power bank? It’s safe for ervrything?

    Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Thomas,
      Normal non-PD equipment can be charged at 5V, and the power will be subject to the actual demand of the equipment, and there will be no damage to the equipment; However, for this kind of equipment without PD protocol, if the circuit is not properly designed, it is possible that they cannot be charged.

      1. Non-PD devices, for example a router requiring 12v, can be charged using a PD trigger/decoy.
        Wrote to for further info, but Nicole firmly believes that this is impossible.
        Even after referring her to this article.

        Did you test any commercially available PD triggers/decoys? Can you recommend a product?
        Why not market such a product? Can only help you sell more power banks.

  11. I’ve spent a few hours looking at USB-C PD power banks and cannot find what I need.

    I just bought a camera that requires 9v/3a through a USB-C cable. Even the power banks that claim a high wattage (up to 100W) only show 9v/2a output.

    How can I find a power bank that will meet my needs?

    1. Hi Alan, there are two possibilities:
      1. The 3A of the camera is a special protocol, not a standard PD protocol.
      2. It is possible that the charging of the product does not last for 9V/3A all the time, and the power can be observed after continuous charging.

  12. Hi,

    If I have a device (Google Pixel 4a) that supports PD 2.0, but I can only find chargers that are PD 3.0, will this be okay for my phone?


  13. I have a pd charger that fits in the cigarette lighter of my camper.
    The question is if i connect a solar panel via the charger via usb c pd will it charge my campers battery

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