Overview: A colleague of mine took her HP laptop from Canada (19.5 V, 1.4 A DC rated) to work in Brazil and experienced ground fault trips on the outlets when she connected an HDMI to a projector during a presentation. Please see my key points for more detail.
- Brazil uses Type N connections
- During the presentation her laptop was not connected to the wall and instead was on battery
- However due to the different wall outlet she did borrow a charger for her time in Brazil (but did not have it plugged in during presentation)
- The other Brazilian colleagues use Dell laptops rate at the same voltage and current but do not have this issue
- The HDMI cable was their cable (incase there is a difference between Canadian and Brazilian make)
- The fault did not happen immediately but after (as she described) 5 minuets
- This issue occurred twice until they decided to switch to another (Brazilian) laptop at which point it did not occur.
Research: I did some research to see what could be the case and found that people experience a lot of HDMI issues that may be caused by incorrect grounding or pre-charged circuits from DVR's to TV's. I feel this might be relevant so here is a link to a forum response on CNET.
My possible explanations: Considering that this was tripping a GCFI instead of an overcurrent breaker my guess is that it's not a "drawing too much power" issue but instead a difference in grounding between the Canadian equipment (laptop) and the Brazilian equipment (HDMI and projector). I also believe that perhaps these differences are creating a charge to build upon an insulated part which is reaching a critical flashover point and then being discharged through the case to ground and perhaps this explains why there is a time delay.