Situation: I require a powered USB hub because I need to expand a Thunderbolt/USB 3.0 Type C port to a few USB 3.0 Type A ports for a few portable hard drives.

Problem: It is almost impossible to find a USB Type C Hub that explicitly states that it supports "external power supply" (the 5V/3A or 12V/2A type), but instead offers a Power Delivery port that allows the hub to be powered and the laptop to be charged at the same time (e.g. 45/60/90/100W).

Question: Is it possible to use a Type C hub that supports Power Delivery with a 5V/3A power supply, allowing the powering of the Type C hub only, and at the same time pray and hope that it does not fry a Type C port that potentially does not support power input?

Additional Information 1: Keep in mind that my use case includes laptops with Type C ports that potentially do not allow power input -- will the potential power input fry the laptop's port?

Additional Information 2: The laptops may also be workstation grade laptops that supports Type C charging at 100W, but optimally requires 100+++W power input. As such the proprietary power bricks are necessary.


Expected USB C Hub with PD use: -
[Mains]===>[Type C Power Input (20V/2.25A 45W)]===>[Type C Hub]===>[Laptop (PD charging)]

What I am wondering/hoping it can be used for: -
[Mains]===>[Type C Power Input (5V/3A 15W)]===>[Type C Hub]===>[Laptop (180W charging)]
     \\==============>[Proprietary Power Brick(e.g. 180W)]===============^
  • 1
    USB-C power delivery is only activated if both sides have agreed that they support PD and have agreed on the voltage and the direction of the power flow.
    – Robert
    Jun 1, 2021 at 10:29
  • Would this mean that no power will be flowing at all if I supply 15W and the Hub is configured to accept 45/65/90/100W Jun 1, 2021 at 11:02


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