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Energy Efficiency of your Hardware
onlineleben




msg:3744947
 11:51 am on Sep 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi all,
I am planning to revamp my homeoffice with new equipment and wanted to make it also energy efficient. Not only to save cost (of operations) but also to advertise having only a small CO2 footprint.
Any ideas on where to start?

 

zulu_dude




msg:3744974
 1:07 pm on Sep 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

Making your office as energy efficient as possible is a great idea- however, if you can't generate all your own required power you could look into carbon offset schemes. If you offset the required amount, you should be able to market your business as CO2 neutral.

kaled




msg:3745356
 12:15 am on Sep 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

In terms of equipment, there isn't a whole lot you can do (that will make a real difference). However, good habits can have a noticeable effect (such as not leaving computers running screen savers for hours on end).

If you have halogen lights, consider replacing some with LEDs. If you have filament lights, consider replacing all with energy savers. If you have air-conditioning or heating use it less.

Returning to equipment, a 19-inch monitor will normally use less energy than a similar 22-inch one. You can also get desktops built around mobile (low power) CPUs. The last time I looked, mobile AMD Semprons and Mobile Intel Celerons weren't bad, however the saving is likely to be less than 50 watts (but a quiet PC is nice).

Since this is a home/office, it's hard to see how you might justify green claims unless your whole house is green, and you drive a small car, and recycle etc...

Kaled.

martinibuster




msg:3745368
 1:00 am on Sep 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

You can make your computer more energy efficient by purchasing a power supply that carries the 80+ certification. PC Power & Cooling manufactures models in the 350 and 450 watt levels that are energy efficient and provide dependable power that also happens to be whisper quiet (look for the Silencer models). Those models cost about $50-69, less if they're on sale. Non 80+ certified power supplies use more power.

If you want to take it a step further you can transition to solid state hard drives. They're more expensive than normal drives but remarkably faster and absolutely silent. They are more energy efficient but aren't as large as regular ones (gigabytes).

onlineleben




msg:3745495
 7:53 am on Sep 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi guys,
first of all, thanks for your valuable input.

Please let me comment what I already have implemented. If you have further ideas, please share. It is interesting to see where this little brainstorming exercise leads to.

carbon offset schemes

I checked one of the calculator sites and the price i would have to pay is not too high, but also not too noteworthy. But this option is still considered for neutralizing the remaining consumption.

good habits can have a noticeable effect

Yes, they have. No screen-savers, just black screen and monitor switch off after 20 minutes.
When I started my search for power leaks, I found that my PC, although swithched off, consumed some 25 Watts/hour. Now I have have installed a master switch so the whole desk with all electronics (except phone&fax) can be switched off for real.

halogen lights, consider replacing some with LEDs

I tried this some month ago but was not satisfied with the quality of light. It is too directional and the color is a little bit towards green (although the manufacturer claimed it to be white). The power savings are enormous. Just about 4 Watts for what you used to have a 35 Watt Halogen lamp. I switched to compact energy saver lamps more than 15 years ago all over the house - no real improvements in sight regarding to lights.

If you have air-conditioning or heating use it less

As the office is below the roof, all warm air moves upwards and not a lot of heating required. I am also more a pullover than a pajama guy, what also reduces heating requirements. For reducing the summer heat, I use to open the windows.

a 19-inch monitor will normally use less energy than a similar 22-inch one

and I thought about upgrading the monitor, too. I will not go below my current 19 inch. Any idea how much less a 19 inch LCD saves compared to a CRT?

mobile (low power) CPUs

I already looked into this and found a PC made by Acer which uses components from notebooks as well as an external power supply, but didn't hear anthing good about it (reliability etc.) - And yes, quite PCs are nice!

power supply ...energy efficient and ... happens to be whisper quiet

Sounds good and would be considered if I ever build a system by myself again. Or is it really as easy as pulling a few cables and replacing the power supply?

solid state hard drives

Probably too expensive - but thanks for the idea anyway.

Again, thanks for your input sofar - keep it coming.

zulu_dude




msg:3745508
 8:16 am on Sep 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

Once you've made your equipment as efficient as possible, you could look into generating some of your own electricity.

Things such as small wind turbines can be effective but depend greatly on the geography and size of your property. You could also look into solar power, but that can turn out to be a very expensive option!

martinibuster




msg:3745509
 8:17 am on Sep 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

>>>Or is it really as easy as pulling a few cables and replacing the power supply?

It costs about fifty bucks for the local computer hardware genius to do it for me. I'm lucky to have found this guy's store. Possibly a good measure of someones work quality is by how busy their shop is. This guy consistently has clients at his counter all day long.

My wife's computer is a year old and I'm taking it down to the guy who built it for me so he can swap out the power supply. After experiencing the silence of the 750 Watt PC Power & Cooling PSU in my own computer, it's worth it to upgrade hers to a 450 watter that's energy efficient and quiet.

onlineleben




msg:3745523
 8:49 am on Sep 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

look into generating some of your own electricity

would love to do that, but there are no possibilities to do so - already checked!

@martinibuster
sounds reasonable - have to check it out with my local hardware guy and also if PC P&C equipment is fro sale in GY

Rosalind




msg:3745555
 10:27 am on Sep 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

Any idea how much less a 19 inch LCD saves compared to a CRT?

I've heard it's around 50%, if you're comparing the same size of screen.

However, bear in mind that your hardware will generally use very little power when you compare it with the energy you need to heat or cool your workspace. So look into your options for insulation, double glazing, and draught-proofing. If you swap your fridge, get an A+ rated one. I know I'm straying from your home office to the home in general, but these are the areas that will probably be costing you the most.

onlineleben




msg:3745577
 11:14 am on Sep 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

Rosalind,
thanks for your feedback. As I live in Europe where energy cost is quite high I made sure that the house is in very good shape.
In comparison to the whole house the energy used to run the office is minimal.
But I want to reduce it anyway.

engine




msg:3745580
 11:18 am on Sep 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

I recently installed an energy consumption meter and it's confirmed what I already knew, although my wife now has a better idea of energy consumption, and what uses the power. It's been a useful educational tool.

A couple of the practical things I do include:

Fitting one of those power cutoff smart sockets to shut down all the power bricks (powering injet printers, LCD monitors, etc.) when the PC is off.

Shut things down when not in use.

All the lights are CFLs (with a few specialist exceptions), along with an occupancy detectors in an area where we used to forget the light was left on.

I work on following: Not using the power in the first place, followed by energy saving measures such as those mentioned previously.

onlineleben




msg:3745609
 12:13 pm on Sep 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

power cutoff smart sockets

I tried one of those where the PC is the master and when the PC gets switched on all other sockets are on as well. The thing didn't work to my satisfaction as the PC still pulled some energy for a standby mode I wasn't aware of (Pc was fully shut down, no blinking no nothing but still consumed 25 W/h).
When I now switch off the master switch there really is no power anymore.

Not using the power in the first place

The best solution! Scanner and printer are switched off exept when I need them. Some years ago the avoidance of using energy was termed Negawatts.

energy consumption meter and ... It's been a useful educational tool

I have one of those in use since mid 90s. A real eye-opener, especially when it comes to appliances like washing machine and dishwashers. But also the little radio-clock on your bedside table is eating up a lot of energy.

kaled




msg:3745783
 5:35 pm on Sep 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

Just a small correction... there's no such thing as "watts per hour" (not for the purposes of this discussion anyway).

1 watt == 1 joule of energy used/generated per second.
1 kilowatt (KW) == 1000 joules per second or 1 kilojoule (KJ) per second.
1 kilowatt-hour (KWH) = 3600 kilojoules.

By definition, power is the rate at which energy is converted from one form to another. The unit of power is the watt and the unit of energy is the joule. Capitals should only be used for the abbreviated forms (J, KJ, MJ, and W, KW, MW, etc.).

Hope that clears things up.

Kaled.

onlineleben




msg:3748160
 6:59 pm on Sep 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thanks to all for your valuable input.
Just did a last check with a friend of mine who has a flat screen monitor and it consumes not half but a little more than a quarter of what my current CRT needs. So 93 Watts per hour saved by 6 hours a day and 5 days a week and 46 weeks a year results in about 19 litres of diesel for my car.

Have a good weekend!
(gone shopping ...)

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