How big an eco-hazard is IT equipment?
A hard charge to make stick...
The key in this part of the field therefore lies in producing low power, more environmentally friendly products at standard price so that they become mainstream, and - here he's clearly in agreement with the commission - making people more aware of their energy footprint via energy labelling. People will go for the lower power product so long as it's not more expensive, and so long as they actually know it's lower power, hence the importance of marking them.
It's a similar story with chargers and PSUs. Power wasted by a typical notebook computer or monitor is approximately 12 Wh per day, which Dr Reger estimates would amount to 12.74 kWh per year, worth approximately €1.27. A similar saving could be made by simply using one 100 watt light bulb for 30 minutes less every day. So implementing a company policy of turning off the lights after everybody's gone home, or better still whenever an office isn't being used, would be vastly more effective than getting worked up about whether or not a charger or PSU is plugged in.
The efficiency of external power units is an issue in addition to "waste" or consumption, and here there are gains that can be made in percentage terms, although again these won't necessarily amount to much in terms of cold, hard cash.
The bulk of external PSUs currently on the market are between 80 and 85 per cent efficient, FSC's current benchmark being 85 per cent. Going much above 85 per cent at the moment would be significantly more expensive (87 per cent is achievable at a premium), and while most manufacturers' equipment exceeds 80 per cent today, not all does.
Efficiency ratings are complicated by the question of load, with PSUs being at their most efficient when under full load. They will also have a "no-load" power consumption level when plugged in, this being 0.5 watts (i.e., negligible) in FSC's case. Load calculation doesn't have a great deal of relevance to monitors, which are broadly on, on standby or off (although brightness setting will have some effect), while the onboard battery of a notebook computer means the CPU load is independent of the PSU load, so your calculations get more complicated.
Although these numbers don't add up to an argument against power efficiency, they put the commission's targets into perspective. It certainly makes sense to develop standard price technology that's more power efficient, but the greatest effect of the commission's energy efficiency plans will lie in raising public awareness of their consumption - the savings to be had from the carbon footprint of individual items of IT equipment are relatively small.
Grasping this might also be beneficial to those elected representatives who're obsessed with "waste" caused by low-impact devices almost to the exclusion of bigger ticket items elsewhere.
"The waste from good external PSUs for notebooks and monitors is almost negligible," says Dr Reger. "Further improvements there generate only marginal savings. But there are still a lot of bad PSUs around in the field or offered by vendors who put cost over responsibility that need replacement. So the public hype around PSUs is justified for old stuff, not for good current and future external PSUs."
Commission figures (for 2004) put this into a broader perspective. In the pre-enlargement EU states, six per cent of power consumption in the home could be ascribed to "consumer electronics and other equipment standby", three per cent to TV and one per cent to office equipment. Heating (including water and aircon) was 36 per cent, lighting 12 per cent and white goods 31 per cent. The power monsters are all to obvious.
The relatively high share white goods have of the total take is particularly significant in understanding the objectives and likely impact on the commission's plans for IT equipment and consumer electronics, because these are intended as a follow-up to earlier drives for energy labelling of white goods. Washing machines, tumble dryers and fridges clearly do use large amounts of juice, so a two-pronged attack on them - flagging consumption levels to consumers and pressuring manufacturers to improve performance - could, and did, achieve significant gains.
As Usuall only half the story is told
and what about the RF-Emissions that all this IT gear produces.
I see that no-one bothers to take into account the damage to the population or wildlife that RFI / ELECTROSMOG is causing.
So i predict that in 20 years we will be all walking about in the latest fashionable RFI sheilded clothing, wearing RFI proof netting over our heads(like beekeepers).
or, that all mobile comunications devices will be banned and there will be no masts to blot the skyline of our schools and housing estates.
either way the NHS will haveimploded with the shear weight of the population suffering from numerous diverse medical symptoms which can all be sourced back to 1980 as the date it all started.(1st phone towers went up).
i personally long for the day that all crackberry addicts get thier just deserts, what flavour of cancer or other RF induced permanent disability would you like, doesnt really matter, you can expect a very long-very painfull drawn out existance(welcome to the club).
The government has no intention in furthering research or preventing whats coming, as the current status quo keeps the chavs in jobs(selling and using mobiles) the industry generates billions of $$$.
They dont need to bother wasting money on finding out why the bees all die off(RFI/Electrosmog), as they can just import more from austrailia, as the US is doing.(for now!)
It makes money from taxes, keeps the economy ticking over nicely, and they dont have to worry about the pensions issue looming, as most people will be killed off by the side effects of RFI before they reach pensionable age, and since there are so many towers next to OAP homes, it will simply speed up the attrition rate.
Win-Win all round to the government, lose-lose to the general population who are and will be missled by bad science funded and distorted by the vested interests of the multi-trillion pound mobile phone business.(ciggy anyone!)
mines the crinkly silver one with the burnt edges......
If you cared about power consumption
You wouldn't iron your clothes.
If you want to get serious as a govt. introduce communal cooking facilities in urban areas. Home cooking is seriously wasteful.
Stop TV transmission at midnight-6am.
Make public transport near free, including trains & the underground.
Quadruple the price of petrol.
Force shops to turn off lights when closed (my local TkMaxx is 3 floors of Xmas tree at night)
Turn off every other street light.
Anything else, like fiddling around with PSUs, is just pissing about.
Can we have a "False Finishing Touch" icon please?
As I think Jeffypooh's analogy is indeed just the ticket and relevant to a lot of Reg articles.
Perhaps a J-Reg 1.3 Honda Civic with a huge exhaust, as he suggested?
Same Woolly Logic Gave Us Low Energy Light-bulb Crusade
Technical ignorance is rarely a check on eco-campaigners in full cry. The same people are foisting Low Enrgy Lightbulbs onto a (cold) Northern European population where any savings will be miniscule. We will however be just able to read of the triumph in the shimmering, eerie glow of a 15W neon lamp.
CRT vs TFT
It is clear that CRTs consume way more power than comparable size TFTs..
So, why do the new TFT sets consume more than old CRTS? SIZE. If you double the size, you cuadruple the surface.. and there it is...more power requirements.
A good researcher would mention the SIZE as a problem, not TFT technology, because TFT technology is more efficient even using CCFL backlight, and even more using the new led backlight units.