Musings on personal and enterprise technology (of potential interest to professional technoids and others)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Turning off can be a business turn on - Backbone Magazine, Mar-Apr/2008

Interesting ideas from Backbone Magazine for personal computer power supply unit efficiencies in desktops, laptops, as per the article below (it will be interesting to learn in addition, what if anything has been done about this recently by Dell,HP,Lenovo,Toshiba,Gateway etc.)....

You can also watch Urs Hoelzle describe and present these and related ideas via
YouTube - Urs Hoelzle, Google Goes Carbon Neutral at Press Day Paris ).

Here is a blurb from that Backbone Magazine article by Jim Harris:

Backbone Magazine - Turning off can be a business turn on: " Google pointed out in a recent report, the PC industry could save 40 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity over three years — or more than US$5 billion in power at current California electricity rates — at “virtually no cost” by simply updating the design of power supply units used in computers.

Urs Hoelzle and Bill Weihl of Google point out typical PC power supplies use 65 to 80 per cent more power than necessary because the power supply units (PSUs) provide multiple output voltages, even though modern computer components no longer require this. Multiple voltages are a legacy of computing requirements from 25 years ago. By moving to a super-efficient 12-volt standard, power supply makers would also cut their production costs, as mono-voltage PSUs are simpler and less expensive to manufacture.

The Google findings were presented in a white paper titled “High-efficiency power supplies for home computers and servers” at the Intel Developer Forum in September 2006.

Also, that 40 billion kWh savings figure is based on only updating PSUs in 100 million PCs. Given that estimates place the worldwide number of PCs at one billion by the end of 2008, simple solutions such as turning computers off at night and efficient PSUs will save billions of kilowatt hours of electricity, save billions of dollars, reduce billions of tons of carbon globally — and all at a profit. So what are we waiting for? Perhaps it is only when a carbon tax is imposed on businesses — either voluntarily as in the case of HSBC or nationally as the Conference Board of Canada recommended in a January report entitled Use Green Taxes and Market Instruments to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions — that we will really begin to appreciate that green saves money."

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