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Old 2009-04-22, 12:55   #1
NBtarheel_33
 
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"Nathan"
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Default The news giveth, the news taketh away...

Hopefully this won't cause us to lose too many company-sponsored PCs, or any of the new folks after the NPR article...

http://tech.yahoo.com/blogs/null/130078

It was on the Yahoo! front page this morning...
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Old 2009-04-23, 04:17   #2
IronBits
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Dedicated crunchers don't care about leaving computers on 24/7, unless it was sitting idle for no reason ;)
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Old 2009-04-23, 04:48   #3
cheesehead
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NBtarheel_33 View Post
From the article:

Quote:
The full report is available for download here (scroll down to "PC Energy Report US 2009").
I downloaded it -- all 1.72 megabytes of it.

You want to know what it says?

Summary: Turning your PC off every night saves energy/money. Lots of folks leave their PCs on at night. We can sell you software to automatically turn off all your company's PCs every night.

(No mention of Macs)

There are also a few interesting tidbits, one of which, slightly restated, is:

The energy used by the world's 1 billion PCs at idle in one night (that is, if the world's 1 billion PCs were all idle for one night, and one night = 14.5 hours) is about 11,100 times the average energy used by the Empire State Building in 24 hours.

Lessee ... that means that, on average ... the Empire State Building (which, presumably, has some PCs in its offices) uses about the same electrical power as ... 54,000 PCs at idle.

That's all??? Only 54,000??? And that's including the PCs in the building itself???

Well, that's 530 idle-PCs worth of electrical power per floor. I guess that's reasonable.

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2009-04-23 at 05:21
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Old 2009-04-23, 11:14   #4
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Default PC energy savings

Being 'in' the energy efficiency industry (should I duck now?) one of the biggest problems is motivating people to think about how much energy they do waste. The excuse given is often that they don't waste "alot" of power and, if only they switched off, it wouldn't make a lot of diffrerence...

The problem then is, of course, if everyone did this then even more energy would be wasted. (By the way, before anyone starts, my rational is deeply rooted in the saving money part of energy efficiency rather than the 'save the planet' bit, bt that wasn't deemed interesting enough and was for geeky engineers...)

However, I am always wary of the 'we could all save billions of tonnes of CO2 if we just did...' reports as , if you dig into them as cheeshead has done, you often uncover some very dodgy assumptions, rounding of figures and generally poor analysis of figures that are often no more than what us geeky engineers used to do on the back of fag packets (sorry, that's cigarett packets if you are not in the UK :-) ).

As a way to meet the CO2 savers halfway, why not switch off the screen and set the screen saver to go to a blank screen instead of leaving it on all night or waggling a copy of the Windows logo all over the screen when you've left your desk for a few minutes? The PC doesn't need the screen on, even in standby mode, to do what it does with Prime95, of course.
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Old 2009-04-24, 01:02   #5
NBtarheel_33
 
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<Homer Simpson drooling noise> One...billion...PCs

Do you realize what one billion PCs could do for GIMPS every night?! Granted, some of them are probably old or have to run intensive jobs overnight, but wow. We'd have to extend the exponent assignments into the billions to keep up!

When you think about how many computers there really are in the world, it's really quite surprising that *only* 100,000 have signed up for GIMPS. Suppose we could swell that number even just by a factor of 10...
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Old 2009-04-24, 14:59   #6
garo
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morseman View Post
Being 'in' the energy efficiency industry (should I duck now?) one of the biggest problems is motivating people to think about how much energy they do waste. The excuse given is often that they don't waste "alot" of power and, if only they switched off, it wouldn't make a lot of difference...

<snip>

As a way to meet the CO2 savers halfway, why not switch off the screen and set the screen saver to go to a blank screen instead of leaving it on all night or waggling a copy of the Windows logo all over the screen when you've left your desk for a few minutes? The PC doesn't need the screen on, even in standby mode, to do what it does with Prime95, of course.
Agree and agree. All my screens are set to power off after 3-5 minutes. Always.
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Old 2009-04-24, 16:02   #7
petrw1
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I propose a different twist on this...we need to tell people that if they are going to leave their PC on all night anyway, at least have it doing something useful ...

... and we just might have a suggestion.
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Old 2009-04-28, 18:40   #8
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Electricity wouldn't be that cheap if less would be consumed. It's not an honest calculation.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesehead View Post
From the article:

I downloaded it -- all 1.72 megabytes of it.

You want to know what it says?

Summary: Turning your PC off every night saves energy/money. Lots of folks leave their PCs on at night. We can sell you software to automatically turn off all your company's PCs every night.

(No mention of Macs)

There are also a few interesting tidbits, one of which, slightly restated, is:

The energy used by the world's 1 billion PCs at idle in one night (that is, if the world's 1 billion PCs were all idle for one night, and one night = 14.5 hours) is about 11,100 times the average energy used by the Empire State Building in 24 hours.

Lessee ... that means that, on average ... the Empire State Building (which, presumably, has some PCs in its offices) uses about the same electrical power as ... 54,000 PCs at idle.

That's all??? Only 54,000??? And that's including the PCs in the building itself???

Well, that's 530 idle-PCs worth of electrical power per floor. I guess that's reasonable.
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Old 2009-04-28, 19:47   #9
cheesehead
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joblack View Post
Electricity wouldn't be that cheap if less would be consumed. It's not an honest calculation.
??
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Old 2009-04-29, 13:14   #10
mdettweiler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesehead View Post
??
Simple supply and demand--the demand for electricity goes down, but the power companies still have the same amount of supply, so they raise their prices to compensate for the lost revenue.
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Old 2009-04-29, 14:34   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdettweiler View Post
Simple supply and demand--the demand for electricity goes down, but the power companies still have the same amount of supply, so they raise their prices to compensate for the lost revenue.
It is far more complex than that. "Peak power" is the most expensive and the supply is not fixed, nor is it all in the hands of "the power companies". Running a gas turbine generator is most efficient at the 70-80% total output range, it is very inefficient at the 90-100% range; thus less demand at peak times means cheaper power. Some of the other peak power schemes use off-peak power to store energy to be released during peak times, these include pumping water uphill at night to have it ready to generate hydropower in the afternoon and pressurizing underground cavities at off peak, so that it can be used to spin turbines at peak times.
The "power companies" both buy power from power producers and generate their own, some sources are cheaper to buy from/use than others. The user does not pay the cost of the specific source, rather some averaged price. If the more expensive sources can be idled, the over-all cost/KWh can go down. There would be job losses, etc., but the average bill will go down. Big power users at peak times could use more power more cheaply then too.

I know someone that is training as a power grid operator, the desicions of which plant to call on and for how much power is a big part of what they are learning.

Also, I personally visited a small town's power plant, where it is cheaper for them to be on stand by and buy power from a bigger company than to run their smaller GTG all of the time. They have become a peaker plant. But, because they are a small scale operation, they have no waste heat boilers to recapture more power. A bigger plant can have a multistage set up for the waste heat steam turbines to generate power that would otherwise go to waste.

Peak power is where it is at baby.

The power for PC's at night is almost free. This is the power that larger scale plants produce to stay on-line and warmed up. A big coal fired plant or nuke can't throttle up and down as eaily as a gas fired plant can, but nuke and coal are cheaper. Hydropower can be throttled up and down easily however, once built, it is one of the cheapest forms of power, because there is no fuel. So, where it can be done, hydro is an overnight source of choice. GHG emissions will be almost invariant, the total amount released will be the same per hour, hour after hour.

Last fiddled with by Uncwilly on 2009-04-29 at 14:42 Reason: PC related.
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