Monday, October 6, 2008

Cheap Green: Saving Energy on Computers

One of the challenges of our energy transition is that everything from solar panels to hybrid cars can be expensive. This is the first installment of our weekly series examining ways to go green without breaking the bank.

Yesterday Azadeh Ensha wrote an excellent piece about how to save energy when working with computers. I’ve been mulling that topic too.

So when Tod Arbogast, Dell’s global head of sustainability, stopped by The New York Times last month, I asked his team to send in a list of lesser-known energy-saving tips — things that even the most efficiency-minded PC users might not have come across.

Just how unfamiliar the following tidbits are is open to discussion, but we present the results of that query, in Dell’s own words, below.

Five Points how to save energy on Computers:-

1. Be Energy Smart:- Take advantage of the power-management settings in your Control Panel by setting the system to go on "stand-by" when you’re not using it. "Hibernate" should be used for longer periods of time away from your PC.

2. Power supplies matter:- Many of us use an older desktop PC for a file server. Older systems (5 to 7 years) tend to have low-efficiency power supplies, known to consume more energy than high-efficiency ones. You can upgrade to a high-efficiency (80 to 90 percent) power supply, as they are relatively inexpensive and widely available. (Power supplies are the silver boxes found on the back of most desktop PCs.)

3. Check the battery:- If you have an older laptop and haven’t replaced the battery in a few years, you are most likely wasting energy. Laptop batteries wear out over time. As they get older, it takes the same energy to achieve consecutively shorter battery operating time and performance. Save some energy by recycling a worn-out battery and getting a new one.

4. Go with LED on laptops:- In addition to being mercury-free and recyclable, light-emitting diode (LED) displays deliver significant energy savings compared to cold cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL) technology. Dell’s 15-inch LED displays, for example, consume an average of 43 percent less power at maximum brightness, resulting in extraordinary cost and carbon savings. LED displays are also thinner and lighter.

5. "IV" 85 percent efficiency:- Many computers as well as things like printers, external hard drives, scanners and speakers have external adapters (the cord that attaches to the wall). Newer adapters are marked with the International Energy Efficiency stamp of "IV" 85 percent efficiency; the new Energy Star external power suppliers are marked "V", at 87 percent efficiency. If you want to do your part and help save energy, you shouldn’t buy a new system with anything less.


david said...

use a google alternative like or for the white version. It saves time, energy, bandwidth, etc