Efficiency from the Wall to the PC

Editor's note: This article originally appeared in the Sept. ’07 issue of ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR. A few readers pointed out that electricity cannot literally "leak" from a power cord. It defies electrical theory. We received these comments because this article contained mistakenly misleading text. It has been edited here to correct this error, and Richard Bingham will address the issue in his December Power Quality column, which will appear in the magazine and on ECmag.com.

The Climate Savers Computing Initiative is a coalition of some of the largest technology companies committed to saving energy by improving the power efficiency of the equipment they make and use. Companies committed to the program include Google, Microsoft, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Sun Microsystems.

According to the IDG News Service, the group plans to improve power efficiency for computers and servers and encourage end-users to apply underused power management techniques.

Google’s Urs Hölzle said only about 50 percent of the power that leaves the outlet reaches a PC because energy is lost in the power supply, motherboard and other components. Climate Savers has established a series of standards for power efficiency in servers and PCs suggested for adoption by July 2010.

A more efficient power supply for a PC would cost about $20 more, and a power-efficient server would cost an additional $30, according to Intel’s Pat Gelsinger. Gelsinger said over time the cost premium will drop as volume production increases, and end-users will save on energy bills, also helping to offset the cost.

Climate Savers also will work to educate and encourage end-users to take advantage of power management mechanisms built into PCs.

“Ninety percent of PCs are capable but aren’t utilizing power management techniques,” Gelsinger said. Climate Savers standards for improving power supply efficiency and power use management techniques would reduce global carbon emissions by 54 million tons per year and would save a projected 62 billion kWh of energy in 2010, worth about $5.5 billion in energy costs, according to the group.  EC



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