Posts Tagged ‘phantom loads’

Energy-efficiency and “green” at the Consumer Electronics Show

January 16, 2011

Like most of you, I did not attend CES last week.  But I did scour the reports, blogs, and tweets for news of what might be coming down the pike from a green or energy-efficiency perspective.  And this is a real issue.  And we grow the number of gadgets (my Android phone is charging right now–and I do like it!)  in our homes and the size of our TVs, we gobble up increasing amounts of energy.  Over the last year we’ve talked about home electricity use, smart metersphantom loads, and a favorite, the CREE CR6 and LR6 LED lights.  Home electricity use is an issue that won’t go away.

As I mentioned, I wasn’t at the show.  And I haven’t seen most of the new stuff first hand.  Here, though, are a few links I found interesting, not so much for individual products but for the trends they hint at.

Some things to keep an eye on, anyway.

Thanks,
Mike

AT&T’s new phone charger to reduce “phantom load”

March 28, 2010

I’m looking forward to more tech solutions to electricity vampires or “phantom loads”, on everything from the gazillion chargers many homes seem to have plugged in to TVs, washers, and many other things that draw current even when they are to be “off”.  This new phone charger from AT&T, is a step in the right direction–I look forward to checking it out.  ENERGY STAR, take heed.

Smart Power Strip to Reduce Phantom Loads

November 29, 2009
A couple of months ago I mentioned phantom loads, hidden uses of electricity throughout the home.  They really add up with a lot of electronics that continue to draw power even when they’re “off”.  One way to address this is to use power strips to completely cut off energy to the equipment/adapter/transformer when you’re not using them.  This can be particularly useful with entertainment centers and computer stations which have many separate components quietly sucking electricity and spinning your electric meter.  I’ve got my own kids well trained to turn off the power strip when done watching a movie–it kills power to the monitor, the DVD player, the sound system, and PlayStation, etc. all of which would otherwise keep draining watts.
Smart Strip LGC3 energy saving power strip

Smart Strip LGC3 energy saving power strip

This requires behavior change, though.  There are a new breed of “smart” power strips that hold great promise.  The feature a “control” switch and subordinate switches.  When the equipment plugged into the control outlet is turned off or in the case of a computer goes to sleep, power is killed to everything plugged into the subordinate outlets.  The strips also have “always on” outlets, so you don’t have to worry about your router or TiVo getting powered down inadvertantly.  And the strips provide surge protection for the equipment, too.  A simple way to chip away at electricity use.  There are different makes/models out there.  We like the “Smart Strip

Thanks,
Mike

TVs, Computers, X-Boxes, and Phantom Loads

September 21, 2009

Something we should talk more about–the tremendous increase we continue to see in residential residential use as we add a plethora of electronic gadgets to our daily lives.  Many of these–TVs, game consols, cable boxes–use a lot of energy even when not in use or “off”.   The NYTimes wrote yesterday Plugged-In Age Feeds a Hunger for Electricity about the issue.  What they didn’t mention is that in the face of this growing use why it is now even more important to look at other ways to save energy in the home to offset this (or figure out where we’re going to build the 560 coal-fired plants to meet the demand–and how we’d like to pay for it!).

This is a thread we’ll have to come back to.

Thanks,
Mike


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