Standby power consumption

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herbwormwood
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Post: # 17285Post herbwormwood
Mon Apr 10, 2006 1:02 pm

Muddypause wrote:
ina wrote:And if I turn off the computer at the mains, I run down the internal battery, but save the electricity for the little lights at the back (what are they for, anyway :? ?) That's a dilemma, now - what does actually save more? Couldn't the battery be a re-chargeable one that gets charged while the computer is running?
If it's what I think it is, the little battery that keeps the clock going in the computer will last for years - probably the life of the computer. Think of the tiddly little battery in a digital watch; that will often last for years before it needs changing. To save power, I'd go for switching it off at the socket. Unfortunately, my computer will lose some of it's settings if I do that to mine. But as I understand it, when it is off-but-still-switched-on-at-the-socket, its power consumption is greatly reduced from when it is "on". Still not zero, though.
I don't know of any computers which have re-chargeable battery which can be recharged when the computer is running.
I am sure this could be invented if a computer company thought it was worthwhile.
I have always had Apple Macs at home and I did have one where the internal battery ran down before the computer "died".
I have seen lots of "low battery" messages on the PCs where I work and it is such a common problem that I have to dispute the notion that the battery normally lasts as long as the PC. In fact I have seen a "low battery" message on a comouter less than a year old where I work.

"Disposable" computers are a very big environmental problem due to the difficulty and hazards involved in recycling them.
So it makes "earth friendly" sense to make them last as long as possible, basically use them until they can't be repaired any more. There is a fair bit on the net about how to make use of 'older computers.
As far as the energy output of repairing a broken computer battery versus power saved by turning it off at the mains, I don't know which weighs up better. However it is wise to consider energy saving features when buying a new computer. The newer Apple Macs have a sleep function which is very energy efficient, they also have an "energy saver" feature.
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ina
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Post: # 17291Post ina
Mon Apr 10, 2006 2:29 pm

I know that our computers have energy saving, sleep and whatever functions - we have a guy in the IT department who is quite clued up about that! But I must admit that I've never seen a "battery low" message on any computer... And some of the ones I've used were very old. That couldn't be an Apple Mac feature, maybe?

All computers that are chucked out at my place of work get "recycled", i.e. offered to the first comer; and there are always takers. I've got one of them sitting at home, too - just haven't got round to connecting it up yet. (And I've been saying that for about a year now! :oops: )
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Post: # 17304Post albert onglebod
Mon Apr 10, 2006 3:42 pm

OH has 2 apple macs sitting under the desk at our house.One is faulty and the other was just redundant at his work so they both ended up here (one for spares) the people at his work take it in turns to claim them as they are thrown away.My monitor is from there too.It has a scratch on the screen which I can live with but they couldn't.
We've also got a B&W laser printer which wont auto feed (you have to push each page through before it will pick up) but works, that was thrown away too.
His company at least dont mind the employees recycling the equipment Im sure some would.

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Post: # 17359Post ina
Tue Apr 11, 2006 11:47 am

Ours offer everything quite openly! I'm not the only one who has a table and four chairs in the kitchen, from when the canteen got new furniture... I could have had more than one desk, too.
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Post: # 17363Post Shirley
Tue Apr 11, 2006 12:02 pm

I had a computer that had a problem with the battery - the clock just kept losing time. We did switch it on and off and didn't use it anywhere near as much as I do these days. A new battery fixed the problem.
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Post: # 17366Post Millymollymandy
Tue Apr 11, 2006 12:15 pm

Couldn't read all that article.

If I was to unplug most electrical things, that would involve moving the electrical items to get to the plug. Traditionally the plugs for things like fridges, washing machines, ovens, dishwashers etc are behind them, and who in their right minds is going to move out the dishwasher or oven to unplug it!!!

As for computers, there's about 10 plugs for each of our two computers, and I wouldn't know what went where!!! Same load of rubbish with all the leads etc for the TV, video, digibox thingy, another thingy enabling us to watch digital TV on the kitchen telly....... so many cables, so many plugs, so many extension leads........ All involving moving furniture and TVs to unplug. No way Jose!

BTW you can buy a 'plug' thingy that stops your telly or computer blowing up in a thunderstorm.

P.S. I thought the UK was the only country that had on and off switches at the socket! It's certainly the only stupid country I've ever come across that doesn't let you have a socket in the bathroom so you can plug your hair dryer in. :roll: I have to use an extension lead when I am staying with family in England!

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Post: # 17368Post albert onglebod
Tue Apr 11, 2006 12:51 pm

We have a big fat red main switch for our cooker which also turns the microwave off.Its in the cupboard above the microwave and you have to stand on a pair of steps to reach it. Theres another one that powers the hob but as that doesnt have a clock on it,it doesnt need to be switched off.
Some british bathrooms have a shaver socket with either a switch outside the room or a pull switch so you dont switch the socket on with wet hands.
Maybe continental bathrooms have better ventilation.
My PC and peripherals are all plugged into one socket via a multiplug.I just unplug the multiplug and it unplugs the whole lot.We have a similar thing for the TV/DVD etc.

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Post: # 17388Post ina
Tue Apr 11, 2006 6:07 pm

albert onglebod wrote:Maybe continental bathrooms have better ventilation.
No, I think us Continentals are just not as panicky! I never came across any on-off switches for power outlets - if we wanted to protect the equipment from, say lightning strike, we just pulled the plug. At home, we had the washing machine next to the sink in the bathroom, with a normal socket just above. I never came across a private home in Germany with a smoke detector, either - we'd think that rather OTT. We also tend to have real candles on our Christmas trees, with toddlers and cats milling about the place - we've still not all expired in house fires. I really do think a lot of these things are over-regulated in Britain.

Saying that - in other respects laws are much stricter in Germany. For example, no child under 12 (or 10?) is allowed in a front seat in the car, which I think is bloody sensible. Needless to say, they have to have special seats and all the rest, if they sit in the back. The safest seat in the car is the one behind the passenger seat, so that's where your child should be; I also always get rather fidgety when I'm in a car with mum or dad driving and constantly being distracted by the child next to them (and the child "helping" with the steering...). If the child learns from a very early age that their place is in the back, it's no problem. Of course, once they've had the experience of being in front, with at least half of the driver's attention on them, that's what they always want. And what do you think is safer for those in the car and others on the road?

(Sorry, that went a bit off-topic... :oops: )
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Post: # 17411Post Millymollymandy
Wed Apr 12, 2006 10:53 am

In France we have rules for where you can site electrics in the bathroom in relation to the bathtub and shower. But nothing as far as the basin goes so you can have a socket right next to it where it will likely get splashed all the time!

We don't have on/off switches and the 3-pin plugs are a nightmare to get out of the sockets - I usually just tug the wire as it's about the only way to get it out as there is nothing to really grab hold of.

Also once your house has been built and the electrics checked by the officials you can do what you like with them if you are renovating, building an extension or whatever and there are no regulating bodies for checking this work. It makes for pretty dangerous houses as we have found out in the past. :shock:

The ideal would be a happy medium between the UK's rules and those of France (I can't speak for other countries in Europe).

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computer clocks

Post: # 18654Post elfcurry
Sat Apr 29, 2006 2:58 pm

Muddypause wrote:
If it's what I think it is, the little battery that keeps the clock going in the computer will last for years - probably the life of the computer. Think of the tiddly little battery in a digital watch; that will often last for years before it needs changing. To save power, I'd go for switching it off at the socket.
This is true, certainly on PCs. I'm not sure if the same applies to Macs.
People may be thinking that on a laptop PC that the main battery also keeps the clock going. I don't believe it. That would be a ridiculous design shortcoming.

The CMOS BIOS clock on a desktop PC uses miniscule amounts of power. I've had various ones and can't remember having to change a battery or seeing a battery warning. Are people talking about warnings on laptops?

I measured the power used by my PC out of interest. Can't remember the exact numbers but around 100-120Watts in normal use and 30Watts when still on but dormant (CRT monitor on standby, disk stopped, fans running). This is not trivial but not the end of the world either.

I do get annoyed with the misleading 'facts' that that get propogated about standby power by ignorant media types and politicians. I often hear things like "standby power on your TV can use up to 20% of what it normally uses". Rubbish! My TV uses 3-4W on standby and 60W when in use. I'm not saying that it's not worth turning off, just that people should know what they're saving if they do. I do at night but don't bother between programmes.

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Post: # 18655Post Boots
Sat Apr 29, 2006 4:10 pm

The safest seat in the car is the one behind the passenger seat, so that's where your child should be;
I realise things are back to front over there, roadwise.... but that is still a drivers blind spot, isn't it :? ?

The youth here in Aus have just decided, that the safest place for Ina to sit is on the bonnet, so that's where you need to sit, Ina. K? :wink: :mrgreen:

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Post: # 19122Post Steve M
Fri May 05, 2006 11:53 am

Ranter wrote:I don't unplug things, but do switch off at the plug. However, I have a freeview box & a dvd player which both come with instructions not to switch them off at the mains. There isn't a power on/off button that turns off the little red standby light.
Does anyone know if it will cause any problems to the internal workings of these items if I turn them off at the plug?
I have a freeview box and DvD player which said not to unplug but I have been doing it since I have had them, which is about 2 years and they work fine.

It's stupid that they are allowed to make electrical items that don't have a proper off button. I read somewhere that if everyone in the UK stopped leaving things on stand-by then that would result in an 8% reduction in CO2 emissions - which is roughly what building new Nuclear power stations would cost.

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Post: # 19123Post Steve M
Fri May 05, 2006 12:04 pm

..I mean save rather than cost. :oops:

I agree with you elfcurry - it's annoying how many different facts and figures there are circulating about how much energy is wasted by leaving things on stand-by. Not complete rubbish though - I suppose how long you watch telly through out the day (2-3 hours) compared to how long it is left on stand by (21 hours+) would possibly explain some of them.

I if cumulatively it gets everyone to turn off then it is worth a little over exageration. Needless to say industry and governments have been doing it for decades to hide the negative impacts they are having on the environment.

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getting a perspective

Post: # 19188Post elfcurry
Fri May 05, 2006 11:26 pm

My quibble was about how much (or rather how little) power is being used when on standby and the misleading idea many people get from the media.

My TV uses 3-4 Watts and my new-this-week freeview box uses 6 Watts. If anyone has a TV or similar that uses more than 10 Watts on standby, please tell us so we can ridicule the company and its incompetent designers.

I suppose every little bit of power saved helps but with such small amounts it's much more important to concentrate on bigger things. Someone was asking about whether it's better to turn your immersion heater off or leave it on! That is an immensely more important question with, (guessing) 2 kiloWatts (2000W) at stake, utterly dwarfing my paltry 6 Watts.

And I hope we all only put just enough water in the kettle. Anything involving heating by electricity makes standby power look trivial.

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Post: # 19250Post Ranter
Sat May 06, 2006 4:42 pm

Thanks Steve M, after your experience I can switch my stuff off at the mains without worrying about it.

As well as helping to reduce energy use/ CO2 emmissions etc, every penny saved is very helpful to me in current state of being unable to work.

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