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Thinking about the power....
Authored by: transeau on Oct 05, '07 02:04:38PM

Personally, I do think about the power wasted.

My wife and I have taken several steps to do what we can to help out. Most of them are very simple. We have Compact florescent lights in all of the lamps and fixtures in the house, except those on dimmers. In the winter we heat the house to 68 NOT 75 like most.. In the summer we use ceiling fans as much as possible, only running the A/C when it gets above 85 inside, and then we cool it down to 78, NOT 75 like most. Also, we have double paned glass windows, and our heater is gas.

For the electronics in the house; Mac's are put to sleep when idle, ReadyNAS's hard drives are put to sleep after 10 minutes. Printers are powered off until needed. LCD's are powered off at night.

The hard part... My network closet...
12 Port Gigabit switch
SonicWALL TZ170e
SonicPoint A/G
AirPort N
Westel DSL Modem
Vonage VOIP TA
QOS scheduler

It's quite a bit of hardware in there. Once I had everything installed, I realized that the power draw of 370W was unacceptable. My solution was a modified APC SmartUPS. What I did was a modification the output system. The UPS takes AC in converts it to DC then back to AC. When the power goes out the batteries kick in and it's just DC to AC. I started thinking that there is no reason to have the A/C. All of my network hardware runs on 12v DC. The DC side of the UPS is 12v. and a CLEAN 12v at that. So, I built a breakout box for the DC and now all of my network hardware is powered directly by the UPS. my power draw went from 370W to 85w.

I don't think people realize just how inefficient most of those power bricks are. Here is a quick test. Touch one. If it's hot, it's wasting power. A high quality power brick should only draw as much power as is needed by the device that it's powering.

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