Front-End Help Against Power Shortages

In waste management, there have been two major ways to reduce the volume of waste flowing to a landfill: recycling some of it, or designing products that have less material to dispose of. Now, the same thing appears to be happening in the electrical industry. Consider these recent developments:Arthur D.

03/01/2002


In waste management, there have been two major ways to reduce the volume of waste flowing to a landfill: recycling some of it, or designing products that have less material to dispose of.

Now, the same thing appears to be happening in the electrical industry. Consider these recent developments:

Arthur D. Little Inc. Consultants at Cambridge, Mass.-based Little, working for the U.S. Dept. of Energy's Office of Building Technology, have released a final report on energy consumption by commercial office and telecommunications equipment. The conclusion: Annual electricity consumption by commercial office and telecom equipment is "unlikely to significantly impact the nation's power supply through the next decade."

According to the report, this type of equipment accounts for less than 3% of U.S. electricity use—and should increase to no more than 4% by 2010. Further, the study says that office electronics could consume as little as 2% of total U.S. energy use in 2010, if "green" practices become more common.

Intel Corp. The computer-chip maker, headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., has designed a new series of products for "the emerging category of low-power, space-saving, 'ultra-dense' servers." Intel press releases boast that the Ultra Low Voltage Pentium III products "offer the most compelling performance per watt per cubic square foot—an increasingly important factor for IT purchasing decisions and key performance metric for enterprise data centers and Internet service providers."

PC energy use. Working with Intel and other companies, the Energy Star operation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently hosted a roundtable discussion on power management and its impact on the technology industry.

"The combined efforts of these companies may help us to reduce energy use in the typical PC by as much as 70%," says Christie Whitman, EPA chief.

Vision 21. Research projects funded jointly by the U.S. Dept. of Energy and private sector partners—combined under the Vision 21 label—seek to develop an ultra-clean, virtually emission-free power plant ready for commercial generation by 2015, according to a report from the Industrialinfo.com web site.

Concerns about emissions are a major roadblock to new power plant construction. The development of emission-free plants could make siting and operation easier in the future.

Cut in Energy. The Sacramento (Calif.) Municipal Utility District has hired Denver-based Bayview Technology to install 8,500 energy control devices at vending machines. The devices are predicted to lower the power used by as much as 46%—and still keep beverages cold.

From Pure Power, Spring 2002.





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