No Jitter is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Update on Greening Efforts & Energy Matters

In several posts I've made mention of the Power-Save capacitor that we have been installing on sites including our own office. We've logged our site data including a unit installed at one of our technicians' home for three months. What's really interesting is my site is consistently down 18%, and my tech's home is down 17% on power consumption.

In several posts I've made mention of the Power-Save capacitor that we have been installing on sites including our own office. We've logged our site data including a unit installed at one of our technicians' home for three months.

What's really interesting is my site is consistently down 18%, and my tech's home is down 17% on power consumption.The guys over at the factory (Power Save) said the payback period would be between 1-2 years and they are right on the money. But what tops off this experiment of ours is that my site has hit below 1 kW hour of monthly power consumption and is on course to do the same again. The last thing to note is that we consume 184 WATTS of electricity per square foot per month (5,080 sq ft) and office buildings generally consume 1.575 kWh (1,575 WATTS) of electricity per square foot per month.

So nailing down your power factor or power factor correction is worthwhile. To prove the science of the box, we enlisted Fluke and their 1735 Power Logger. The 1735 records and analyzes three-phase (commercial/industrial) and single-phase (residential) power. Fluke also has a case study on power factor correction. We are collecting pre and post implementation Power Factor readings from all sites where we install the gear, and will later publish our long-term findings. There are differences between small and larger buildings and how power is used.

Still, unsexy or unexciting as conservation may sound, more and more vendors and CEOs of enterprise and global companies are no longer sitting on energy. Even after you make improvements, you may come back again and find that the method was good but now there's another solution to the previous. Good example is in lighting. Doesn't sound applicable right? Guess again. Lighting generates heat and heat is waste energy. So much so that wouldn't you like to use the savings of lighting to pay for a new project? Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) are cool, but even cooler are the LED lighting solutions being used in Las Vegas--savings of 75% over what they were using previously, and LED lighting is controllable with lots of pretty colors to set the right mood. LEDs use almost half of what CFLs use in energy but last 50,000 hours and cost less to replace than CFLs. Hopefully, you can find the right light to set the right mood and start to generate some energy savings too.

RECAP- Some of what we did:

The Fight Against Vampire Loads Leads To Process, Inventory & More

Nailing Down Your Power Factor Yields 5%-25% Energy Savings

Hosted Services: Benefits & Challenges

Going GREEN & Staying Black

Convergence In The Closet

Other tidbits on energy

Government--The national energy policy is misaligned with State and local governments. For example- we all want off of foreign oil. We know wind generation of power can provide significant contributions, but try and get past the local planning and zoning gatekeepers, as they are more interested in discouraging wind towers because the towers supposedly don't look right, and the commissions can't decide or agree on how to generate adequate permit revenue, and feel compelled to regulate who puts up wind towers.

Then, the Maryland governor can't decide about pending energy legislation, but did decide to bar wind mills from State properties. He's the same guy that was behind the deal with Allegheny Power to mail CFL light bulbs to the customers and charge them (and didn't tell the customers of the surcharge) that created a media blitz against Allegheny Power, including a couple of State delegates that ran amok when they said they were going to write new legislation to prevent this happening again- ooops, better talk to the governor first.

Anyway, they are forgetting or neglecting American history and the role that windmills played in the past and still today. So the arguments of NIMBY, I don't think they will withstand market pressures and forces. This same argument could be used for the removal of power line and telephone poles along with highway and roadway lighting and anything else imaginable that could potentially fall upon a person or persons. For Marylanders, the State including the PUC and all the utility companies know that they cannot keep up with energy demands by 2011. Looks like an interesting tipping point, and it won't be windmills toppling over; it will be political careers.

Solar--More news: PV (photovoltaic) prices are expected to decrease from the current price of $3.80 USD per WATT down to $1.40 per WATT by 2010. This aligns with what Dr. Lawrence Katz, PhD, a consultant of LK Consulting and a professor at Palm Beach Community College and Broward Community College wrote: "PV costs have declined, and will continue to decline ~40% over the next 3 years; worldwide production has increased 41% in 2006. The two major drivers are improved technology and low-cost production in China."

This also signals an end to government subsidies or grant monies encouraging business and consumer adoption of alternative energies such as wind, PV, geothermal and solar thermal hot water systems. So early adopters get tax credits and cash but pay higher prices if it's solar PV by not waiting for the anticipated price decreases. IBM isn't just in on the Unified Communications act; they are hot into solar with their liquid metal and concentrating solar cells that yield about five times the energy of conventional PV and could potentially costs less.

Food--Price increases are due in part by increased fuel costs, and agriculture uses products that are petrol based. Another factor is that some food sources are being used to produce fuel- ethanol. The other contributing factor of price increases in food is that world food production has peaked and world food supplies are diminishing. So when my buddy John Howe says, "plant a garden," it's for good reasons.

Thorium--May be capable of producing nuclear power with 70 percent less toxic waste, and environmentalists are now considering nuclear power as a GREEN alternative. Thorium Power is a pioneering technology that was originally a partly funded U.S. DOE operation to keep the Russian scientists busy.

Lithium Batteries--Remain an potential method to store energy. Currently prices are high, but the technology is still developing, including the use in electric cars. The feasibility of storing energy for later use is another barrier.

Globalization--Can it survive the energy crunch? L-enterprises and global companies will certainly have a lot to step up to, including the continued leverage of fuel, and now rising developing countries' labor costs and inflation, against using labor at home. Will moving cotton from the U.S. to China, India and Sri Lanka continue to make sense just so companies such as WalMart can import the clothing back to the U.S. for sale? What will rising energy costs mean to 24x7 Internet operations? Will the predicted AT&T Internet bandwidth crisis unfold and if it does, will energy costs deal a blow to expansion?

These indicators are just a sampling of what spins around in the energy world that you may want to consider (unless it's a windmill). While market drivers that are in and about the energy industry aren't uncomplicated, saving energy is. It can be done and even cheaply. Then, with timing- and I'm listening to the experts on this one- buying solar PV today isn't necessarily the best investment, and instead waiting for that "right time" may prove beneficial in how you may get more PV/WATTS produced at nearly half of the current cost. But for anything that anyone can do today, to save energy- be efficient, you can count on a payback tomorrow or sometime in the future- yours or your children's. Still the ability to transfer and store energy safely and effectively for use at later times remains elusive. In the 70's and 80's, deals were being made to lease building rooftops for cell towers, microwave and satellite. That's all passe because now you should start thinking about solar PV, solar thermal or wind. The money is in energy. For now, conservation and efficiency still reaps the biggest payoff for anyone moving into the energy saving mode.