PCs

Tech giants going green


Google and Intel have joined forces to form an alliance with the goal of reducing computer power consumption and ultimately greenhouse gas emissions. One of the group's recommendations is to replace inefficient power cables with beefier, more efficient cables that will cost $20 for a desktop or $30 for a server. The group also touts EPA Energy Star guidelines and urges businesses to use power management tools that can help reduce the power consumption of the average PC by up to 60%.

If the alliance meets its goals, it will mean a dramatic difference according to Urs Holzle, Google's Senior VP of Operations, who said:
"The average desktop PC wastes nearly half of its power, and the average server wastes one-third of its power. The Climate Savers Computing Initiative is setting a new 90 percent efficiency target for power supplies, which if achieved, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 54 million tons per year - and save more than $5.5 billion in energy costs."

Google, Intel target efficient PC power supplies (CNET)

Google and Intel set up energy-saving alliance (Techworld)

There are plenty of business people who sneer when it comes to watching out for the environment, but the monetary savings should perk up their ears. The EPA, who has recently put out a free tool for managing power settings using Active Directory GPOs, claims that a business can save $25 to $75 per PC with simple power management options like shutting down hard drives and monitors or going into hibernate mode. Texas Instruments has jumped in with a new power controller integrated circuit chip that they plan to begin producing in volume this month.

Save $25 to $75 Per Desktop PC Annually Through Power Management (Energy Star)

TI Introduces Energy-Saving, Single-Chip Power Factor Control (ThomasNet)

We have recently begun evaluating the EPA-provided GPO tool, which looks basic but is functional and free. Even at the average of $50 per PC, the savings we net with our paltry 500 PCs is still enough to pay a new full-time employee, albeit one on the low end of the pay scale.

Have you begun looking at solutions to reduce the power consumption of the PCs and servers in your network? Will you consider purchasing newer, more efficient power cables? When your company puts in these solutions, will it be an entirely fiscal decision, or does your company have a commitment to helping the environment? Join the discussion.

2 comments
homesjc
homesjc

If you work in a large electricity company and make a saving of 0.25% in transmission losses, you will do well. However if you propose a system which does away with the need for powerlines altogether, expect to be listened too only during Friday afternoon drinks. The point is that major changes often do not come from the long term insider companies, but from innovative outsiders. About time for some serious innovation in energy, at least they are not using their wealth for conspicuous consumption. Will watch closely and buy stock if looks good.

Andy J. Moon
Andy J. Moon

In this instance, "green" does not refer entirely to environmentalists as power management can give some pretty hefty monetary savings. I found out about the EPA's GPO tool less than a week after being asked to evaluate a commercial product that claimed to do the same thing for $15,000. What does your company do for power management? Are you likely to try to do more, like purchase expensive power cables to improve efficiency? Will your company implement these measures for purely fiscal reasons or will the decision be more about the other "green?"