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Data Points

Page history last edited by Soren 10 years ago

Energy Data Points

 

This page collects links to specific news articles or reports which constitute "interesting data points" in our nation's energy consumption, efficiency, etc. We don't need to be a news service; only to capture points that interest us. The data page, on the other hand, is for data on specific devices, usually that we've collected ourselves. Some overlap is expected.

 

Soren now shares energy news from @EnergySoren. I haven't figured out a good hash tag schema yet, but if folks have suggestions for how we could collaborate via Twitter, say something.

 

  1. Energy Data Points
    1. Sources of data points.
    2. Points
      1. An ordinary mom helped Germany realize 'no nukes' was possible.
      2. Japan shortages -> cute Electricity Conservation posters
      3. Charging efficiency of electric vehicles (such as the Chevy Volt)
      4. arstechnica: old-school energy basics -> new data center designs
      5. TOD: Cars are a lot easier to make efficient than sprawl is to replace
      6. NYT: LEDs are as efficient as CFLs
      7. Planet Green: Some examples of states with higher/lower carbon emissions
      8. Zero-Standy circuits?
      9. World-wide Electricity use drops
      10. Fast Company: UC Davis's Energy Efficiency Center Makes Conservation Sexy
      11. National Geographic: "Energy Conservation Starts at Home"
      12. Whole Foods, UTC, and a Connecticut Clean Energy Fund are putting a fuel cell out back
      13. Low Tech Magazine (*grin*) looks at emissions from solar panel construction
      14. A Berkley Prof concludes that Photovoltaics don't yet make economic sense (Grist discusses)
      15. A 7 MW wind turbine has been released:
      16. Wii uses least power, but never shuts off?
      17. zero-consumption (when off) monitor
      18. TV power consumption, reviews and tips from c|net. They even tell their methods.
      19. 13 Sep 2007 - NEMA.org (manufacturers) testify on the Energy Efficient Lighting for A Brighter Tomorrow Act of 2007
      20. San Francisco Giants And PG&E Cut Ribbon On AT&T Park Solar Energy Installation
      21. IT titans hope to put data centers on energy diet
      22. Flat-Screen TVs Sucking Down the Power which is more of a cultural reference (vs. a technical one) to 54 TVs' power consumption compared.
      23. RMI's Lovins featured on green.yahoo:
      24. In the ethanol myth, Consumer Reports lays the smack on ethanol, joining everyone else(link to grist?) who has thought about the issue.
      25. The U.S. Postal Service's 2006 Comprehensive statement includes Transportation Policy and, on the next page, details about its Energy Program.
      26. [feed://wacmedia.wacsf.org/podcast/wacsf.xml|Amory Lovins (RMI)] on It's Your World (30 April 2007)

Sources of data points.

 

Points

(add to top; use 'Heading 3' to make the points show up in the list at the top of the page)

 

An ordinary mom helped Germany realize 'no nukes' was possible.

 

Japan shortages -> cute Electricity Conservation posters

 

Charging efficiency of electric vehicles (such as the Chevy Volt)

Summary: they lose some charging energy to heat. Inside Line measured as much as 20% loss.

http://blogs.insideline.com/roadtests/2011/01/2011-chevrolet-volt-how-we-measure-electricity-consumption.html

 

arstechnica: old-school energy basics -> new data center designs

 

TOD: Cars are a lot easier to make efficient than sprawl is to replace

 

NYT: LEDs are as efficient as CFLs

We knew that the lumens/watt were similar, but now we have a complete lifecycle study!

 

Planet Green: Some examples of states with higher/lower carbon emissions

electricity sources matter a lot

 

Zero-Standy circuits?

NEC and Rohm Co now say that they're on the verge of a breakthrough

 

World-wide Electricity use drops

Energy ministers from the Group of Eight (G8) leading economies will hear Sunday that worldwide electricity use will fall this year for the first time since records began in 1945. ...

 

Fast Company: UC Davis's Energy Efficiency Center Makes Conservation Sexy

 

National Geographic: "Energy Conservation Starts at Home"

haven't gotten to read this yet, perhaps Skander (who sent me the link) can summarize for us :)

 

Whole Foods, UTC, and a Connecticut Clean Energy Fund are putting a fuel cell out back

in an attempt to reclaim heat that would otherwise be lost during electricity generation. Presumably the (hydrogen?) fuel is coming from somewhere; how efficient is that process and is it using electricity? Also, we know that natural gas can power a fridge in a VW bus, but how efficient is turning to water into cooling?

 

In contrast, the UTC Power fuel cell system captures its exhaust energy for local cooling and heating. The harnessed exhaust energy at the store will cool refrigeration cases year-round and heat the store in the winter months.

[...]

Fuel cells are one of the cleanest and quietest power-generating technologies in the world today. Also highly efficient and virtually pollution-free, fuel cells produce electricity, heat and water electrochemically, meaning there is no combustion.

 

Low Tech Magazine (*grin*) looks at emissions from solar panel construction

 

Logically, if we make the same calculations for a solar insolation of 900 kWh/m² (the yearly average in Western Europe and in the Northeast and Northwest USA), the results get worse. In the worst case scenario (US grid, mono-crystalline silicon), emissions rise to 104 gram CO2 per kilowatt-hour of solar generated electricity, which makes solar panels only 4 times cleaner than gas. Now let’s play a bit with the life expectancy. If we combine this lower solar insolation with an expected lifetime of only 15 years, the worst case scenario becomes 207 grams of CO2 per kilowatt-hour – just 2 times better than gas. Agreed, this is the worst case scenario, and even in that case solar panels are still a better choice than fossil fuels. But it becomes quite hard to describe them as a “clean” source of fuel.

 

A Berkley Prof concludes that Photovoltaics don't yet make economic sense (Grist discusses)

 

To fully understand the costs and benefits of solar PV power requires a careful analysis of all of its market and non-market attributes. The first goal of this paper was to present a method for analyzing the market value of solar PV power recognizing that it produces a disproportionate amount of its output at times when the weather is sunny and system demand is high. Applying the method to California, a summer-peaking system, suggests that correctly accounting for the time-varying electricity production of solar panels could increase its value substantially compared to a valuation that does not adjust for the favorable time pattern of production from solar PV.

[...]

Energy returned on energy invested

 

Organic clothesline one day.

Passive solar one month.

Solar thermal six months.

Roof pv a few years.

 

A 7 MW wind turbine has been released:

 

The world’s largest wind turbine is now the Enercon E-126. This turbine has a rotor blade length of 126 meters (413 feet). The E-126 is a more sophisticated version of the E-112, formerly the world’s largest wind turbine and rated at 6 megawatts. This new turbine is officially rated at 6 megawatts too, but will most likely produce 7+ megawatts (or 20 million kilowatt hours per year). That’s enough to power about 5,000 households of four in Europe. A quick US calculation would be 938 kwh per home per month, 12 months, that’s 11,256 kwh per year per house. That’s 1776 American homes on one wind turbine.

[...]Again like small turbines, this one does not shut right off at a predetermined speed due to gusts or just very high wind speeds. It simply throttles down by turning the blades slightly away from the wind so as to continue to generate power though at a lower production rate.

 

Wii uses least power, but never shuts off?

 

The Wii is the only home gaming system of this generation that is built on efficient technology. Nintendo's policy with the Wii was to focus on fun, not performance. As a result, the Wii is up to 10 times more efficient than the XBOX 360 or the Playstation 3. The only bad news is that the Wii is designed to remain constantly plugged-in and online, so you can expect your Wii to use most of its power while you're not even playing.

 

Fortunately, one can turn the Wii's Connect24 feature off for relatively substantial savings at the expense of not being able to access news/weather/updates.

 

zero-consumption (when off) monitor

 

A relay cuts off the mains power whenever the video stream stops; capacitors store enough charge to flick the relay back when the signal returns. Solar panels provide enough power to maintain zero consumption mode for up to five days, after which you have to press a regular power button to bring the machine out of standby.

[...]Standby accounts for eight per cent of domestic electricity consumption, and the figure is rising according to a recent report by the UK Government. Some political parties have called for a Europe-wide ban on unnecessary stand-by.

[...]Fujitsu Siemens showed two 22in widescreen test monitors with power meters attached at a press event in Augsburg, Germany. The display drew 0.6-0.9W when the monitor was switched off using its standby button and with an active video signal from a VGA cable present. When the display signal was switchedc off the monitor drew zero power even though the standby/power button was not pressed

 

 

 

TV power consumption, reviews and tips from c|net. They even tell their methods.

 

If power efficiency is all you're after, the clear choice is rear-projection technology. Of the four, plasma screens are generally the most power hungry, but that's more because of their size--on a square-inch basis, they are roughly equivalent to a large CRT set. Flat-panel LCDs often have a good brightness-to-consumption ratio, but they're not exactly consistent. Some LCDs are as low as 0.11 watt-per-square-inch, but some go as high as 0.37 watt. Of course, there's always exceptions, the most noteworthy being Sharp's 65-inch LCD that pulled down an amazing 583 watts in use and 76 watts even when it was "off." Luckily, more and more new TVs are coming with a power-saver mode, which we've found can drastically cut power consumption.

 

13 Sep 2007 - NEMA.org (manufacturers) testify on the Energy Efficient Lighting for A Brighter Tomorrow Act of 2007

 

While supporting the energy-efficiency standards components of the bill, NEMA strongly opposes determining in 2007 what the level of standards should be in 2020. “The use of a 45 lumens-per-watt (LPW) minimum standard in 2020 would have the effect of mandating only compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), as well as outlawing the new high-efficiency halogen and new high-efficiency incandescent products that the industry will be introducing only five to eight years earlier,” Pitsor advised the Committee. “The LPW approach may have the adverse effect of driving consumers to buying higher-wattage light bulbs, which would result in more – not less — electrical consumption. This is the wrong direction.”

 

In closing, Pitsor noted, “Estimates I have seen suggest that this bill, by itself, is the single largest source of energy savings from any appliance efficiency standard to date and that the energy savings are nearly as large as the combined savings from ALL federal appliance standards adopted from 1987 through 2000, or about 88 billion kilowatt-hours per year.”

 

San Francisco Giants And PG&E Cut Ribbon On AT&T Park Solar Energy Installation

 

 

[...]Since its inception, the Giants have made energy conservation a priority in AT&T Park's design and daily operations. The park was designed to be an energy efficient facility -- utilizing fluorescent lighting, motion sensor lighting and energy management systems. The Giants and PG&E are also working together to identify additional ways to create energy-saving opportunities. For example, the new Diamond Vision scoreboard will use 78% less energy than the ballpark's original scoreboard. Additionally, PG&E and the Giants have launched a five-year public awareness campaign to educate and encourage Giants fans to use energy responsibly.

 

 

IT titans hope to put data centers on energy diet

links to some of the background material on the high power draw of data centers. http://www.aiso.net/ has a 100% solar-powered data center ... at least until the whole world starts using them?

 

Flat-Screen TVs Sucking Down the Power which is more of a cultural reference (vs. a technical one) to 54 TVs' power consumption compared.

 

RMI's Lovins featured on green.yahoo:

 

Two-fifths of the CO2 emitted worldwide comes from burning oil, two-fifths from fueling power plants. In the next few weeks I’ll describe how to get America completely off oil at one-fourth the cost of buying the stuff, and how to save three-quarters of our electricity more cheaply than just running a coal or nuclear power plant, even if building it cost nothing. I’ll describe how smart companies are already making billions this way—and how you can get your share.

 

In the ethanol myth, Consumer Reports lays the smack on ethanol, joining everyone else(link to grist?) who has thought about the issue.

 

The U.S. Postal Service's 2006 Comprehensive statement includes Transportation Policy and, on the next page, details about its Energy Program.

Summary: of $6b spent on transportation (out of a budget of $72b), they spent $3b on road transport, $2.8b on air transport (including to UPS and FedEx), and a little over $100m on rail ($29m went to water transport for offshore delivery!). On average, their vehicles get 10.2 mpg and spend $0.91 cents/mile. They operate 36k alternate fuel vehicles and have a biodiesel program). They give contractors a cut of the savings achieved and believe efficiency gains are saving them $9.4m/340 billion BTU per year. They own a lot of solar panels (but didn't address the fiscal efficiency of that spending). They are mindful balancing their conservation goals with their "service obligations" but are switching, where possible, to surface transport from air transport. Soren wants a way to send postcards and letters at least via surface transport, if not partly by rail (basically, to be able to send postcards or letters "low class"). :P

 

One interesting tidbit is that in 2006 they started an Energy initiative (page 19):

 

"A new Energy Initiatives function was created this year to ensure the Postal Service has a comprehensive plan to optimize energy use. This function will develop and manage an integrated strategic energy effort focused on reducing costs and use, ensuring that legal requirements are met, and supporting continuity of operations.

 

The Postal Service paid nearly $2.4 billion in energy costs to process, transport, and deliver the mail. Postal energy costs increased 27%. Fuel accounted for 75% of total energy costs. Fuel costs increased nearly 32% and account for 84% of the 2006 increase. Utility costs increased 14%. "

 

 

[feed://wacmedia.wacsf.org/podcast/wacsf.xml|Amory Lovins (RMI)] on It's Your World (30 April 2007)

Mon, April 30, 2007 -- 8:00pm

Amory Lovins: The Future of U.S. Energy -- The speaker is Amory Lovins, cofounder and CEO of the Rocky Mountain Institute ["RMI Chairman and Chief Scientist"].

Is it possible for American industry to adapt to new oil-free technologies to boost profits and competitiveness? In his book, "Winning the Oil Endgame," co-author Amory Lovins has outlined a strategy for American business and military leaders to shift the United States functionally and profitably away from oil by 2050. Lovins argues that by 2015, the United States can save more oil than it receives from the Persian Gulf; by 2025, use less oil than in the 1970's; by 2040, import no oil; and by 2050, use no oil at all. He believes American business can lead the nation and the world into the post-petroleum-era, a vibrant economy and lasting security. Described by Newsweek magazine as "one of the Western world's most influential energy thinkers", Amory Lovins is cofounder and CEO of the Rocky Mountain Institute. A consultant and experimental physicist educated at Harvard and Oxford, he has advised the energy and other industries for over 30 years, as well as the U.S. Departments of Energy and Defense. Much of what he discussed is at http://www.oilendgame.com/ExecutiveSummary.html.

 

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