Reduce Computer Waste

High-efficiency power supplies for home computers and servers (pdf) by Urs Hoelzle and Bill Weihl – Google:

Most likely, the computer you’re using wastes 30-40% of the electrical power it consumes because it is using an inefficient power supply. It’s difficult to believe that something as basic as a power supply could be responsible for that amount of waste, but it’s true.

The opportunity for savings is immense — we estimate that if deployed in 100 million PCs running for an average of eight hours per day, this new standard would save 40 billion kilowatt-hours over three years, or more than $5 billion at California’s energy rates.

The net result of these changes is a dramatic improvement in efficiency (including the power supply and the regulators) to about 85%, at virtually no cost. In other words, you won’t have to pay more for a higher-efficiency PC, because the power supply is actually getting simpler, not more complicated. By spending another $20 or so extra, it is possible to use higher-quality components and achieve efficiencies well over 90%.

Google has adopted the technology for their servers. And they are working to have the technology adopted by manufacturers; so when we buy computers they will use this technology to reduce waste. This is good since not many of us cannot eliminate this muda ourselves (since we don’t build our own computers – as Google does). It is also an example of a company with a higher purpose that makes a good deal of money. Google definitely understands the concept of eliminating waste.

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