Did you ever think how much power does your cell phone consume? Yes, we know it will be negligible but once the number of consumers has grown to a very high number all around the world, the power being consumed as a whole may be significant?
Let’s do some simple maths and we are not getting into any fancy tools here. It’s simple arithmetic. You will need to find three numbers about your phone before you start this calculation. The numbers are:
Skype is down on Fring and its not a good news. The way things are going, I don’t see it coming back to Fring at all, at least not in a few years to come. What do I do? If you are one of those lucky ones who have a phone that supports the native Skype client, stop reading here 🙂
If you were using Fring because you have no Skype option on your phone model, you have to look around for an alternative now. Nimubzz is the only alternative now that gives free voice Skype to Nimbuzz calls so that you can use your cellphone to make and receive Skype calls. I used Nimbuzz a couple of years ago and it was not impressive at all. When I installed it again today, it has grown up to be a stable application with several other cool features including voice calls to and from skype. The only issue I can see is the lack of video call capability (may be it’s my phone?).
Go ahead and install the app from Nimbuzz.com and don’t you forget to leave a comment below saying thanks if it works out for you 😉
Green Computing Note
User your phone for voice and video chat instead of your computers. Phones take less power hence more environment friendly.
What do you use your computer for? Surfing Internet, chat, gaming, social networking, downloading, desktop computing including documents, spreadsheets or presentation making or just watching your photos and videos? Today’s mobile phones are capable of doing it all, rather sometimes more than the traditional phones. They have faster processors, more ram, faster wireless Internet connectivity and larger memories.
Today I will start another series of posts that will tell you how to use your phones to do things that you usually do with your computers including desktops, laptops and netbooks. This series of posts will include tips, tricks and software that you can use to avoid the use of computers and just use your phone 🙂
Why are mobile phones better?
If you have not done so, you can read my earlier articles that prove that laptops are better than desktops, because they take around 60 watts of power as compared to a few hundred watts. Then we also discussed that netbooks are even better than laptops taking half the power as compared to a full sized notebook. Today we will move one step ahead.
To prove my point I used this app called Nokia Energy Profiler. The app is a free download available on Nokia OVI store for almost all Nokia devices. The application gives you exact numbers in terms of power consumption, network bandwidth utilization and a few more important things that you never come to know when using a mobile phone. Just like any other computing device, Nokia phones consume low power when idle and take more power when performing more computation.
Here are a few screen-shots. As you can see, when the phone is idle, it takes 0.18 watts on average. When navigating the menu and viewing simple content like photos on the phone screen, its consuming 0.23 watts on average. In the third screenshot, the phone is being used for a voice+video call over a wifi network and the battery usage is at it’s top, that is around 2 watts.
In the last screen shot you can see the sudden rise in battery consumption when there’s an incoming call ringing and picked up.
In any case, this particular cellphone is using less than 2 watts of power which is way less than the other computing devices we listed above.
Use mobile phones for your computing needs whenever and wherever possible. You’ll save power and will contribute your efforts in keeping this planet green. Happy Green Computing!
We have been discussing the green-computing advantage of Laptops over the Desktop computers when it comes to power consumption. Today we’ll take the discussion one step further in our green-computing section.
All of us have heard about net-books, the miniature versions of the laptops/notebook PCs. Capabilities of the Netbooks are good enough for normal use, desktop computing and web-surfing etc. The advantage they give you is the size, handling and power consumption.
We discussed the power consumption advantage of Laptops over Desktops in a previous post. We discussed that Laptops typically take around 60 to 65 watts of power during normal operation. An average Netbook running on Intel Atom processor consumes around 30 to 35 watts of power during normal use. This is actually around half of the power consumption of Notebooks and Laptops.
So if you are not a power user and desktop processing, chatting, Internet surfing is all what you have to do on your PC, prefer a Netbook instead of a Notebook.
I know a number of Netbook haters out there not because of their capabilities in terms of specifications but due to their small size, very small screen and no optical drive. You can purchase a few components and make a good desktop docking station for your Netbook to overcome these issues. For example, you can buy a larger LCD screen, a USB Keyboard, Mouse and a USB external optical drive. While you are on the go, you live with the small components and when you are back home, you can enjoy a full fledged computing experience right out of your netbook with a lower power consumption.
Green Computing Bottom Line
Don’t use desktop computers at all. Use either laptops, notebooks or netbooks for a green-computing advantage. You should prefer a netbook over the notebooks and laptops as well as they consume the lowest power of them all.
Remember electrolysis from the chemistry class? Yes, the process of separating oxygen and hydrogen by decomposing water. Dan Nocera, an M.I.T chemist claims that he has found a way of using sun-light to perform a photosynthesis like process to generate energy. Nocera’s method will use carbon-dioxide, water and sunlight to convert it into oxygen and energy. The amount of energy generated from one bottle of drinking water is expected to power a whole house.
Watch this video uploaded by US department of energy and hear Dan Nocera himself expliaining this process:
If things actually start working this way, the day is not far when every house will generate its own power and the concept of power grids will be found in the books of history only.
If you have been a desktop computer user and are planning to upgrade your machine in near future, please do consider the fact that the power consumption of a Laptop Computer is way less than that of a desktop computer. So we recommend you buy a laptop instead of a desktop, not only to give you more mobility, convenience of use but also to save power and support green computing. Lets look at the topic in a bit more detail.
Whey laptops are inherently power efficient? From the initial days of laptops or notebook computers, they have been including chargeable batteries that allow the computers to run without power supply for some time. To increase the operating time on a given battery, the computer components have especially been designed for laptops to consume low power.
How power efficient are laptops compared to the desktop versions? Laptop computers are as powerful as their desktop versions in capability, but they normally save more than 85% power when computing at their maximum capacities. This graph shows a typical comparison:
For example, the laptop I’m typing this article on, is costing my 65 watts of power. While average desktop computers cost more than 450 watts of power. It also depends if you are using an LCD or a CRT monitor on the desktop. CRT monitors take significantly more power than LCD monitors.
Justifying the initial cost difference So if you are planning to buy a new computer with latest specs, laptops are available in all latest performance parts and components. Only factor that hinders your decisiont of purchasing a laptop is the initial cost. Though, these differences are also diminishing constantly, here is a simple analysis to convince you further.
A typical desktop computer with a monitor screen costs around $600 and lets say will be useful for next two years. An average laptop with similar specs will cost you around $900 and will have a similar useful life of two years. So the laptop costs you $300 more than that of your desktop.
If you run both the computers for five hours a day, you will definitely save more than $300 in electricity costs in two years so in the longer run you will save money as well as power on laptops.
Netbooks are even a lower cost and lower power variant that will be a good option if you are not a power user. Netbooks have longer battery life, smaller screens, optimized processing and are even more convenient to use for some users.
This is a known fact that CRT monitors take more power as compared to the LCDs.
If you have a CRT monitor, the big monitor with the bloated tail and a few KGs weight, you are consuming the most power. The power consumption of a CRT monitor ranges from 100watts to 300 watts depending on the size, model and make of the monitor. Typically, the older models used to consume more power and newer ones are better in terms of power consumption.
If you have a flatter variant of a screen that could be a TFT, LCD, LED or Plasma screen, you are using less power as compared to the CRT monitors. Most of the laptops, hand held devices like pdas and mobile phones are using this kind of displays these days. If you are using LCD, TFT or LED monitor for your computer as external display, your typical power consumption is somewhere between 50 watts to 200 watts depending on the size. For example this 15” LCD I have consumes 55 watts. There can be screens that take even less power.
This worksheet provides a more quantitative way of calculating your poswer consumption depending on different monitors you are using.
This is a typical question every eco friendly minded person asks himself. I cannot tell you exactly but here are a few general guidelines that will tell you how much power your computer generally consumes. Keeping it very simple, there are two main components of a computer that take most of the power. A screen and the CPU box (that contains most of the electronics of your computer). So we will have different power consumption ranges for these two components.
Power consumption for Computer Screens
In general, the power consumption is higher for CRT monitors. The older fat monitors and TVs are all CRTs. You can read more about the CRT here. The flatter, thinner and lighter monitors take lesser power and are eventually more green and eco friendly. These could be LCD, TFT, LED or Plasma monitors and have their own different properties, but in general they consume power lesser than a CRT. Following is a very general comparison:
Typical consumption of a 17 inch CRT is on average consuming 100 Watts
Typical consumption of a 17 inch LCD id on an average 30 Watts
So an obvious option is to ditch your CRT and move on with a lower power variant, most popular are the LCD monitors.
Power Consumption for CPU
If you have a desktop computer, your CPU will comprise of several parts and all these parts will determine how much power your PC will consume. Moreover, what operation you are performing on the computer will also determine the power consumption. As a rule of thumb, a typical desktop computer consumes around 300 Watts. If you want to know about your desktop, try to find the power supply inside your CPU box and the sticker will show the total power of the machine as shown in the image below.
Following is an example of a typical 300 Watts desktop power-supply side sticker:
In case you have a laptop, the power consumption is much lowe. I’ll be posting something about it in my next post.
Green computing is about environment friendly ways of computing including materials used in construction, ways of use to improve power efficiency and conserve resources and once the divce has reached the end of useful life, dispose It off or recycle it in an environment friendly manner.
While we will discuss other aspects on the blog as well, we will continue to emphasize on power saving for home computing and computing in small to medium enterprise. In larger organizations, the power conservation is based on the similar principals but will need different equipment.
We will keep a close eye on power consumption of different electronic equipments around you especially equipment related to home computing including monitors, CPU boxes, network equipment, speakers etc.
So stay tuned for power efficient computing and other related posts on basitali.com