A minicomputer and LCD screen: the smartest way to go green

Today, everyone is at least a little aware of the importance of a greener and more sustainable way of life. Some scientists argue that this is an essential component of the strategy to tackle the environmental problem plaguing the world today. This tactic is generally known as the Green Revolution and aims to help us live greener lifestyles. Although this usually involves some pretty challenging changes to our everyday lives (like changing our diet or the way we go from A to B), there are a few things we could do to make our lives greener and thus our carbon footprint a bit. less. One of those things is to make use of energy efficient electronic devices.

When Elon Musk’s well-known company Tesla launched its latest product, it envisioned an audience in which everyone could live off renewable energy. This was made possible to some extent through the use of high-performance batteries such as the Powerwall which aims to provide all the electrical energy that a home needs, in case it is off the grid for a few hours (mainly at night and / or during peak consumption hours, when there is more demand for electricity). However, for this technology to be viable, we would have to keep our power consumption at low enough levels (as you would when checking to prevent your phone’s battery from draining, until you hit an AC outlet)! This is not an easy task, something that made many people skeptical about the usefulness of this invention.

However, it is possible to reduce your daily consumption by improving your computing life by using a mini computer, a fully functional computer built on portable technology, but with even lower power consumption. As you may know, the laptop itself is a very energy efficient device (you have to, otherwise you couldn’t sell mobility as its main feature). This makes the mini-computer a super energy efficient machine, as many of these devices consume as little as 15 W, and some go as high as 12 W [1]. This is possible thanks to the fact that they use state-of-the-art technology, along with a very efficient heat management system that makes fans unnecessary. The lack of fans also makes them quiet, which is an added bonus of using these machines.

Looking more closely at the numbers, it is estimated that an average desktop computer consumes around 100W, which for a usage rate of 6 hours / day equals 0.60 KWh (not counting the display screen). That’s more than 10% of the Powerwall’s capacity! A laptop is quite a bit more environmentally friendly with an average consumption of around 60W, which amounts to around 0.36KWh per day. A mini computer, on the other hand, consumes only 15W on average, resulting in a daily consumption of about 0.09KWh (that’s 85% less than a desktop and 75% less than a laptop). Power consumption like this doesn’t even affect the Powerwall’s load. Of course, this does not include the monitor, which for an LCD screen adds about 30W more (0.15KWh per day). However, even with the cost of the LCD screen added to that of the mini-PC, its consumption is still 25% less than that of a laptop (and you get a larger screen as an added benefit). While all of these figures may not seem very impressive on their own, it is seldom the case that a household has a single machine in operation, whereas in an office environment computer power consumption is a much larger component of the computer. total use of electricity. Please note that all these figures are based on representative energy consumptions found in [2], so they can fit your own machine (you can easily do it in [2]).

Obviously, the energy savings offered by mini computers are independent of using a Powerwall device, while the green benefits add up over time. The daily savings in kWh may not seem like much, but over a period of one year they add up. So regardless of whether you choose to invest in a Powerwall energy system, you could start taking steps toward a greener lifestyle today by investing in a mini computer. Both the planet and your future self will thank you.

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