My Energy Usage Dropped by almost 20% - 35%

Discussion of supported Energy Management Drivers and Hardware (TED 1001/1002)
ricks
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Postby ricks » Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:30 pm

Related to the power savings theme and ML, I use the Intel Atom board/processor for ML, not MLS. My server requires multiple PCI cards so the mini-itx format didn't work.

I found that I need a 1.6 Ghz processor to run ML Client transparently and this board handles it nicely - no hesitation. I place 2 Atoms in one, 1-space rackmount case with the modified cpu fan option. I then run cat5e to remote touchpanels. They each run at about 38-40 watts when active.

The nice thing is that with MLWMI and motion detection, I send the clients to sleep when unused and wake them when motion detected. This drops energy usage down to virtually nothing for the clients.

I use Logic Supply. Same thing, good price, excellent service, inexpensive and fast shipping. Plus they offer a build/test option which is great for fitting out the system I described if you just want to mount it and forget it.

The board is at http://www.logicsupply.com/products/boxd945gclf and is only $81.

The case is at http://www.logicsupply.com/products/c147

And the cpu fan mod is at http://www.logicsupply.com/products/lf_heatsink $6

They also offer solid state for drives and memory. Now to work on getting a low power, full ATX solution for MLS/HS Server and HTPC.

Rick

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Postby mwebster » Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:33 pm

Thanks for sharing. I'm considering doing something to reduce my client's power consumption as well (2 old dell dimensions running all the time). Did you consider running both clients from one pc? If so, what made you go this route instead?

ricks
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Postby ricks » Tue Oct 21, 2008 2:39 pm

Sure did. I started by running 4, then 3 clients from one beefy system. At 3 clients it was just OK, a little bit of hesitation. At 4 clients it began to get real sluggish.

What changed my mind to go with individual small footprint cpu's was the ability to manage their power status and hence, their energy usage. MLWMI sees the 4-headed beast as one entity and therefore has to keep the system running at all times. My goal was to reduce power while maintaining responsiveness.

Rick

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Postby mnkynifefite » Wed Oct 22, 2008 3:02 pm

ricks wrote:
The nice thing is that with MLWMI and motion detection, I send the clients to sleep when unused and wake them when motion detected. This drops energy usage down to virtually nothing for the clients.



Ricks,

I'm curious. How do have the motion detectors setup to do this? This is something I'd be interested in doing.

ricks
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Postby ricks » Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:28 pm

Actually its not too difficult, just takes a little adjusting of the various timers. I use an HAI panel simliar to Elk or any other automated panel to connect the motion sensor.

When motion is detected in an area, I use a server rule to send a WOL to the client. The client uses the windows power settings to set the client to sleep after a set period. Depending on the room this value varies. For instance, the bathroom:

- motion detected, server sends WOL and client awakes (as long as motion is detected the WOL command is sent)
- monitor off after 10 minutes, system sleep after 15

I use MLWMI to send WOL. Ideally I would like to use MLWMI to turn off the monitor and put the client to sleep but have had inconsistent results with the sleep command. That way if the system detects that the shower vent fan has been turned on it can disable the timer to shut off monitor and put the client to sleep until the fan is turned off and then back to the regular 10/15 minute routine.

One tip. I've had problems when using a touch screen with USB touch. Sometimes the USB device is not recognized when waking. Now I use serial touch only which works fine and is easier to run long distances anyhow.

I use the same approach with lighting. Each room gets classified by use. For very active rooms I do nothing, leave it to manual control. For main rooms I reset to 25% after motion times out. Keeps that abandoned house feeling away. :shock: For other rooms, 0% after motion times out. If audio or video is on in any room the system defaults to manual control. I use sub-floor pressure senors for the first floor (invisible) and Visonic Spy's (very small) for second floor. I use 100%, quick lighting, dimmable CFL's and they seem to work very well. Color could be better but you get used to it. I use the Brueltech system to track my electrical usage.

Hope this helps.
Rick

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Postby mcascio » Wed Oct 22, 2008 10:04 pm

Anyone here done anything with Solar or Wind Power yet?

I know one of our dealers is active in this area.

I did see a few wind turbines popup not too far away from my home over the past year.
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Postby mcascio » Thu Oct 30, 2008 1:45 pm

Looks like this month our electricity usage is down 14.5% from last year. While not 20%, still a huge difference.
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Postby mcascio » Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:36 am

Well January has come and gone.

I had made some adjustments last month to see how they would affect my electrical usage.

Here's what I did:
> Turn off Furnace Fan
> Automated putting HTPC into SLEEP mode and then wake it up just prior to selecting a movie using the MLWMIServer plugin (NOTE: I had to make sure TheaterTek would exit after the movie was finished, otherwise the sleep mode wouldn't kick in using windows - this could be automated further using MLWMIServer to check if nothing is playing and then put into sleep too)
> Put Office PC into Sleep mode as well when not in use

All of these changes did not affect any quality of life whatsoever.

Amazingly, these few things reduced my usage from last year by almost 27%. Almost $100 less than the month before.

So I'm excited to know that this whole next year, I'll be seeing some big savings on my bills if I continue with this pattern - equating to over a $1,000 in savings not even including all the things I've done before January. To say that the TED energy monitor pays for itself is an understatement!
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Postby mcascio » Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:00 am

This past February was another great month in reduced energy usage compared to February of 2008. This past February was almost 30% less than February of 2008.

Hopefully others are getting similar results by making adjustments based on the information provided by our energy management solutions.
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Postby mcascio » Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:26 am

This March was another fantastic month. Over 32% less than the March of 2008. I've heard that the energy company in our area will most likely be raising gas/electric rates another 6 or 7%. :(
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Postby mcascio » Thu May 14, 2009 6:04 am

April 2009 proved to be one of my better months in electrical usage over last year. I used over 35% less per day than April 2008. Dollar-wise, the difference saved me $74.56 in April alone.

I'm continuing to look for additional ways to save on electric.

I found a few other bulbs in the house that can go to CF.

When replacing any type of products such as hard drives, I'll be looking at the Caviar Green drives which are supposed to use 4-5 less watts over traditional drives.

There are many more energy star household products available too that I'll be using in the future when products break. I'm sure some of my older plasmas are consuming quite a bit of energy...but until they break - I'll be living with it. :)

The next big thing will be looking to improve efficiency of my landscape lighting. I haven't calculated exactly how much they are using, but I know I have two 400 watt transformers. So I'll be anxious to see now their actual usage now that the winter has gone. I haven't found a good solar light that actually produces "light" yet. And some of the LED stuff I've tried wasn't too impressive. I know there are LED wall washers out there...but they are really expensive. I'll just keep looking.
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Postby mcascio » Mon Jun 08, 2009 12:33 pm

Had an even better May this year. Was able to use 38.24% less Electric per day than that of last year. This equated to saving $2.86 per day. That's quite a bit of change over the entire month!
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Postby mcascio » Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:53 am

Even with how hot our June was, the savings continue.

We used 37.96% less kWh per day than last year's June. That saved us on average $3.56 per day.
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Re: My Energy Usage Dropped by almost 20% - 35%

Postby mcascio » Sat Aug 15, 2009 2:58 pm

This July brought fantastic results over last year.

We used on average 37.75% less energy per day than last July. That saved us $3.84 per day for 32 days. That's a phenomenal savings of $122.88 for this past month alone. I'm going to have to start finding more creative ways to continue saving in the years to come. :)
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Re: My Energy Usage Dropped by almost 20% - 35%

Postby mcascio » Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:46 am

Wow - this year is flying by. It's already September!

August was good to us in regards to energy usage. We used on average 39.71% less energy per day than last August ('08). That equated to us saving $126.73 over the course of 29 days during August.


Well - as per my last post, I did come up with some more creative ways to conserve energy.

I've recently added our MLD-4000 Energy Efficient TB Data Server to my own personal home.
http://www.cinemarsolutions.com/hardware.mld4000.php

The MLD-4000 will be replacing a Terrastation and 3 other hard drive solutions I have collected over the years. This should reduce energy usage and eliminate devices in my home.

I've also replaced a network switch with a gigabit switch that touts 60% better energy efficiency. This resulted in using 2 watts less than the previous model. I know it's not much, but every watt counts.
Mario Cascio

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