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Practical UFO: Using roles to kill stand-by power

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Stand-by power is a big hidden waste and it is more than just the wall warts associated with cell phones and small electronics. Every home theatre has for instance a Audio/Video Receiver that mixes video and audio from multiple sources and it is also an amplifier. Just one of such AV Mixers are using much more power in stand-by than all the wall warts you can have.

To show how severe this is and how you can eliminate stand-by power from an AV Mixer, I have connected one to the UFO Power Center demo in a home theatre. The diagram of the energy load during a 24 hours period obtained from the UFO, shows more than 60 Watts of stand-by consumption with peaks of consumptions of 100 Watts when turned on. Notice that the AV Mixer has been turned “off” from the remote control.

If the AV Mixer is used for four hours a day, we are talking of 1.2 kWhr of energy wasted in a day for the twenty hours in stand-by, or 36 kWhr wasted every month, more than $5 in a month at $0.15/kWhr. This is not a minor problem and to make things worse, the actual power switch that would actually turn “off” the AV Mixer is in the back of the enclosure. Since everything is neatly inside a shelf, reaching that switch would require to take the AV Mixer out and back in every time.

To kill the stand-by power from the AV Mixer in a transparent way, I connected the TV to the UFO as well. This is a modern TV that is using only a few Watts when in stand-by, most of the time less than 1 Watt. I have then given the role of “master” to the TV socket and the role of  “slave” to the AV Mixer. The UFO is now sensing power on the TV socket – once a second – and if the TV is turned on it will automatically turn on the AV Mixer socket.

The result of using roles with the UFO, associating the TV to the AV Mixer is shown in the new diagram. The stand-by power consumption of the AV Mixer has been completely eliminated. Other sockets can have “slave” roles and in this case, and if for instance a DVD Player is also powered by the UFO, it would make sense to associate its socket to the TV as for the AV Mixer.
In conclusion, using a UFO Power Center in a Home Theatre makes a big difference and it eliminates all stand-by power from essential components like the AV Mixer and a DVD Player, resulting in very substantial savings of energy and money.


Written by Marco G.

February 26, 2011 at 11:49 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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