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Aug 31

Energy Waste Analysis

“Every watt not used is a watt that doesn’t have to be produced, processed, or stored.” -Richard Perez, Home Power, March 1997

In an attempt to conserve electricity, we started to think of how much energy are we really wasting than utilizing. Since Energy can never be destroyed but converted from one form to another, we need to look at how much are we using and how much is being wasted. This could be achieved only when we get to know how much we are utilizing.

What do you mean by wasting energy: we all know that we use electricity for various purposes in an office environment – be it lighting or for several electrical appliances like desktop computers, servers, A/c’s, refrigerators, fans, microwaves, ovens, Televisions, washing machine, phone answering machines, stereo system, vacuum cleaner, etc., each having its own reason to be with us. Do we switch these on all the time or only when they have a task to be performed? Well it all depends on the appliance. For ex: refrigerators, answering machines, etc., will be switched ON day in and day out unlike others like lights, fans, A/c’s only when we are in need of. If this is the case then, we are in less trouble. But when we look at the other side of the coin, we find that our little appliances like ovens, desktop computers, monitors, television etc., might be actually burning out some units of electricity even when we don’t use them and they are still on. How often do we turn off our desktops and monitors when not in use? How often do we turn off the switch off the microwave when not in use? Phantom loads are common in these devices as televisions and microwaves.  In the case of TVs the load is generally used to keep the tube warm and ready for the remote control to switch the device on, in these cases it is referred to as a ‘quick startup load.’  Microwaves and all other devices which have built in clocks use phantom loads to operate the digital clock and other lights or buttons even while the device is not in use. These consume electricity as little drops which at one point of time pile up to make a big ocean.

Hence in these instances we are actually wasting all these little drops than really utilizing them.

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