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Old 03-23-2012, 09:35 PM
15,924 posts, read 17,378,228 times
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This article might be a couple of years old but it still holds true to this day.

When we talk about energy consumption, all attention goes to the electricity use of a device or a machine while in operation. A 30 watt laptop is considered more energy efficient than a 300 watt refrigerator. This may sound logical, but this kind of comparisons does not make much sense if you don't also consider the energy that was required to manufacture the devices you compare. This is especially true for high-tech products, which are produced by means of extremely material- and energy-intensive manufacturing processes.

How much energy do our high-tech gadgets really consume?
Low-tech Magazine: The monster footprint of digital technology
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Old 03-26-2012, 05:31 AM
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,505 posts, read 51,247,292 times
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I am amused by a "Low Tech" Magazine that is only available in electronic format. There is more irony in that then your average hammer.

I remember the unpowered hand tool universe. You only have to use a hand rip saw to cut a bunch of 12 ft 2 x 12 planks length wise once to appreciate a Skill electric saw. Some high tech tools are simply wonderful. The only thing better than a power lawn mower is letting the grass grow as tall as it wants.
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:11 PM
Location: Bend Or.
1,126 posts, read 2,449,704 times
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PLWHIT has a good point. The "embodied energy", energy used to manufacture, transport, etc. should be used if you are really doing a comparison of products. It can make a big difference.
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Old 03-27-2012, 06:48 AM
11 posts, read 62,337 times
Reputation: 19
Geez. You can't even make this stuff up. I can go and buy a laptop for $500. Embedded in that cost are all the expenses of designing it, manufacturing all the components for it, assembling it, supporting all the facilities to create it, shipping it and having the manufacturer (and all subcontractors) make a profit.
I think the best way to describe it is 'spitting into the ocean'.

The costs of keeping my PC's running at home (24/7), electricity, over the course of their lifespan (4+ of them, plus a disk farm, routers, printers etc) dwarfs the manufacturing cost by one to two orders of magnitude. ($300/mo for years)

(In the article, they also need to understand basic physics, such as the difference between energy and power.)
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