We're all harming our planet with our computers

  Forum Editor 13:54 23 Apr 2006

but some of us are doing it more than others, it seems.

"If a million PC users switched to a more efficient power supply, it would save almost the equivalent of 250 million litres of gasoline a day."

click here for more on that subject.

  Forum Editor 14:23 23 Apr 2006

This will provide some more information:

click here

  Sapins 14:34 23 Apr 2006

I presume that what is meant is, switch to a more efficient use of power, unless some bright spark has invented a computer to run on gas, or petrol or diesel!

How much could industry save?

Should we all switch to small cars? no more Mercedes or BMW's. I think Silver deleting mice use more power as well ;-)

  Forum Editor 14:42 23 Apr 2006

(mine at least) are energy-efficient, and used relatively infrequently. Independent surveys have revealed that the amount of global warming that results from angry facial flushing amongst forum members who read inflammatory posts is equivalent to a million silver deleting mice being clicked continually for a thousand years.

  Pidder 15:39 23 Apr 2006

You know the old chinese proverb "man who stays in bed to save heating"...

  Pidder 15:58 23 Apr 2006

Pardon my ignorance, what are silver deleting mice?

  Pidder 16:23 23 Apr 2006

Except that my heating is off-peak whereas standby is full domestic rate.

  Forum Editor 16:42 23 Apr 2006

to see if we can get some clarification on that figure about energy consumption - it does seem a tad far-fetched doesn't it?

  TOPCAT® 17:13 23 Apr 2006

true that power station generators actually have to 'bleed off' surplus power when output exceeds demand? As I understand it, the turbines run at a constant speed all the time they are onstream - they can't be throttled down unlike a car engine - so, as it's supposedly uneconomic or something to shut down a generator the surplus power is 'fed to earth'. Perhaps some knowledgeable person can confirm this assumption?

If true, then what a huge waste of energy that is though, hopefully, it doesn't happen all the time. Nevertheless, it's a pity it couldn't be stored somehow and added to the Grid later, but obviously this was found unfeasable long ago by much more qualified minds than mine.

It would be interesting to know exactly what happens in large scale power generation. TC.

  Forum Editor 17:30 23 Apr 2006

Power station turbines can weigh 50 tonnes, and I don't think it's a great idea to keep stopping (or slowing) a thing that size when it's running. They have to run, or not run I think, and when they're spinning they run for long periods, presumably generating current all the time.

I may be wrong, I'm certainly no expert on the subject.

  Forum Editor 17:53 23 Apr 2006

I think it's a generally accepted fact that the planet is warming slightly, and the belief is that we've brought about the change, or at least we've accelerated what might have been a natural event.

To be honest, I doubt that anyone knows all the facts, but that's not really the point - the planet is warming, and it's not a good thing, at least in the medium term. Such warmings have taken place in the past, many times, but what worries the experts is the speed with which this warming is happening. Last year I made a trip to the Maldive islands to do some work for a client company which specialises in oceanographic research, and while I was there I was told that because of rising levels in the Indian Ocean they expect the islands to be uninhabitable within 50-100 years. one island is being evacuated already, and as the highest point above sea level is now a 9 foot wall around the capital, the prospects for the future of the nation aren't great.

That's an isolated case I know, but there are plenty of others.

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