Sunday, March 1, 2009

Energy Saving Search

The power of our computers can be a huge, energy-consuming matter. While I love my computer dearly for all it helps me with in life, its not always a friend to the environment. There are lots of great computers out there that allow for an "energy saving mode", or carry the energy star compliancy sticker. So what if a new computer is not in your future right now or you don't have an energy saving computer? Well, believe it or not there are even more ways to save energy than just buying an energy star compliant computer, or turning on the energy-saving mode on your computer.

The colors used on your display screen can be an energy waster by the brightness of the color used. For example, Google is a prime example of a absolute white screen, that takes more energy to produce than, say, black. While I know not all of us can have the advantage of choosing a black over a white backdrop, its something to think about when putting a picture on your desktop, or keeping some windows down on the scroll bar, rather than keeping them up on your screen if you aren't using them. also wrote an article regarding this phenomenon:

"Take a look at Google, for instance, who gets about 200 million queries a day. Let's assume each query is displayed for about 10 seconds; that means Google is running for about 550,000 hours every day on some desktop. Assuming that users run Google in full screen mode, the shift to a black background will save a total of 15 (74-59) watts. Now take into account that about 25 percent of the monitors in the world are CRTs, and at 10 cents a kilowatt-hour, that's about $75,000/year, a goodly amount of energy and dollars for changing a few color codes."

Also, many people have created "black" versions of Google's popular search engine:
While I know it seems using these search engines may be only a small drop in the bucket, every little bit helps! If we all adopt this strategy, it will begin to add up. You'll also save slightly on your electric bills for conserving energy, so its a win for our environment and your pocketbook!


Young.Broke.Green. said...

It's important to note that energy use by screen color is dependent on they type of screen you have. While old-school BRT monitors are very much affected by the color of the web page, newer LCD/flatscreens are not. The newer screens are much more affected by the brightness of the screen. Just a friendly tip :)

Young.Broke.Green. said...

Whoops, BRT = CRT.