Project proposal/Update: Brad Brodek 9/28

Library Phantom energy removal

Brad Brodek


Description & overview of project:

The purpose of this project is to remove phantom energy, or the electricity drawn from outlets when equipment is off but still plugged in. Phantom energy can account for 15% or more of the total energy used. This project will then make campus environmentally greener and also save the university money in the long run. The electronics I want to focus on are computers, monitors and printers. These make a large amount of phantom energy. The energy Center of Wisconsin did a study to see the average watts per hour used by electronics when they’re turned off and a printer uses 4.3 watts, a desktop computer uses 2.4 watts and a monitor uses 1.2 watts. I want to run my own test and record how much energy is being used while off, but those are good estimates to start with to see what I should focus on depending on which uses more. To run these test a Watt-Meter is needed to see how much phantom energy there is before any solution is found. These electronics are off during the night for roughly 6-10 hours in the library, depending on the day of the week, burning electricity and money. Even when the library is open during certain hours of the day not all computers are being used. This project can help save phantom energy during the night and also throughout the slow hours of the day. A solution to this problem is the “smart strip power strip”. Smart power strips automatically cuts out phantom energy to all the things plugged into the strip while these electronics are off. These power strips run from $20-$30 and will pay themselves off in no time while also saving the environments resources. I picked the electronics I did because they are bunched in groups, therefor one smart power strip can have 3 computers and monitors plugged into them, being efficient. This is a project that should be permeant and further expanding in the future. After installing smart power strips the amount of electricity still being used while the electronics are off will be tested by the same watt-meter used earlier to make sure that they strips are working and cutting down energy. What makes this project great is that once the plugs are in place there is nothing else you need to do in the future, the power strips do all the work and save energy. Another solution to cut down on phantom energy is unplugging everything every night, but that is a lot of work unlike using smart power strips. These power strips can be hooked up to electronics all over campus if it is successful in the library.


Outline of project:

First researching of phantom energy took place figuring out what it was and how it could be limited. After this I had to pick my place of interest and electronics I am focusing on. I picked the library due to the amount of electronics and computers, monitors and printers located there which all give off a large amount of energy when off. The next step was to research methods to cut down on the phantom energy. This is where I discovered the smarty strip power strip. These strips will be installed to the library at computer stations and printers. I still need to go talk to whoever runs the library and see if I can get a layout of how many computers, monitors and printers there are in the library.  Once I find out how many there are I can figure out how many smart power strips I will need and how much it will cost. Then I will have to share my proposal to the university to see if I can get money for this project to make it happen. After if I can get the money I will have to go around and install these power strips and do it as efficiently as possible, by this I mean hook up as many computers to one power strip as possible so the amount of power strips needed are as low as possible.



Annotated bibliography

Here I found research on “Smart” Power Strips and how they work. I also found out the price of them from here.

Here I found research on phantom energy and what it exactly was.

Here I found more advanced research on the smart power strip and also another price range of these strips.\

Here I found out the hours the library was open and roughly how many hours they are closed during each day.

Here I found roughly how much phantom energy was being used for most electronics.

Here I found an example of what another college has done for phantom energy giving me ideas.

Here I looked over to get ideas of what I wanted to do and how I could help the campus.

Here I found the stat that phantom energy is on average 15% of your electricity bill

Here I found out what a watt-meter is and how to check the amount of energy being used before and after a smart strip.

Here I found multiple ways to cut down on phantom energy and also how much money was saved just from one person doing these things.

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