Whether it's powering robotic systems in a factory or heating, ventilation & AC in office buildings, manufacturers are huge consumers of energy. According to a report by IntechOpen, manufacturing facilities are one of the largest consumers of energy in the United States, comprising approximately 32% of energy end use.
So manufacturers have plenty of reasons to look for any type of energy cost savings - including addressing power efficiency in computing hardware:
- Achieving sustainability goals (up to 70% of millennials—the generation that now holds the most global spending power—say a company’s environmental focus impacts their purchasing decisions)
- Reducing wear and tear on hardware due to age or configuration
Environmental efficiency initiatives are often long-term and multiple faceted projects that include factors such as employee commuting and renewable energy sources. But the hardware your users depend on to do their jobs every day can also play a part.
8 Tips to Reduce Your Computing Hardware Energy Footprint
- Consider deploying laptops instead of desktops where possible. Desktops are larger, have more components and require at least one monitor, all of which equates to costing about 3X more to run than laptops.
- Replace any CRT or LCD monitors with LED monitors. LEDs consume less power. Older LCDs use cold cathode fluorescent (CCFL) backlighting which can be up to 30% less power efficient than LED.
- Prioritize high-efficiency power supply units (PSUs) in desktops or workstations. 80 PLUS-certified PSUs waste 20% or less electric energy as heat.
- Utilize Windows 10 Pro energy management. By default, Windows 10 Pro PCs should be sending PCs to sleep after a set amount of time. Do not use screensavers as they keep monitors active and consuming power.
- Buy monitors or AIOs that are ENERGY STAR-certified. This certification means monitors such as ThinkVision and ThinkCentre AIO models are, on average, 25% more energy efficient than those without certification
- Consider solid-state drives for storage on laptops or desktops. Because SSDs don’t have to spin up a hard disk from standstill they don’t waste energy as friction or noise. This equates to energy cost savings on desktops and longer battery life on laptops.
- Regularly scan PCs for malware, junkware and bloatware. These unnecessary apps may be running in the background, consuming energy and disabling sleep mode.
- Finally, is it more efficient to turn off a PC vs putting it into sleep mode? Any devices manufactured in the last 6-8 years will draw very little power in sleep mode, so it makes little difference whether you completely power down or not. The key is to ensure devices enter sleep mode when not being used, and are not woken inadvertently by software running in the background when left unattended.