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pike
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-01
Washington, DC
kudos:3
reply to Zach1

Re: USB Charger Receptacle

Thanks for the follow-up, and particularly for including the spec sheet. I was very curious about standby consumption and was happy to find that data.

The draw is pretty low at 0.63 Wh, but couldn't they have done better? Why not completely switch off the electronics if nothing is plugged in? Admittedly this won't have much of an impact in your typical residential installation, but it does add up. If just 10% of all US households were to install one of these receptacles, combined they would be wasting over 8 MWh continuously.

132,312,404 US housing units per US Census Bureau


sk1939
Premium
join:2010-10-23
Mclean, VA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·Verizon FiOS

said by pike:

Thanks for the follow-up, and particularly for including the spec sheet. I was very curious about standby consumption and was happy to find that data.

The draw is pretty low at 0.63 Wh, but couldn't they have done better? Why not completely switch off the electronics if nothing is plugged in? Admittedly this won't have much of an impact in your typical residential installation, but it does add up. If just 10% of all US households were to install one of these receptacles, combined they would be wasting over 8 MWh continuously.

132,312,404 US housing units per US Census Bureau

People waste more power than that by using baseboard electric heat and incandescent lightbulbs. I would say it's rather minuscule in the greater scheme of things. Most waste is generated by industrial and commercial applications rather than residential.

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to pike

said by pike:

The draw is pretty low at 0.63 Wh, but couldn't they have done better? Why not completely switch off the electronics if nothing is plugged in?

Power2U does this

»www.amazon.com/Newer-Technology-···065I114K


pike
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-01
Washington, DC
kudos:3
reply to sk1939

said by sk1939:

People waste more power than that by using baseboard electric heat and incandescent lightbulbs. I would say it's rather minuscule in the greater scheme of things.

I agree, but you may have missed my point. Baseboard heat and incandescent lights are old technology being phased out. The deployment of these outlets is a (relatively) new phenomenon. These days we better understand the need for conservation and possess the technology to achieve it.
said by sk1939:

Most waste is generated by industrial and commercial applications rather than residential.

Let's not forget to add the government to that list. As I'm sure you know, a stroll through our downtown late in the evening will reveal most federal buildings completely lit up on the inside, probably with their HVAC systems running as though they were occupied.


nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
·surpasshosting

Vampire draw is a scam I refuse to buy into. I'll leave all my stuff plugged in so it works when I need it to.

Baseboard heat is not being "phased out". It's alive and well.

I agree that we are stewards of this Earth, but there are way bigger fish to fry, even when considering small items in the "grand scheme".
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.



PSWired

join:2006-03-26
Annapolis, MD

Not much getting around it since they take ages to boot up, but those damn Motorola set top boxes that all the cablecos use are perfect exames of vampire draw. Feel the amount of heat coming off them when they've been "powered off" overnight for proof.



alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to nunya

said by nunya:

Vampire draw is a scam

Case closed.

Seriously, I remember those commercials about leaving your cellphone charger plugged in being the END OF THE WORLD!!!!!!!

Man, wtf. That little green LED that's confirming that the charger is energized must cost like.... 1 cent a year!!! DAMN VAMPIRES! I'd rather plug/unplug things all the time and CONSUME PRECIOUS CALORIES! Food prices are going up!

btw ya I agree with Nunya in case my sarcasm went all over the place.

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1

1 edit

said by alkizmo:

said by nunya:

Vampire draw is a scam

Case closed...Man, wtf. That little green LED that's confirming that the charger is energized must cost like.... 1 cent a year!!!

Any facts to back that up or just opinion? Vampire draw is much more than just one little green light. When you really look at the numbers it is surprising how much energy is wasted.

sk1939
Premium
join:2010-10-23
Mclean, VA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·Verizon FiOS

Not quite one cent, but less than a half dollar.

Estimated annual cost to use a USB Charger Receptacle, charging 2 devices (tablets drawing maximum power),
for 6 hours a day, at a Kilowatt cost of $0.10

Hours of use (6) x kilowatt cost ($0.10) x kilowatt usage per hour (19.7w/1000*) x 365 days = $4.31

Hours of non-use (18) x kilowatt cost ($0.10) x kilowatt usage per hour ( .63w/1000*) x 365 days = $0.41

Total hours (24) Total cost per year $4.72


robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1

That's just for the cell and tablet. The quote is "Vampire draw is a scam". Many more vampires in the average home than just the cell phone charger and they are not all so small. Still, take your numbers and multiply it by the number of households in the US which use cell phones and calculate the total wasted power draw on the electric grid.



pike
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-01
Washington, DC
kudos:3
reply to nunya

said by nunya:

Vampire draw is a scam I refuse to buy into.

How is it a "scam"? The standby current draw is a tangible measurable quantity. You and I are paying for it one way or another. Generation capacity has decreased and distribution capacity has been stagnant in this country over the past few decades. There's a supply and demand factor in there. I realize some people can't understand that the fossil fuels we burn to generate electricity are a finite resource, but most can agree its getting more expensive to mine them.

Of course, it is the big picture of energy waste we should be thinking about (comm, ind & gov users). But if everyone has the attitude of "it's a scam", how can we expect change to be made at any level?


nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12

The scam is the inconvenience far outweighs any savings.



tschmidt
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
kudos:9
Reviews:
·G4 Communications
·Fairpoint Commun..
·Hollis Hosting
reply to nunya

said by nunya:

Vampire draw is a scam I refuse to buy into.

I don’t think it is a scam but agree the impact is probably overstated.

Here in high energy cost NH we pay about $.15kWh. Assuming one has a wall wart plugged in 24/7 and even unused draws 1w that is 8.75 kWh/yr or about $1.25. Does not sound like much but the fact is most residences have dozens of these devices so cost easily add up to a few extra dollars a month. The good news is switching mode power supplies are more efficient reducing the effects of parasitic loss.

I think the real culprits are devices that appear to be off but still draw appreciable power. That results in significant wasted energy. In air conditioning areas that extra energy has to be paid for again during the cooling season. Those types of loads are worth going after. Even relativity small draw can add up to a significant amount if they are on 24/7/365.

Unplugging a 1W wall wart does not make much sense, figuring out how to fully turn off a 10W device probably does. As mentioned by other the Kill-A-Watt meter is a handy tool to identify the worst offenders.

/tom


PSWired

join:2006-03-26
Annapolis, MD

said by tschmidt:

I think the real culprits are devices that appear to be off but still draw appreciable power. That results in significant wasted energy. In air conditioning areas that extra energy has to be paid for again during the cooling season. Those types of loads are worth going after. Even relativity small draw can add up to a significant amount if they are on 24/7/365.

Unplugging a 1W wall wart does not make much sense, figuring out how to fully turn off a 10W device probably does. As mentioned by other the Kill-A-Watt meter is a handy tool to identify the worst offenders.

/tom

That's my perspective as well.


LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada

1 recommendation

reply to pike

said by pike:

Thanks for the follow-up, and particularly for including the spec sheet. I was very curious about standby consumption and was happy to find that data.

The draw is pretty low at 0.63 Wh, but couldn't they have done better? Why not completely switch off the electronics if nothing is plugged in?

Unless you want to have a physical switch; there's some amount of power required to run the electronics that monitor the port for usage. Just the cost of doing business...

From the looks of the 2U one robbin See Profile posted, that's exactly what they do - the shutters over the ports double as the switch to enable the port; which is actually some pretty smart engineering, if it works well.


pike
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-01
Washington, DC
kudos:3
reply to nunya

said by nunya:

The scam is the inconvenience far outweighs any savings.

Ok, I see what you're saying now. I can't say I agree but I definitely understand why most people feel this way, especially with devices like CATV STBs that can take forever to boot and download guide data.

I still believe that if the manufacturers of these devices were properly incentivized, they would innovate and create more efficient gadgets. The problem is the "I don't care" attitude of the consumer, and of course the manufacturers don't care either because they have no monetary interest in lowering consumers energy consumption. In fact it would cost them R&D or licensing dollars.

In my example of a STB, I think the cablecos PR would be well served by publicly demanding their OEMs ship more effiecent units going forward. This would do far more to support their "going green" image than the current method of pestering their customers to agree to paperless billing.


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1

said by pike:

I still believe that if the manufacturers of these devices were properly incentivized, they would innovate and create more efficient gadgets.

My wifi router, switch, wireless phone, STB, cable modem and wireless headphone station all use less than 10w when turned on.

I think it costs me like 5$ a year


pike
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-01
Washington, DC
kudos:3

said by alkizmo:

I think it costs me like 5$ a year

This is exactly the attitude I was talking about (not necessarily directed at you alkizmo). How many "me"s are there out there sharing this same mentality? Literately hundreds of millions. That usage adds up. We all stand to benefit if we take the time to think about the impact of our actions as a whole.

Now this thread is completely derailed.


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1

But pike, you do realize some of those devices should not be turned off right?

Router, switch, cordless phone, cable modem, those shouldn't be turned off.

That leaves what? 10W? Maybe less?

So let's split that to 2.50$ a year... that can be saved by doing a year's worth of turning On/Off devices or plugging/unplugging devices.

I'd rather spend that time trying to hang my laundry to dry instead of using the dryer.

note - You do realize that this is for a household, and not per person, right?


robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1

1 recommendation

The Natural Resources Defense Council did a study on set top boxes a couple of years ago. The results were quite disturbing.

"In 2010, set-top boxes in the United States consumed approximately 27 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, which is equivalent to the annual output of nine average (500 MW) coal-fired power plants. The electricity required to operate all U.S. boxes is equal to the annual household electricity consumption of the entire state of Maryland, results in 16 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and costs households more than $3 billion each year...The consumer, who pays the electric bill, has little choice about what box the service provider installs and how much energy it uses. The average new cable high-definition digital video recorder (HD-DVR) consumes more than half the energy of an average new refrigerator and more than an average new flat-panel television. Even more troubling, when not displaying or recording video content, U.S. boxes draw nearly as much power as they do when in use. Because set-top boxes are not in use most of the time, two-thirds of total energy consumption—or the equivalent annual energy output of six power plants (500 MW)—occurs when the boxes are not in use."

»www.nrdc.org/energy/files/settopboxes.pdf

The problem isn't whether or not the device should be turned off or needs to be left on, but the manufacturer's design and how energy efficient it is. That brings us back to this thread and the draw of the USB receptacle when not in use. Although very minor if you only have one, it will multiply if these devices become commonplace. I could easily imagine having one in the kitchen, every bedroom, and more. In other words, everyplace a cell phone is charged and considering that most households now have a cell for every family member that amounts to quite a few charging devices.



chamberc
Premium
join:2008-08-05
Irving, TX
reply to nunya

said by nunya:

but there are way bigger fish to fry, even when considering small items in the "grand scheme".

Amen! It reminds us of the straw in the eye story...


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to robbin

said by robbin:

"In 2010, set-top boxes in the United States consumed approximately 27 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, which is equivalent to the annual output of nine average (500 MW) coal-fired power plants.

If I did the math right, with the 160 million estimated STBs, then they're assuming that each device uses 20w 24/7 365 days a year.

NOW
That's possible... but how much do these devices actually use while not recording anything? Maybe they use 60W while recording and playing back recordings and only 10W while doing nothing.

And for STB, it's fairly simple to get it into stand-by when you close the TV, just program the remote to turn on both tv and stb at the same time.

For the rest of the devices, that's another issue all together.

As for carbon footprint, I feel no guilt personaly, we use hydroelectric dams here

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1

It's all in the report which I provided a link to if you care to read it. Fact is they use almost the same amount of power recording or not in use at all.

As to coal use in Canada, this site lists either 19 or 20 operating coal fired power plants in Canada in 2011. So you can still feel some guilt.

»globalenergyobservatory.org/list···ype=Coal



PSWired

join:2006-03-26
Annapolis, MD
reply to alkizmo

Read that PDF...

They measure standby power between 10 and 50+ W for different models. Average looks to be around 20W.

I have 4 HD set top boxes doing nothing almost all of the time. It's a huge waste. As mentioned earlier, I'm getting stuck in the eye twice having to pay to remove the heat the things create from the house in the summertime too.



alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to robbin

said by robbin:

As to coal use in Canada, this site lists either 19 or 20 operating coal fired power plants in Canada in 2011. So you can still feel some guilt.

But none of those supply ME!!

Ok so set top boxes are a bit of an exception, they're basically mini-computers running 24/7.

The commercials I saw often on TV about vampire draw were stuff like kids leaving their phone chargers in the walls.


AVD
Respice, Adspice, Prospice
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Onion, NJ
kudos:1

my cell phone displays the message "Battery at 100%, unplug charger."
--
* seek help if having trouble coping
--Standard disclaimers apply.--



alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1

said by AVD:

my cell phone displays the message "Battery at 100%, unplug charger."

Yeaaahhhh... unplug the charger from the phone

Are you telling us that we shouldn't leave our phones on the charger when they are full? Cause that in no way will I do.

Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey
reply to alkizmo

Each of my three cable boxes uses ~18 Watts whether they're on or off.



pende_tim
Premium
join:2004-01-04
Andover, NJ
kudos:1
reply to PSWired

+1
My DirecTV box draws 23 watts "off" and 25 watts when in use!



AVD
Respice, Adspice, Prospice
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Onion, NJ
kudos:1
reply to Bob4

said by Bob4:

Each of my three cable boxes uses ~18 Watts whether they're on or off.

and 0 when unplugged
--
* seek help if having trouble coping
--Standard disclaimers apply.--