TrickleStar are not a Smart Grid company per se, what they offer instead are devices to cut down on energy consumption in the home. As such, their clients are utility companies who want to help their customers cut their consumption as well as companies and individual homeowners interested in reducing their energy bills.
What kind of devices do they have? As can be seen from the video, the two main devices they were showcasing at the conference stand were ones which cut standby power to your peripherals (monitor, printer, ext hd, etc.) when you shut off your computer. Given I have already published somevideos about the amount of electricity drawn by devices in standby mode (phantom load), I was delighted to see these great solutions.
I asked Thomas if there was any metering functionality in the devices and he said that was something they were working on.
I participated in the recent IBM Global Eco Jam and there were some fantastic discussions there.
One of the discussions surprised me though – people were still talking about unplugging mobile phone chargers as if that was a significant problem. It is not. On the contrary, it is a dangerous distraction.
Watch the video above. Seriously, do. I’ll wait.
The mobile phone chargers I tested all consumed 0.1W or less of electricity when left plugged in and not charging a phone. That is minute.
Sure, I get that if you add up all the millions of mobile phone chargers across the country, all those millions of 0.1W adds up to a significant load. I get that. I do.
LED spot light
However, if you change one 50W halogen bulb for a 3.6W LED alternative that is the equivalent of unplugging over 460 mobile phone chargers. And that’s just from changing one bulb. How many bulbs do you have in your house? How many houses are there across the country containing how many bulbs?
Or forget light bulbs. What about the electricity draw of other devices in your house when they are plugged in but not operating (this is called standby power!)?
Mobile phone chargers, for some reason, seem to have been picked up by people as the bad boys when it comes to standby power. That is a dangerous fallacy. Why dangerous? People who are trying to do the right thing are ensuring that they unplug their mobile phone chargers, potentially unaware that their microwave/printer/games console is consuming orders of magnitude more power than the phone charger.
Switchable power strip
Don’t get me wrong, sure you shouldn’t leave your phone charger plugged in, but it is likely that there are far larger standby draws in your home or office you should be aware of. Educate yourself. Find out which of your devices draws the most power