[mythtv-users] [Slightly OT] solar power for all our gadgets
Michael T. Dean
mtdean at thirdcontact.com
Mon Mar 9 18:00:16 UTC 2009
On 03/09/2009 01:14 PM, Mark Knecht wrote:
> I posted this once before but here's the current rates for my place in
> Northern CA:
> Baseline up to 378 Kwh = $0.11536
> 101%-130% (113.4 Kwh) = $0.13115
> 131%-200% (264 Kwh) = $0.24711
> 200%-300% (576 Kwh) = $0.35432
> There's a BIG jump over 200% baseline which is where I figure my
> MythTV costs come in as we end up at about 150% baseline even on
> vacation. My place with CFLs, pool equipment, electric range and lots
> of MythTV equipment comes in at the range of 225%-250% of baseline for
> about $200/month charges. Note that this is nearly 1000 Kwh! (937 on
> the current bill...) Generation and distribution were about $160 of
> the $200.
I /highly/ recommend other options for saving money on power, too...
When it comes to Myth, a couple of easy things you can do are, a) make
sure you get 80 PLUS certified power-supply units and b) (the /best/
solution) turn off your Myth boxes when not in use.
As for the 80 PLUS PSU's, they're saving me about $1.50/mo per backend
with rates of:
Baseline up to 1000kWh: $0.100030/kWh
Over 1000 kWh: $0.120340
(Yeah, I get really cheap electricity here in Florida--but it still
seems high to me, as I was averaging around $0.085/kWh not long ago.)
See http://www.gossamer-threads.com/lists/mythtv/users/371460#371460 for
details (and note that I did all calculations based on $0.10/kWh). Even
on a non-Myth system with only a mobo/CPU/RAM/and one HDD (that I
measured after posting the other message), it's saving about $0.90/mo.
If you're paying more than $0.10/kWh for electricity, these values would
increase. In these cases--depending on the actual rate--the 80 PLUS
Bronze/Silver/Gold PSU's may even be worthwhile, too (but check the PSU
specs at the 80 PLUS site and do the math--preferably with real-world
usage measurements--before choosing this approach).
As for turning off your system when not in use, it's extremely easy to
do this for dedicated frontend-only systems--just use mythwelcome and
mythshutdown ( http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/Mythwelcome ). Your backend
machines can also be shut down, but doing so is more challenging (as you
have to set them up to wake themselves when they're needed to record a
show). Again, see the info in the Mythwelcome wiki page for info.
When 0.22 is released, you'll also be able to have Myth shut down all
your backend machines. The master backend will be able to wake remote
backends on demand for recordings, so even if the schedule changes, you
won't miss recordings.
Shutting down your systems when not in use will save you the most money
you can possibly save--as power consumption goes to virtually 0 when the
system is shut down. Note, also, that you can swap out old,
not-very-power-efficient hardware that wasn't designed for power saving
(like my old Athlon XP systems) for new low-TDP Athlon/Core 2 systems;
however, that option is more expensive. As it is, my new PSU's will
take quite some time to pay for themselves (and I got them all on sale
for $29.99 to $39.99 ea).
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