If you put any value on your time, the pay-back on home energy audits is nearly non-existent. Even at full power, this radio only costs $5 a year to operate. If you were to go through the trouble of unplugging it every time you wanted to hear some music, you would never save more than $5 a year and probably get annoyed at having to plug it in all the time. And if a better, more efficient model were offered at a premium price, how likely would you be to pay an extra $10-$20?
Energy audits and efficiency can be VERY worthwhile and productive, but efforts like this just remind me to focus on the big stuff: loads with long run-times and/or high power needs. In a home environment these would be things like lighting, air conditioning, etc.
I totally agree with your assesment. I do not know, nor do I really care what all of those little glowing lights aroound the house cost. But an aircondtioner that did not make my meter spin like a pin wheel would be very welcome. We are isulated coming out our ears, do not keep the thermostat too cool (except in the winter when we have to wear sweaters and watch TV while under blankets) but I draw the line at the Chrismas display of LEDs around the house.
Electronic devices with remote controls are always on, drawing power. I use a power strip to supply power when needed ( for electronics that don't have to reprogram themselves each time they lose power). I replaced an old crt tv with an lcd tv that paid for itself. I'll fill my gas tank to half, makes the vehicle fifty pounds lighter. I save my shower water in winter until it cools to room temperature. I use 9w bulbs for security night lights. I use a fan to draw heat off the oil burner exhaust. I lowered the thermostat to 66F. So the electric co. raised the rates and the oil supplier is asking six times the price for a gallon of heating oil vs ten years ago.
Digtal radios, wi-fi radios and set-top decoders use micro-controllers running an operating system. If you shut down the power completely, they would have to "boot-up" when you turned them on - takes a few seconds. So you lose the "instant on" feature. The MCU inside is still alive and running its operating system when "off" - only the output stage (audio or video) goes into "mute".
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
Using Siemens NX software, a team of engineering students from the University of Michigan built an electric vehicle and raced in the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. One of those students blogged for Design News throughout the race.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.