You’ll Never Take the Elevator Again Once You Read This

Do you work in a tall building everyday? If you do, there’s a large chance that you encounter and use elevators on a daily basis. Do you live in an apartment building between say maybe, 3 and 20 stories? If so, This is probably the case for you as well. Even people not in these situations still manage to come across instances where taking the elevator is feasible very commonly. But what about all of the energy being consumed throughout this daily process? How much energy is actually being used and would it be better to just take the stairs?

Now this can be a bit of a complicated question. Elevators today have a large number of variables that could change the outcome of their energy output. Some examples would be: How many people are riding the elevator? What type of lighting is in the car? Is the elevator geared, gearless, hydraulic, or traction applied? Does the system have the most recent braking technology, which recaptures energy that would otherwise have been lost as heat, funneling it back to the grid? Does it use software that plots out the most efficient route possible for each car?

These are all important questions (but not all) that come into play when calculating if you specifically should take the stairs. Let’s jump in and look at some basic details.

The differences in elevators and their consumption can be very wide. According to the elevator calculator from Thyssenkrupp, a typical hydraulic applied elevator that uses LED lighting in a 3 story office building uses about 4,725 kilowatt-hours per year. That’s around how much the average American house uses in a little over 5 months. Traction elevators are used for taller buildings and a traction applied elevator in a 40 story apartment building uses about 14,130kilowatt-hours per year. That’s more than three times as much as the smaller building and as more than an American home uses in an entire year!

Another variable to consider is, not all elevator rides are equal. For example, a hydraulic elevator needs more energy to go up than it does to come down. These types of systems are typically used in buildings that are 7 stories or shorter. But the ride down isn’t totally free. When the elevator needs to come down, as it passes through the shaft at a controlled speed, the friction caused by oil passing through the hydraulic valves generates heat, which then has to be dissipated by the building’s cooling system.

In traction systems used in taller buildings, it is operated by counterweighted pulleys that help raise and lower the cars. The counterweight usually weighs about as much as the car when it is at around 40% capacity. So when it is loaded at full capacity, it needs a significant burst of energy to actually make it lift up. A full car traveling downward, on the other hand, is significantly much heavier than the counterweight so it can move without much help. So what does this mean? Essentially a full car going up uses more energy than a full car going down, and an empty car going down uses more energy than an empty car going up. The system turns out to be most efficient when the car is 40 percent full or when it’s perfectly balanced with the counterweight.

Elevators are even going to burn energy when not running. Some systems have automatic lights and fans that shut off while not in use, some don’t. The average standby power rating is between 0.8 and 2 kilowatts, which can eventually add up. 

So, how does this apply to you? Would you consider taking the stairs if it was more energy efficient in your specific situation? Basically, if you have to navigate through tall buildings, it is more beneficial to try to minimize trips altogether and carpool with your co workers and neighbors if you HAVE to take the elevator to your floor. However, If you live in a small apartment building or work in a low rise office, or even if you don’t need to go that many floors up, it would be immensely more beneficial to the environment and your overall health to just take the stairs.

If you were to simply walk up and down 3 flights of stairs instead of taking the elevator, you would save about 15 kwh a day or 450 kwh a month. That’s enough to power an air conditioning system for a little over 4 hours, or even a 55″ tv for 78 hours! Now can you honestly say that you can’t abstain from taking a 20 second ride to save all of that energy? Try to do your part, when you can.

If you have any insightful information on this topic or other great ways to save power and energy, get the discussions started and comment to let us know!

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Unique Products That Save You Time and Energy

Once there was a time where our civilization as a whole was as energy efficient as possible. Long before the outstanding advancements in society that allowed us to live comfortably and sometimes conscious-less. But the privileges in which we all enjoy in the modern day, occasionally come at a cost. This cost of course, is overwhelming energy consumption and today we have the responsibility of managing it and putting in the effort to find ways to be as efficient as possible. There is no time in history where it has been harder than now to do that, so here are a few ideas that could be just a start at minimizing our footprint.

1. GE Z-Wave Wireless Smart Lighting Control Smart Switch

Forgot to turn the lights off before leaving the house? The GE Z-Wave is a smart switch that gives you the wireless control to turn lights on and off, schedule a timed event or create a custom scene from anywhere in the world. This is the perfect solution to completely eliminate the consequences of a high bill just because you forgot to turn a light switch off. Of course, you’re going to need a brain (or a hub) to communicate to this switch and there are a couple of options, but just to get you started….

2. Samsung SmartThings Hub

This is a perfect hub to compliment the GE Z-Wave Smart Switch. Not only can this connect to the switch, but can also connect with a wide range of compatible devices, including lights, speakers, locks, thermostats, sensors, and more. You can actually use this to teach your home tricks like what to do when you’re asleep, awake, and all other sorts of great things. This essentially allows you to create an automated and sensor triggered environment that, in the long run, will save you a ton on the use of lights and electronics while at the same time providing you with the convenience of increased safety. A bit of a no brainer, but it does require an internet connection and is also fully compatible with Amazon Alexa.

3. Niagara Conservation Sava Spa Shower Head

Water conserving shower heads are nothing new, but Niagara’s Sava Spa Showerhead has a luxurious feel and is actually pretty high water saving benefits. It has a patented pressure compensator that ensures a consistent flow, regardless of water pressure. It’s built from a durable brass construction, which ideally will provide the longest use, getting the most savings in your home and in your wallet.

4. Save A Watt Phantom Power Indicator

This little tool allows you to check how much power your electronics are using in standby mode. How much energy are your chargers using by just being plugged in? What about your video game console on standby or even your laptop? Built-in LED indicators quickly show how much electricity is being wasted and help you identify the best places to save. Just plug it into any grounded outlet and attach the item you want to test and you’re good to go!

5. The Laundry POD

You might be surprised to hear of the numerous resources that go into washing and drying your clothes. You have water. That water has to be heated so now your water heater has to consume electricity or gas to sufficiently get that job done. And not to mention all that goes into all the detergent you have to use with washing machines. The Laundry POD is a great alternative for all of that! It is a washing device that holds 6 liters of water and only requires about 1.5 teaspoon of laundry detergent. It has a spinning, washing and draining system that is operated by the hand turned crank on top and washes the cycle of clothes in less than ten minutes! There are few other ways to save this efficiently for years to come.

These are only the beginning in what it takes to most efficiently conserve. Maybe you know of some! Let us know what types of products are your favorite for conserving energy in the modern era!

LED lights are affordable!

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Recently I moved into a new house and one of the first things I did was buy LED lightbulbs to replace the mixture of incandescent and CFL lightbulbs in the house. When you buy LED bulbs in bulk, you can usually get them under $2/bulb (Ex: Philips 60 Watt LED).  I found a 60 Watt incandescent online for $0.41, so the upfront cost difference will be $1.60 that needs to be made up in energy savings.

Based on Energy.gov’s estimates, the incandescent annual energy cost is about $4.80 whereas the LED is about $1. These are conservative estimates, so depending on your electricity costs and usage, your savings may be more.

Let’s compare these costs:

 Incandescent LED
 Upfront Cost $0.41  $2.00
 Annual Operating Cost $4.80  $1.00
 Total (First Year Cost) $5.21  $3.00

 

The first year, you net a savings of $2.21/LED lightbulb installed. Now to make LEDs even more appealing, they typically last ~10x longer than Incandescent. This means that it is actually going to cost to $4.10 in replacement costs for the Incandescent, so not only are you saving energy, but you are also saving in the cost of the actual bulbs.

Now look at your house and count the number of incandescent lightbulbs and multiply it by $2.21 for a rough estimate to how much you’ll save per year (not factoring in the replacement savings).

Besides the energy and cost savings, you are also reducing the amount of used lightbulbs in the trash as the Incandescents will burn out faster than LED. Overall this is a win-win-win. Jump over to Amazon today and buy some LEDs so that you can partake in this benefit to the environment and your wallet.

Top 10 Energy Efficient PC Laptops

Going green is a great idea for those who like to save money, or those who want to conserve energy. Regardless, this list of the top 10 energy efficient laptops.

1) Lenovo 80SF

  • Power Consumption: average 11.20 kWh per year
  • Carbon Emissions: averages 11.4 lbs of CO2 year
  • Average yearly running costs are $2.12 – $2.69

 

 

 

2) Acer CB3-431

  • Power Consumption: 12.00 kWh per year
  • Carbon Emissions: 12.2 lbs of CO2 year
  • Average yearly costs are around $2.28 a year

 

 

 

3) Asus UX330C

  • Power Consumption: 12.10 kWh per year
  • Carbon Emissions: 12.3 lbs CO2 year
  • Average yearly costs are around $2.26 –
  • $3.37

 

 

 

4) Lenovo 80MG

  • Power Consumption: 13.40 kWh per year
  • Carbon Emissions: 13.65 lbs CO2 year
  • Average yearly costs are around $2.53 – $2.84

 

 

 

 

 

5) Lenovo G50-80

  • Power Consumption: 13.90 kWh per year
  • Carbon Emissions: 14.15 lbs CO2 year
  • Average yearly costs are around $2.66 – $2.88

 

 

 

 

6) Asus UX390U

  • Power Consumption: 14.10 kWh per year
  • Carbon Emissions: 14.35 lbs CO2 year
  • Average yearly costs are around $2.67 – $2.89

 

 

 

 

7) Lenovo 80TX

  • Power Consumption: 14.30 kWh per year
  • Carbon Emissions: 14.6 lbs CO2 year
  • Average yearly costs are around $2.82 – $2.91

 

 

 

 

8) Lenovo 80QN

  • Power Consumption: 14.80 kWh per year
  • Carbon Emissions: 15.1 lbs CO2 per year
  • Average yearly costs are around $2.79 – $3.25

 

 

 

 

 

9) Asus P2540U

  • Power Consumption: 14.90 kWh/year
  • Carbon Emissions: 15.2 lbs CO2 year
  • Average yearly costs are around $2.89 – $3.27

 

 

 

 

 

10) HP 13-ab

  • Power Consumption: 15.00 kWh/year
  • Carbon Emissions: 15.3 lbs CO2 year
  • Average yearly costs are around $2.85 – $4.60

 

 

 

 

Is there a laptop that we missed that should be on this list? Add it to our comments below.

Author Background: This post was provided by Carter Razink at PopularReviews.net. PopularReviews.net provides reviews and lists of the best consumer electronics. If you are interested in exploring more review lists, you can check them out here.

October energy efficiency highlights

October had some really interesting stories related to energy efficiency and power consumption. I’ve highlighted a few below:

Uncharted Play makes renewable energy fun by developing toys that generate energy while you play with them. Their goal is to replace the harmful use of kerosene in developing countries as a primary energy source in favor of a cleaner and less costly method. You can read more about their products and mission on their site: http://www.unchartedplay.com/

Scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed an electrochemical process that uses tiny spikes of carbon and copper to turn carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into ethanol. This is still an early investigation, but hypothetically this could generate fuel while reducing CO2 in the atmosphere. If the technology got advanced enough, you could have a fuel generator on your car that would be able to pull CO2 from the atmosphere so you wouldn’t have to stop to fill up. A micro refiner built into a car would be quite an interesting concept, but it may be cost prohibited in the long run. You can read more about this discovery here: https://www.ornl.gov/news/nano-spike-catalysts-convert-carbon-dioxide-directly-ethanol

Tesla announced their Solar Roof product last week. This collaboration with SolarCity, which will soon be a part of Tesla, includes new roof tiles with varying aesthetics that have built in solar panels that are paired up the Tesla Powerwall 2. This combination allows customers to create a microgrid for their house. Elon Musk said that the cost to install will be around the same price of installing a new roof, so the next time that you have to replace a roof, you might as well get solar built right in. Solar roof tiles existed before this announcement, but Tesla/SolarCity have taken it to the next level with the design and implementation. I’m excited to learn more about this product as it is rolled out. You can read more about it here: https://www.tesla.com/solar

These were just a couple of items that stood out to me this past month. Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great start to November.

Intel develops 4k optimized CPU that is energy efficient

At the end of August, Intel announced their new processor the Core i7-7500U which engadget properly highlighted on of the best 7th generation intel core processorsaspects of it: “…CPU utilization rate of around 5 percent and power usage of 0.5 watts on the new Core i7-7500U while playing local 4K video. That’s compared to 40 to 70 percent CPU usage and a 10.2 watt power draw on its predecessor, the i7-6500U.”

With laptops, and other portable devices, relying so heavily on battery life, an advancement like this ensures that you can enjoy your device without having to be tethered to a power outlet. I’m excited to see what additional advancements will come down the line that have positive impacts on power consumption. 

MIT develops system to measure electronic’s power consumption

Researches at MIT have developed a tiny device that you can attach to any electronic’s power cord and it will measure the power consumption of it. This device will help people analyze the power consumption of their existing electronics and identify spike MIT Power monitorpatterns, which devices are consuming the most, and how the owner can adjust their behavior to save energy and money. 

The device is said to retail between $25-30, but there is still some additional work to get it to the point of commercialization. Overall I’m excited to see products like this enter the market as it will help put emphasis on conservation and optimization.