Sometimes I wonder and I really am confused about what saving energy means. If, on the one hand, you want to shut off your computer when you don’t use it, or unplug any phone charger standing by, on the other hand researchers develop complex information systems that can tell you, around the clock, if any device is consuming electricity. The rich people days are over, my friends.
Fraunhofer Institute scientists from Sankt Augustin in Germany have developed a PC application that measures the consumption of every plugged-in device in your home. For every device there is plogg, a measuring apparatus mounted between the wall socket and the consumer that measures its power consumption and wirelessly sends that consumption to a central server around your house.
The entire system is called “Hydra”, and it even uses its own energy protocol. By using a phone (probably a smartphone), the user can point his camera at a device and send it to the server. The server then compares the image of that consumer to one that’s been pre-stored internally, and shows the user, via the same phone, the instant energy consumption of the photographed device.
I find this “energy-saving” system very interesting and hi-tech, and I would surely adopt it if I could find it commercially, but, as usual, I have one question: don’t all these gizmos consume more energy than they save, in a regular home environment? Think about the fact that you need a server, which is a non-stop working device, and you also need all the other devices that cost money and consume energy. I don’t know for sure if I’m right, but it’s discussable.