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Green A/V Limits Phantom Power Load
June 19, 2009 | by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
This California home is shedding energy by automatically cutting power to its array of high-end electronics.
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Posted by Keith  on  06/21  at  08:19 PM

Sorry, but “green” and “60-inch plasmas” is like a hybrid Cadillac Escalade. It’s still terribly inefficient.
Not that there’s anything wrong with a 60-inch plasma, but it’s just a tad hypocritical.

Posted by JB  on  06/22  at  01:38 PM

Agree with Keith.  Hypocritical indeed.  The green movement is designed to make people with money (like the owner of this house) “feel better” about being proactive on the environment.  He probably drives one of those Escalade hybrids as well.

Posted by Douglas  on  06/23  at  01:17 AM

Just reagarding the “phantom” stuff in this article (I couldn’t read any more) - Wouldn’t it be easier to just manually turn off power outlets connected to a light switch?  What is this guy really saving?  How much do the controls cost and what effect do they have on the environment during manufacturing and shipping?  What happens when he’s finished using it?  How much energy gets used up trashing the controls?  I walk over to my entertainment system, all plugged into a single circuit that gets cut off with a light switch.  Wow.  High-tech automation.  Big deal.  “My finger sucks.  I hate using it.  Let’s buy thousands of dollars worth of automation equipment to replace my finger.”  When I leave home I flip a switch that turns off a relay that cuts power to everything.  Relay cost me nothing…trashed from a demo at mfg plant where I work.  This promotion of wasteful technology when we have the greatest automated computer built into our head just puts us deeper into debt - intelligence debt.

Posted by Steven Castle  on  06/23  at  03:05 PM

We didn’t do a good enough job explaining it in this article, but this is, as I understand, a Net-Zero home, which produces more energy than it uses. And the automation system helps with that, by automatically cutting power to heavy loads. It’s something I think we’ll see more of, especially in large homes with lots of electronics. Sure, a switch may be simpler, but those can also be left on. My bet is that we’ll see a lot more energy monitoring systems in the next few years, in big and small homes, and lower-cost control systems to help all of control those energy loads, even when we’re not there. Homes like these are just the start,

Posted by Gene Quisisem  on  06/23  at  04:01 PM

Douglas, JB, and Keith - This home is a zero-energy home.  What that means is that it produces more energy from renewable sources than it consumes.  What little natural gas is consumed is offset by excess electrical power production that is fed back into the grid.  Said in another way, the home’s energy bill is nearly $0, despite having all the comforts, convieniences and luxuries of having a showcase Electronic House.  So how much energy is this home saving?  All of it.  What if every home was a zero energy home?  We would have found energy independence as a nation.

It’s not fair to compare this project to a hybrid Cadillac Escalade, as that vehicle’s energy uses primarily fossil fuel.  It’s more appropriate to use that analogy with a “green home” that is massive in size and is loaded in features, but only offsets part of its energy use from renewable sources.  A project of that nature actually would likely have a carbon footprint that is 10x or more than that of a typical home.

Douglas, to your question, ” ... what effect do they have on the environment during manufacturing and shipping?”  When this home manufactures its own electrical power, it saves the 30% transmission loss that occurs through our nation’s grid system. 

I think that as the cost of renewable energy declines, we will discover that owning power sure beats renting it.

Posted by Solar lights  on  04/22  at  01:13 PM


When the solar panel is facing the sun at noon it will produce the most power it can be it summer or winter. But there is a however involved here. In the summer the sun comes up in the north east and sets in the north west which would be behind the solar panel in the morning and late after noon.Solar lights

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