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The Electrical Usage So Far This Summer For Linux Benchmarking

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  • The Electrical Usage So Far This Summer For Linux Benchmarking

    Phoronix: The Electrical Usage So Far This Summer For Linux Benchmarking

    It's been a number of months since providing any glimpse at my power bill for the electrical cost of so much Linux benchmarking that happens constantly here for Phoronix, OpenBenchmarking.org, LinuxBenchmarking.com, etc. From reader requests, here's a look at how the power use is looking this summer after trying to make some optimizations a few months back...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...se-Summer-2016

  • #2
    I think you'll definitely benefit a lot from photovoltaic panels... wonder why you didn't install some much earlier. You don't even have to sell a single kwh back to the utility operators since you can use up everything generated by yourself. And the costs now came down to so much less compared to ~15 years ago...
    Last edited by hugo8621; 08-13-2016, 08:47 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by hugo8621 View Post
      I think you'll definitely benefit a lot from photovoltaic panels... wonder why you didn't install some much earlier. You don't even have to sell a single kwh back to the utility operators since you can use up everything generated by yourself. And the costs now came down to so much less compared to ~15 years ago...
      Haven't added any yet since haven't been able to save up any extra funds for buying solar panels as with current address rates mostlyrics going month-to-month... hopefully within a few years can get some.
      Michael Larabel
      http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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      • #4
        Solar energy should be especially cheap for you since you don't need to store the energy for the night. You get 1 kW worth panels for the price of one 120 Ah battery. At least when looking at the prices in Europe. Also the DC to DC conversion can be made much more efficient. I drive several single board computers with lower power chinese 22% DIY panels and DC-DC converters. Much win.

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        • #5
          Yeah, solar panels should be the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th option to offset energy usage. My next suggestions are only if you so happen to have thousands of dollars fall into your lap and are in no way practical in the short (or even medium) term in an average financial situation. They're likely not practical for you at present, but I'll just throw them all out anyway.

          Most of them involve re-vamping your house. After your server room journey and L-desk lifehacks, I believe in your abilities!

          Not knowing anything about your A/C system or how big your house is, I'd suggest replacing your ducts with a split system. Much higher SEER ratings on average than the standard central system (and COP, which may be more relevant than SEER if you're getting solar power), no thermal conduction from the ducts to re-heat the air (in that there would be no ducts to transport the conditioned air), and easy regulation of temperature in the house. From a quick Google search, this one is decent. Mitsubishi makes high-SEER split systems, although you'd have to buy additional wall units separate for this specific one. There's also the solar-powered unit, although idk where to get one. You'd likely have to contact the company.

          Not knowing anything about your house again, if your insulation is fiberglass, then switching to mineral wool would instantly bump up the R value of your walls. High-performing walls means less energy losses (or heat energy gain?) in terms of keeping your house's temperature regulated, which could mean less A/C usage (and less furnace usage in the winter, but you already said the heat from the server room keeps the house warm anyway). It's also fire-proof, which may be of interest to you in keeping your server room safe. Roxul mineral wool is the first product that comes to mind. Since they cut easily and keep a shape (unlike fiberglass batts), batt installation is stupid easy. Cut and friction-fit.

          Adding furring strips to the interior part of the walls (as you would for a basement in order to create a standoff to hang stuff on) a and insulating that newly-created gap with mineral wool will bump up that R value even more and create a thermal break from the studs, meaning less heat conduction from the studs into the wall. Matter of fact, you could do the same for the exterior part of the walls to act as a rainscreen and completely isolate the studs from conducting heat.

          I got the mineral wool info and wall ideas from the LamiDesign blog. It's fantastic!

          As a quick segue from the last suggestion, (re-)insulating your roof and/or attic with mineral wool is a good idea as well and is actually more attainable in the short term than re-insulating the walls. Putting up a radiant barrier inside the roof and/or using metal shingles on the outside would do well to reduce the heat up there. With the entire house more effectively insulated, your A/C (whether central or split) would need to put in less work in order to cool the house, hence less power used.

          The server room producing heat during summer is a bit of a problem, but you already work around that.

          Not knowing anything about your lighting, perhaps changing your entire lighting system would help as well. Switching to an LED system with PWM dimming would instantly cut down on electricity costs with lighting. Plus, you won't be able to see flickering unless you turn the lights all the way down (but you won't do it anyway; once it's that low, may as well turn them off). I don't know much about this subject though, but it's very easy to see the energy savings. LED is already much more energy-efficient than regular light bulbs, and PWM means the lights would be off 10%-20% of the time they're in operation anyway.

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          • #6
            Just be sure to load up on enough batteries to at least power your house during the night and well in to the next day, otherwise you're wasting an investment.

            What is the price for powering a house in the US these days? We're sitting at about AUD 6-9,000, depending whom you ask. It used to be subsidised as well by the govvy.

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            • #7
              I am 100% for solar but the payback period is ~10 years. You are right it might not make sense right now, and panels are still getting cheaper/better and with the new panels coming with built in inverters so you could scale at your leisure in the near future.

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              • #8
                The panels themselves are cheap, at least in Europe, don't know about the US, it's the voltage converters and adapters that usually require more cash, depending on the amount of power you need for your house.

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                • #9
                  Panels with micro inverters might be an idea. one at a time as you can afford them

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                  • #10
                    Jan 33 and April 33 ? :-O

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