Observing the world of renewable energy and sustainable living

Energy Needs Of An iPad

The growing number of devices in our daily lives means that we are consuming more and more electricity. This is something that worries lots of people, including me. A new study from a Palo Alto-based not-for-profit group takes a look at thte iPad’s energy consumption habits.

We do not share the worries as expressed by the article, linked to below, at all! Every hour spent with an iPad is not spent in a car or behind a television or a laptop/desktop computer, all vastly outconsuming the little synmpathetic device as far as power is concerned. Consider that an iPad can replace a desktop, laptop, TV and yes even a car (e-shopping) then it becomes clear what a central role devices like these could play in a resource depleted society. The article assumes a yearly energy consumption of 12 kwh, costing $1,36 against current prices. Even this tiny amount is probably exagerated. Assuming a power consumption of 4 Watt and heavy daily use of 4 hours, this would mean a yearly power consumption of 4 * 4 * 365 = 5.8 kwh.

iPad = 4 Watt
Laptop = 50 Watt
Desktop = 100 Watt
Car = 75,000 Watt

But even this is not all. Recently it was reported that Apple might consider to dump Intel and switch to ARM technology. This British firm is able to produce microprocessors that operate at 0.1 Watt. Currently the internet consumes between 1-2% of the total world energy consumption of 16TW. This is not just the power needed to operate the internet, but also the energy needed to build all the components as well. If you realize that the vast majority of client devices are still ‘old-fashioned’ desktops and laptops, then one can easily imagine, combined with the rise of the zero power screens, what enormous energy saving potential the new ‘gadgets’ have for the future.



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