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Monitor Draws Zero Power In Standby

CowboyNeal posted more than 6 years ago | from the green-screens dept.

Displays 405

fifthace writes "A new range of Fujitsu Siemens monitors don't draw power during standby. The technology uses capacitors and relays to avoid drawing power when no video signal is present. With political parties all over Europe calling for a ban on standby, this small development could end up as one of the most significant advances in recent times. The British Government estimates eight percent of all domestic electricity is consumed by devices in standby."

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405 comments

I Sincerely Apologize (0, Troll)

Dog Chapman (942321) | more than 6 years ago | (#21289797)

I don't care if she's a Mexican, a whore or whatever. It's not because she's black, it's because we use the word Apple-Fag sometimes here. I'm not gonna take a chance ever in life of losing everything I've worked for for 30 years because some fucking Apple-Fag heard us say Apple-Fag and turned us in to the Enquirer magazine. Our career is over! I'm not taking that chance at all! Never in life! Never! Never! If Lyssa was dating an Apple-Fag, we would all say 'fuck you!' And you know that. If Lyssa brought a UNIX guy home ya da da... it's not that they're filty faggot geeks, it's none of that. It's that we use the word Apple-Fag. We don't mean you fucking scum Apple-Fag without a soul. We don't mean that shit. But America would think we mean that. And we're not taking a chance on losing everything we got over a hilarious slur because our son goes with a girl like that. I can't do that Tucker. You can't expect Gary, Bonnie, Cecily, all them young kids to [garbled] because 'I'm in love with my new iPhone' - fuck that! So, I'll help you get another job but you can not work here unless you break up with her and she's out of your life. I can't handle that shit. I got Ballmer in the parking lot trying to record us. I got that girl saying she's gonna wear a recorder...

The most frustrating thing is.... (3, Insightful)

kcbanner (929309) | more than 6 years ago | (#21289801)

...when I see CRTs at work lighting up the room when they render "black".

Re:The most frustrating thing is.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21289815)

...when I see CRTs at work lighting up the room when they render "black".
That's more likely to be the case if the brightness is set too high, though. I calibrate black by bringing the brightness down till border and 'black' are the same.

Re:The most frustrating thing is.... (3, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 6 years ago | (#21289859)

It actually requires more power to render black, since you're forcing the LCD elements to remain opaque in front of the backlight, which emits constant power.

Re:The most frustrating thing is.... (1)

jnewmano (462029) | more than 6 years ago | (#21289953)

Until the screen turns off the backlight is on, even if it appears black on your screen. Like the parent said, to render black a voltage has to be applied across the pixel in order to change the optical properties of the pixel effectively changing the light's polarization to be blocked by a polarizer in front of the screen....

Re:The most frustrating thing is.... (4, Informative)

ThinkingInBinary (899485) | more than 6 years ago | (#21289957)

Not necessarily. If the two polarizers are in parallel, then, yes, it has to twist the light as it goes through to block it. But if the two polarizers are perpendicular, then black is the "default state", and light is blocked unless the liquid crystal twists it to let it through the second polarizer. (My Sony CLIE (SL-10) was like this -- it turned black when the device was off. It looked nice.)

Re:The most frustrating thing is.... (5, Informative)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290203)

Well, he was talking about CRTs. And you are wrong on both counts. On a CRT more current flows to make the screen white. For an LCD, just remove the signal or power from the screen, but not the light and the pixels go "black". However...transmitting black over air takes more energy. And the sync pulse, even more.

Re:The most frustrating thing is.... (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290173)

You sure you dont mean LCDs? CRTs dont use any power to display black.

Personally I've never seen a CRT display much light when showing black at night.
Thats comparing my web surfing monitor (white) to my IRC/Konsole monitor (black).

Re:The most frustrating thing is.... (3, Insightful)

InvalidError (771317) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290421)

Most of the power in a CRT goes into the H/V beam deflection electromagnets, not the electron gun. The H/V scanning electronics operate regardless of which color is being rendered. The filament heater also uses about 6W whenever the CRT is turned on. Between displaying 100% white at the highest brightness and the blackest black at the lowest brightness, there is only a 5-10% difference depending on resolution and refresh rates.

As for Fujitsu's 0W-standby monitor, they conveniently omit the fact that this extra relay's coil and related components will be drawing an extra 1W or so while the monitor/TV is on. I would prefer that they perfected ultra-low-power standby like 1W as the current typical appliance has 4-10W standby power: having standby rely on capacitors means standby would not work as expected every now and then if it's been too long since the previous power-up.

Re:The most frustrating thing is.... (2, Informative)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290595)

Between displaying 100% white at the highest brightness and the blackest black at the lowest brightness, there is only a 5-10% difference depending on resolution and refresh rates.

Blackle [blackle.com] seems to say differently. And people have done the math [blogspot.com].

Re:The most frustrating thing is.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21290331)

My 1997 CRT goes to stand-by (you can hear a relay make a sound) when the sync disappears (or whatever method is used to signal it to go to stand-by). Either the CRTs at your office are very old, are very low-end, or the computers are incorrectly configured.

PS. While CRTs use less power when displaying black than when displaying white, the cathode still gets heated and whatnot. Displaying black is a very inefficient way of keeping a CRT at standby.

Re:The most frustrating thing is.... (1)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290423)

You should check your supplier if they got those screens that renders dark black instead...

power isnt free (4, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 6 years ago | (#21289819)

Then it just draws EXTRA power while running, to charge the capacitors. Electricity can't be produced from nothing.

A more useful version would be one that used solar cells on the top of the LCD to absorb the already expended energy of ambient lighting.

Re:power isnt free (4, Informative)

CaptainPatent (1087643) | more than 6 years ago | (#21289839)

Then it just draws EXTRA power while running, to charge the capacitors. Electricity can't be produced from nothing.
Yes, but it only draws enough electricity to fill the capacitors instead of constantly drawing enough power to bring the monitor out of standby.

Sure you're going to use some extra electricity to come out of standby, but this does cut down on that amount in a vast manner.

Re:power isnt free (2, Informative)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 6 years ago | (#21289887)

Dude... the total energy consumption remains constant. Think about it. For the capacitors to run the monitor that long, they MUST HAVE DRAWN THE POWER IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Re:power isnt free (4, Informative)

Zekasu (1059298) | more than 6 years ago | (#21289965)

A relay cuts off the mains power whenever the video stream stops; capacitors store enough charge to flick the relay back when the signal returns. Solar panels provide enough power to maintain zero consumption mode for up to five days, after which you have to press a regular power button to bring the machine out of standby.

There's a difference here, and that is that this new monitor will draw enough power to wake itself out of standby, and then not draw anymore power. Normal monitors generally go into standby, and then continue consuming power, which is less wpoer than an idle screen, but still more than just enough to charge some capacitors.

I don't see it as winning a prize for groundbreaking-innovation, though.

Re:power isnt free (2, Informative)

arodland (127775) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290299)

There's a difference here, and that is that this new monitor will draw enough power to wake itself out of standby, and then not draw anymore power.
Except of course that that's not really possible since it needs to draw power to know when to come out of standby. That's where the constant draw comes from. The key to this is the solar panels they mention, which keep the caps topped off against leakage current. Without them, the design seems worthless to me, but with them you have an "alternative energy" monitor that puts photovoltaics to a use where, amazingly enough, they actually work.

Re:power isnt free (2, Informative)

amccaf1 (813772) | more than 6 years ago | (#21289969)

Dude... the total energy consumption remains constant. Think about it. For the capacitors to run the monitor that long, they MUST HAVE DRAWN THE POWER IN THE FIRST PLACE.
According to the article:

Fujitsu Siemens showed two 22in widescreen test monitors with power meters attached at a press event in Augsburg, Germany. The display drew 0.6-0.9W when the monitor was switched off using its standby button and with an active video signal from a VGA cable present. When the display signal was switchedc off the monitor drew zero power even though the standby/power button was not pressed
This technology would appear to charge the capacitors with a one time burst as it goes into it's standby mode (and the charge is kept up via solar power). Ordinarily monitors are drawing 0.6 - 0.9W constantly while they are on (for minutes... or hours... or weeks.) The article doesn't state how much power is used to initially charge the capacitors, but I can't imagine that it would take more (or as much) power to charge them once than it would to let the monitor constantly bleed 0.6 - 0.9W over five days...

Re:power isnt free (4, Insightful)

JonathanR (852748) | more than 6 years ago | (#21289995)

Dude... Think about it. They're using capacitors and relays in order to detect a video signal and respond to it. Think of it like a mousetrap. It can remain armed for a long time without using any of the stored energy. The mousetrap is not powered while on standby mode, nor does it draw-down the energy from the spring.

Re:power isnt free (2, Insightful)

xzaph (1157805) | more than 6 years ago | (#21289999)

Except they're not "running the monitor that long", because the monitor isn't running. It's like saying that a battery that sits in bin for a year draws as much power as a 110V->1.5V transformer that's been plugged in and turned on for a year: obviously, the transformer consumes much more power because it's continually drawing power and wasting it all off to heat energy if there's no other load on the system.

Re:power isnt free (2, Informative)

slazzy (864185) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290073)

I think you've got it there - the transformer AKA power supply uses a lot of power when the monitor is doing nothing at all - IE in stanby mode. The relay will disconnect the power supply, and store the tiny amount of power needed to turn back on the relay in a capacitor - seems like a good idea to me.

Re:power isnt free (1)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290017)

Are you serious or trolling?

The caps aren't running the monitor, all they are doing is reserving enough energy to start things up again on demand. Which means that the energy draw is fixed wrt the interval in which the monitor switches itself off, and user input switches it on again.

The biggest wastage is in the power supply itself (5, Informative)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#21289987)

You don't need much power to run a very small 8-bit micro, enough to wake a sleeping monitor. We're talking about nano Amps here. A cheap capacitor can keep that going for months.

The biggest wastage in taditional designs is that they use switch mode power supplies designed to run at full power. They don't operate very efficiently at very low (standby) power. It is far better to completely turn off the power supply and just use a local capacitor to keep the micro going.

Re:power isnt free (2, Insightful)

complete loony (663508) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290013)

And yet according to TFA this monitor still draws power when you press the standby / power button. It's only when the video signal ceases that the power usage drops to zero.

If I press the "off" button and have to press it again to turn it on, why is the monitor still drawing power?

Re:power isnt free (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290205)

I honestly cannot see how standby can chew significant amounts of power.
The circuitry is dead simple and very light.

Re:power isnt free (2, Informative)

amccaf1 (813772) | more than 6 years ago | (#21289849)

A more useful version would be one that used solar cells on the top of the LCD to absorb the already expended energy of ambient lighting.
Looks like it does... From TFA:

Solar panels provide enough power to maintain zero consumption mode for up to five days, after which you have to press a regular power button to bring the machine out of standby.

They do use solar panels (2, Informative)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#21289895)

A more useful version would be one that used solar cells

*AHEM* From TFA:

A relay cuts off the mains power whenever the video stream stops; capacitors store enough charge to flick the relay back when the signal returns. Solar panels provide enough power to maintain zero consumption mode for up to five days, after which you have to press a regular power button to bring the machine out of standby.


Re:power isnt free (1)

mikael (484) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290127)

The issue is that one or two Megawatt power stations in the UK are effectively being used to keep electronic components on standby. According to the article these TV sets will also have solar panels to keep the capacitors charged.

The other thing people can do is to make sure they are using rechargable batteries for the remote control. I wonder if solar panels could be added to rechargeable batteries, so you could have them recharged simply by leaving them beside a window.

Re:power isnt free (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290217)

I wish the magnetic remote charging technology takes off.
Then the remote can function off a capacitor as well.

Re:power isnt free (0)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290377)

The other thing people can do is to make sure they are using rechargable batteries for the remote control.

I find that a set of alkaline batteries usually lasts about 5 years in a remote control. Due to chemical deterioration, it's unlikely that consumer-grade rechargeables have a lifetime exceeding 15 years. Since rechargeables usually cost about 3X normal alkalines, they're rather likely to use about 3X the natural resources to manufacture. That means that for use in remote controls, rechargeables might very well be worse for the environment than disposable alkalines. (Not to mention that without the solar cell idea, self-discharge would require that you recharge all your remotes every few months, a major PITA.)

Rechargeable batteries are great for a lot of applications, but remote controls aren't one of them.

Same thing only different. (3, Insightful)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21289861)

I believe the proper term is "hibernate". When my laptop is in standby, it still draws power. But when I close the lid on my laptop, and it goes into hibernation mode, it draws no power until I open the lid again. The same could be said of these monitors. They draw no power until a user does something analogous to me opening the lid on my laptop.

A hibernating computer still draws power (2, Informative)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#21289935)

Most use some sort of supervisory micro or other electronics to sense you pressing the power switch etc. It might draw very little power, but it isn't nothing.

Re:A hibernating computer still draws power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21290383)

Incorrect, if a pc is hibernating it draws absolutely no power. Hibernation means the contents of RAM and all the cpu registers are saved to the hard drive and the PC is then switched off completely. When you turn it back on and the OS starts to boot it realises the pc is in hibernation and copies the data back so the pc can resume from exactly where it was. Hibernation is all done in software.

(NOTE: power to keep the bios/sysclock doesn't count, it is used even if the pc is off and not in hibernation)

Re:A hibernating computer still draws power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21290681)

Hey Brainiac! The switch on your laptop is almost certainly a "soft switch", which is monitored by a small, if efficient microprocessor.

Re:Same thing only different. (5, Insightful)

tknd (979052) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290081)

They're referring to the electronics standby not computer OS standby. Nearly all electronic devices (TVs, monitors, computers, etc) are on standby unless they're unplugged. This allows you to turn on the device with an electronic switch or a remote rather than a physical switch because part of the electronics are still "on". The surprising thing is some electronics are incredibly inefficient at standby. I tested some PSUs which would use 4 watts while the computer was "off". If you start adding up the number of electronic gadgets in your home, the watts start adding up all while your stuff is doing absolutely nothing.

Re:Same thing only different. (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290145)

I think hibernation implies that the computer can be completely turned off (i.e., the power source can be disconnected, because the contents of RAM have been written to the hard disk). I think most laptops just go into a deep sleep, perhaps S3 suspend-to-RAM, where a small amount of power is still necessary to maintain the contents of RAM. I use S3 on my desktop, put if you pull the power plug in S3, you'll have to start up normally (or abnormally, since you probably shouldn't do that).

Re:Same thing only different. (1, Insightful)

John.P.Jones (601028) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290177)

Ah, hibernation I remember it fondly. Upon discovering my new PowerBook G4 didn't support such an advanced feature I nearly returned it. Since then when I'm not using my laptop it is constantly drawing enough power to refresh the RAM and pulse its LED. It is never off for more than an hour. I wish Apple would get with it and implement hibernation.

Misleading title. (0, Troll)

wickerprints (1094741) | more than 6 years ago | (#21289863)

RTFA. Obviously it can't consume no energy--it just doesn't consume mains energy, and even then, it shuts off if left in standby for more than five days. Seems to me to be a solution in search of a problem.

instead (2, Insightful)

ConcreteJungle (1177207) | more than 6 years ago | (#21289875)

why can't people just be disciplined enough to switch off their monitors before leaving for home/office?

Re:instead (4, Insightful)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#21289929)

Empirically, they can't. It does not matter why, unless with that answer comes some insight into how to change it. It would appear that simply telling them to do better has no impact. If *you* want to save power, then that method has some hope of success. If a large organization or society wants to save power, that method is almost hopeless. So, given that you can't just tell people to conserve energy and expect it to work, what can you do? Incentives or mandates for more efficient standby modes is one solution that might actually have an impact.

Re:instead (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290281)

So, given that you can't just tell people to conserve energy and expect it to work, what can you do?

Rationing. "TURN OFF THAT LIGHT!! Don't ya know that there is a WAR goin' on?"

Make it obnoxious. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290617)

The only reason I'm in the habit of turning my monitor off at home is that unlike most appliances, its "standby" mode includes a bright, blue, flashing light. The light is on, solid, when the machine is on, but it blinks on and off constantly when it's in standby. I realize the LCD uses almost no power, but it both gives me a visual cue that the thing is still wasting power, and it actually keeps me awake at night (it's in my bedroom).

But, I'd argue that no matter what the reason that people are lazy, or even whether or not they are lazy, this technology is still an improvement. Really, even if you meticulously turn off your monitor every day, why wouldn't you want one of these?

Re:instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21290029)

why can't government just butt out of everyone's life? if the power is being paid for, what exactly is the problem?

Re:instead (1)

kryten250 (1177211) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290051)

It goes back to the arguement that if you're not paying for it then why do it? I buy beer every now and then but I ALWAYS get blind drunk at open bars.

Re:instead (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290159)

If you switch the devices on/off all the time, then they don't last very long. One reason why modern electronic devices last for decades without failure, is due to not ever being really switched off.

Re:instead (4, Insightful)

rmerry72 (934528) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290235)

If you switch the devices on/off all the time, then they don't last very long. One reason why modern electronic devices last for decades without failure, is due to not ever being really switched off.

Oh crap. Maybe mechanical devices might have a problem - like spinning down and spinning up your hard drive - but not electrical devices. Modern electronic devices haven't been around for decades, maybe just over one. Most old fashioned electoronics - like old TVs and radios - did get turned on and off (they had no standby) and they did last decades.

Modern devices barely last five years before needing replacing. Add the fact that they chew up power when they are in "stand-by" and I wonder what the definition of "progress" really is.

Re:instead (2, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290207)

> why can't people just be disciplined enough to switch off their monitors before leaving for home/office?

Go ahead, push the button on the front if it makes you feel 'green' or something. But other than the LED on the front going off instead of blinking and/or changing colors you ain't done a goddamned thing. It is still wasting almost (less the couple of milliwatts for the LED) exactly as much power as if you hadn't pushed the button. Because the button on the front is just a 'soft button' on almost every LCD panel. Mine has a real switch on the back that will discontinue all power... and is useful to reboot the retarded thing when it's CPU locks up.

It does help to know something about the problem before spouting off answers.

Re:instead (2, Funny)

Khyber (864651) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290605)

Yup, and knowing plenty about the problem, I keep my power strip right between my tower and my amplifier, right where I can reach over the keyboard and KILL EVERYTHING AT ONCE.

No sissy waiting for stuff to shut down. All my programs are closed, hard disk activity light not blinking *click* everything's off.

Why wait for a solution when we've had one for decades and it works more reliably than some software-controlled switch?

Re:instead (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290209)

Because I'm that fucking lazy. And there's not much point if I'm not switching off the computer too, which I'm also not doing.

Re:instead (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290679)

why can't people just be disciplined enough to switch off their monitors before leaving for home/office?

Remember old beige Macintoshes? The monitor power actually ran through the computer, so when you shut down the machine the monitor was powered down, too.

One of those nice little touches we lost on the way to cost cutting and standardization with the PC industry.

it's got an LED on it, too (3, Interesting)

User 956 (568564) | more than 6 years ago | (#21289927)

A new range of Fujitsu Siemens monitors don't draw power during standby.

The monitor might not, but what about the power brick? those things consume power even if no monitor is attached.

Re:it's got an LED on it, too (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290033)

Since when do monitors have power bricks? I've never seen a monitor with a power brick.

Re:it's got an LED on it, too (1)

glpierce (731733) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290085)

Many LCDs use power bricks (several Dell LCD models I've worked with as well as the the Acer AL2051W I'm using right now, for example).

Where's the OFF switch (5, Insightful)

HeyBob! (111243) | more than 6 years ago | (#21289931)

I just want an Off switch on my printers and scanners! Or if they do have one, put it in the front. I use my scanner once a month, it's crazy to leave it plugged in all the time (no power switch). My printer's power switch is way around at the back, hard to reach - I only print once or twice a week. At least my LCD has an off button on the front, but it is never really off.

Re:Where's the OFF switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21290437)

AAAAA-MEN, brother.

And while they're at it, they have to standardize the freaking location of said power buttons. I'm tired of working with printers that have the button on the back, the right side, the left side, or somewhere above. Laptops too. Matter of fact, I remember wasting a day's chance at having internet access with my brand new laptop --the WiFi switch was in an unlikely location near the middle of the front panel but on the underside. The laptop had about 3 stickers announcing Skype and crap, but none with an arrow pointing down to my lap.

8% sounds high (3, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 6 years ago | (#21289959)

What do they consider standby?

I guess this is more save the planet stuff.

Now I need to buy new monitors, tv's, vcrs, dvd players, microwave, oven, unplug my clocks every day, etc.. Lots more aluminum smelted. Lots more resources used up. Lots more pollution, but we all can sleep better knowing the residential power demand may shrink by a fraction of a percent.

I'll get right on that after I scrap my relatively new car and buy a prius, and pull and toss all my perfectly functional lighing in favor of compact flourescent. And if we all pitch in, the rate of increase of power demand of this planet will slow by a probably incalculably small amount.

Why do individuals need to change their lives so radically, for an extremely minor, and likely insignificant payoff - all the while lining the pockets of the worlds leading polluters?

If my PC didn't have standby, it'd simply be on all the time, and so would yours - don't lie. This is all getting a little bit silly. Where are the real problem solvers, why are we waiting for government to solve these problems?

My solution? "Consume" as little as possible. I got a ton of shit already, I don't need anymore. We simply aren't going to buy our way to a cooler planet.

Re:8% sounds high (3, Insightful)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290039)

No one is telling you to go out and buy one right away or we're all goners. It's just another option to consider when your current model fails. The same goes for the rest of that saving the planet stuff.

patents?!?! (0, Offtopic)

ctalnh (542227) | more than 6 years ago | (#21289975)

From TFA:

The company has applied for six patents covering the technology and the first monitors using it will go on sale next spring.

I know what they're doing is commendable and all, but COME FREAKING ON! Their solution with capacitors and relays is totally obvious. And if they go ahead and get the patent, does that prevent other manufacturers from making similar improvements? How is this in anyone's interest other than Fujitsu Siemens?

Re:patents?!?! (5, Insightful)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290113)

I built a relay and cap circuit when I was in highschool to turn AC circuits on and off with a standard momentary push button. The result, zero stand-by current. holding the momentary switch completed a circuit which would cascade and latch a larger relay. This relay would hold itself closed until you interrupted the power. Simple, and makes a satisfying click.

I'm not sure how you can patent something that 1-2% of EE students discovered on their own.

Re:patents?!?! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21290313)

You must be new here..

Annoying LEDs? (5, Funny)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290047)

I like this trend. If a device wants to consume 0 power on standby then it finally means that they'll stop putting those damn blue LEDs on everything electronic. Then I could have a dark bedroom at night without the use of electrical tape.

Re:Annoying LEDs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21290161)

No kidding. Apple is the absolute worst about this. My iBook lights up the whole room with that damn pulsating white LED and the green light when it's plugged in is bright as hell. I have to remember to bury it under cloths/blankets every night or it will prevent me from sleeping well. I hate that thing but I need it for work.

Re:Annoying LEDs? (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290195)

When those super-bright LEDs were invented a few years ago they were "cool". Since every manufacturer wants their product to be "cool", and more is obviously better...

Re:Annoying LEDs? (1)

Brad1138 (590148) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290213)

My Dads eye's are "sensitive". He had me put black electrical tape over the num-lock light on his keyboard because it bothered him. He never uses Caps lock, and I don't even know what scroll lock does so I guess he's good for now.

Re:Annoying LEDs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21290223)

and I don't even know what scroll lock does
Open up a spreadsheet. Turn scroll lock on, then use the arrow keys on your keyboard. Turn scroll lock off and repete the same process.

Re:Annoying LEDs? (3, Informative)

TurboStar (712836) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290535)

How'd that get modded funny? I tape over mine too. Some blue LEDs literally hurt even glancing at them in a dark room. Then you have the night vision loss.

Holy Shit (0, Troll)

moehoward (668736) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290049)

They solved Global Warming(tm).

Give up this crap, editors. My god. Science is science. What the fuck is going on with this human-caused global warming bullshit. This story is contrived to fit that "agenda." I call bullshit on the whole lot of you.

Moe

Re:Holy Shit (1)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290265)

> This story is contrived to fit that "agenda."

While I'd bet that the editors had that in mind and even better odds Fujitsu is milking that angle the issue of standby power waste is a real one that has only been growing worse in recent years. Combine with general shortages in fuel sources (especially if you don't like the idea of giving our enemies in the GWOT Sagan's of dollars to fund terrorists with) and a stressed out distribution grid and there are real reasons to think ideas like this one have merit.

> What the fuck is going on with this human-caused global warming bullshit.

Notice how the founder of the Weather Channel comes out saying human caused GW is a hoax and gets (so far Drudge is the biggest site to carry it) zero mainstream coverage. So ya I'm with you on that but don't let it blind you to actual useful stuff.

Re:Holy Shit (2, Interesting)

eggnoglatte (1047660) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290315)

You are probably trolling, but just in case you actually mean it...

Have you looked at the oil price lately? Even if you are irrational enough to ignore the mountain of evidence for human caused global warming, you might still want to cut down on your energy bill and/or make the remaining oil on this planet last a little longer.

Re:Holy Shit (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21290391)

They solved Global Warming(tm). Give up this crap, editors. My god. Science is science. What the fuck is going on with this human-caused global warming bullshit. This story is contrived to fit that "agenda." I call bullshit on the whole lot of you.

Are you trolling or just retarded?

A better (but more involved) solution... (1)

xzaph (1157805) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290053)

Better would be to simply allow the computer to supply enough power to activate a circuit to turn the monitor on when it wishes to be on - after all, the monitor is essentially yet another peripheral to a computer system. Fujitsu has basically indirectly allowed this by taking the small power of a VGA signal and amplifying it via capacitors, but why not just have the computer provide the full power needed in the first place?

Re:A better (but more involved) solution... (1)

slazzy (864185) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290135)

I think Fujitsu has a better idea here, because I might be using my monitor with my DVD player, cable box or other device - all of which would then need to know how to turn the display off to save power.

I think there are a lot of other devices that could benefit from having the transformer turning off when not being used. How about a cell phone charger that turns off the power to the transformer (again with a relay) and turns it back on only when a cell phone is plugged in? How about a TV that uses the same technology, would require a larger capacitor, but it could do the same thing, waiting for the right IR remote signal to turn the TV on, otherwise all power would be off.

Re:A better (but more involved) solution... (1)

sssssss27 (1117705) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290221)

On of my first computers, me being 21 now and this being around when I was 8, had something similar to this. There was pass through on the power supply for you to plug your monitor into and when you either turned on or off your computer it did the same for the monitor. This was back in the Windows 95 days though when you had to physically turn off the computer though.

Re:A better (but more involved) solution... (1)

Svet-Am (413146) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290407)

many power supplies still have this pass-through feature. in fact, a BFG power supply I purchased recently has it.

Pull the plug (5, Interesting)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290093)

So does that mean I can pull the plug and have the monitor remain in standby mode?

Re:Pull the plug (1)

Gryle (933382) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290157)

Why is the parent modded down? Granted my knowledge of circuitry is rather limited, but it still seems like a legitimate question.

Re:Pull the plug (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21290395)

Yes.

Of course, you wouldn't be able to display anything on it, and as soon as you gave it a signal, it would 'turn on' and go dead completely.

I'm not really sure what you plan on gaining from being in standby though.

Eight percent? (1)

Jartan (219704) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290123)

Seems important to fix but it's kind of a problem of degree isn't it? Our traditional power sources are running out and our power needs will increase dramatically. In that kind of equation even improving world power usage efficiency by 50% would be of rather minor benefit in actually solving the problem.

How much political power gets directed at stuff like this which could be more properly directed at new power sources?

Bad power factor is the real problem (3, Interesting)

thogard (43403) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290151)

Most very low power modern devices have nasty power factors. PC power supplies tend to be .6 to .8. CFLs run from about .2 to .6 while many phone charges are about .2. That means for every watt delivered to the phone, there line losses in the grid are at least 3 W if not more. There are also losses in the generator so getting 1 Watt into your phone (or CFL) may require more power than putting 5W into a resistive load.

Re:Bad power factor is the real problem (2, Interesting)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290369)

I wonder what would happen if the electric company billed for the volt-amps consumed, instead of the watts, and then reported both numbers (together with your power factor) on the bill. I also wonder what would be required to do whole-house power factor correction? How much cost would it add if you were going to install a grid-tie solar system or something similar? How do these numbers compare to the added cost of power factor corrected power supplies in consumer electronics?

Re:Bad power factor is the real problem (1)

thogard (43403) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290399)

Many places don't allow power companies to charge power factor correction charges to homes but a business that has a PF of .8 will pay at least 20% more for their power.

Only 2 to 4W difference (3, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290229)

Yes it's still a good thing, but meanwhile has anyone invented an airconditioner/heater or car that's much more efficient but at the same time as practical and as affordable as the conventional stuff?

My airconditioner uses at least 1kW. 1 hour of airconditioning = 20 days of monitor standby.

For those of you who live in countries that need central heating, the standby power isn't going to hurt as much during winter since you want stuff warmer anyway.

I need a better designed house (to reduce cooling bills etc), but I can't afford one... An "Energy Star" legislation for houses here might be good, but I'm worried the builders will just use it as a way to make a lot more money.

American Powerpoints (1)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290239)

Quick Question:

Do American power points have switches on them? Or are they just live the whole time?

Re:American Powerpoints (1)

johndunlop (644820) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290303)

No switches ( except for a few ones installed for lighting in bedrooms and such, where the wall switch by the door is connected to an outlet SOMEWHERE in the room. Most modern houses do not come with a ceiling light as standard)

This is more of a stunt (2)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290333)

This is more of a stunt. It's relatively straightforward to design the control electronics for a display such that the electronics draws under a milliwatt in standby. The problem is how to get 1mW at 5V or so from the power line. Low-end switching power supplies don't even work right with no load, and better ones still draw a few percent of full-load current when unloaded. So you can't use the main power supply. Transformers have the same problem.

What's really needed are low-cost power supplies for obtaining something like a milliwatt from the power line without wasting more power than they deliver. But they have to be attached to the power line, and need the the protection circuitry and isolation for that. It's not something that can be done with a single IC.

One could power the standby electronics from an ultracapacitor, and when it gets low, bring up the main power supply for a few seconds for a recharge.

Forgot the solar panels.... (2)

ibeleo (319444) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290363)

From the introductory blurb "uses capacitors and relays to avoid drawing power". Drawing on my memory from my hardware (as in soldering and breadboarding) geek phase (Z8 ForthChip anybody?) a capacitor acts like a battery so all this is doing is storing power before going into standby. That can't be saving power just shifting it around.

The next part (my opionion) is the one that makes this work (FTFA)->"Solar panels provide enough power to maintain zero consumption mode". Pretty nifty, I've seen solar panels used on automatic faucets to start the water - of course if we kept the faucets wouldn't need the power in the first place (I know also cuts down on germs, just saying)

So make sure to keep a lamp on nearby (or make sure direct sunlight hits the monitor, always good for usability!)

A .sig - how quaint reminds of Usenet - is that still around? :Q

Power usage (1)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290451)

It is not a trivial problem. Most video display technologies need an amount of stabilization to display images accurately. That requires a constant current load, unless you want to go back to the 50's, 60's, and 70's where the TVs have to warm up before you use them.

I agree that most things don't require "stand-by" power. Hell, I have some USB external hard drives where the switch isn't on the actual power supply, but on the device, meaning that the power supply is always drawing some current even though the device is physically switched off.

That all being said, I'd certainly like the option of turning devices off, I mean really off, easily, i.e. not being required to unplug them.

referances on ban? (1)

caldwelljt (927040) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290487)

Sorry, it would help if there was a referance to the call to a "ban on standby". My immediate attempts to find this in the media were unfruitful.

Searching google news for a "ban on standby": http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&q=%22ban+on+standby%22 [google.com] resulted in only a referance to this artical.

For those of us not in europ and/or not in the know (and who keep our threshold at 4 or 5 because we have little time to browse) is there a referance for this?

Thanks

Relay? (1)

Trogre (513942) | more than 6 years ago | (#21290571)

Okay, so a relay flips the mains power off when there's no signal, and presumably the relay coil is off in this state. But when the monitor comes back on, presumably the relay needs to flip into its on state. Surely that would increase the "on" power consumption of the monitor, making it not very green for high-use applications.

Unless they have a two-coil or polarity-reversing relay and some clever magnets on the relay contacts so one state doesn't need to be constantly fighting a spring.

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