During the summer of 2009, the Hampshire College IT department replaced 85 computer lab workstations in the library, Natural Science (NS), and Cognitive Science (CS) departments. These upgrades cut the overall energy use of these workstations in half.
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Most of the new systems purchased were Mac Mini’s. We chose the Mini because it’s versatile (it can be attached to any type of external monitor), economical, and has a very small footprint, both physically and in terms of energy use.
We also replaced the CRT monitors in the labs with LCD flat-panel displays, which use half the energy. This includes a number of all-in-one models of Macs such as the eMac or iMac, which have a CRT monitor and CPU bundled as a single unit.
For our higher-powered computers in CS and NS we replaced PowerMac G5s with Mac Pros. The Mac Pros are much more powerful but use half the electrical energy of the G5 model.
We've utilized a feature of the new computers that enable us to further reduce overnight energy consumption by setting them to shut down when the buildings close. Both monitors and computers have energy-savers settings enabled and will go into sleep mode after being idle for a short time.
Reuse and Recycling
As a result of the lab upgrades, the old equipment was no longer needed, but remained functional. In an effort to keep working equipment out of the landfills and recycling centers, we organized a donation program and gave many computers to a local non-profit organization and also gave a number of machines to Hampshire employees and students for home use. Non-functional items were recycled through the Five Colleges recycling program.
Limiting Printing and Recycling Paper
Hampshire has a pay-for-print system for our lab printers and public copiers. This means items do not actually print until the students pay for and authorize the print job. This significantly reduces wasted paper, energy consumption, and toner replacement. Duplex settings are the default for the public printers and copiers, as well as all staff computers, which further reduces paper consumption.
Hampshire works to provide the community with tools that allow paper-based acitivities to move online, including:
Recycling bins are placed prominently in all computing labs.
IT operates approximately 109 servers. As stand-alone machines with 300w power supply, these would collectively use 785kwH of electricity per day, or 286,452 kwH per year, costing the college $33,200 annually. By virtualizing or consolodating multiple servers onto a single physical server, IT only has to operate 20 servers instead of 109. This saves the college 233,892kwH per year, or $27,100 annually. That energy reduction eliminates 161 metric tons of CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions from the atmosphere annually. This is the equivalent annual emissions from 31 cars or 375 barrels of oil.
What You Can Do
Tips from IT to save energy with power management »
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