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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Should the next standby power target be 0-watt?


The standby power use of appliances continues to consume large amounts of electricity. Considerable success has been made in reducing each device’s use, but these savings have been offset by a huge increase in the number of products using standby power and new power requirements for maintaining network connections. Current strategies to reduce standby have limitations and may not be most appropriate for emerging energy consumption trends. A new strategy for further reductions in standby, the “Standzero” option, encourages electrical products to be designed to operate for short periods without relying on mains-supplied electricity. Energy savings are achieved through enhanced efficiency and by harvesting ambient energy. A sensitivity analysis suggests many appliances could be designed to operate for at least an hour without relying on mains power and, in some cases, may be able to operate indefinitely at zero watts until activated.

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