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Old 20th November 2012, 12:44 PM   #1
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Default Energy crunch and population- a nice introduction

This is an interesting talk on population and our energy requirements and how long before everything starts to go downhill. Given by Dr.Albert A. Bartlett
Eight parts. The link to the first part is given here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-QA2rkpBSY
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Old 20th November 2012, 12:51 PM   #2
freax is offline freax  Australia
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I agree.

Its a good time to start building TA2020 based amplifiers and TDA1543 battery powered DAC's.

Hint Hint.

I regularly get blackouts/brownouts where I live, the voltage goes down to 200v on a good day.

Know why? People's air conditioners + 30 year old power line transformers.

I've got this guy's talks copied to my hard drive, this is how impressive what he says is, I want them to survive, so that in the future I have something to point to and say, here is a plausible explanation as to why humanity screwed it up!

Last edited by freax; 20th November 2012 at 12:55 PM.
 
Old 20th November 2012, 01:02 PM   #3
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We have a similar situation here. An aircon dealer told me they are selling more aircon's than ever and we have 2 hour power cuts every day because they can't supply enough power to the grid. We use electric power for almost all gadgets and so during the power cut almost all usual work stops. Time to start reading a book or do things with one's hands AND sweat it out due to high temp and humidity!
The supply will increase slowly only over the next 5 years and in the meantime more aircon's and electrical gadgets will be sold and so it will not be enough when the new generators come on stream. Per capita consumption will increase and so will " population". It ain't going to work !
Our 230 V line is usually at 200~210 V. In summer time , the circuit breakers at the power grid trips due to excess load and it becomes unbearable....rant...rant ...rant ! If anger was like a magnetic field , the night time 'field' in the cities would be like a black hole !
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Old 20th November 2012, 01:12 PM   #4
freax is offline freax  Australia
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Indeed, at least during winter its far easier to change the climate, by the use of Kerosene heaters.

You or someone else might also want to look into the M4 ATX PSU (With enclosure) that you can buy for a computer. And the Pico-UPS 120 ATV, or the OpenUPS.

And the Norco RPC-430
And the Core i3 2120-T CPU
And the Gigabyte GTX-650 OC (very low power consumption)
Or the ATI Radeon 7750.
Or the GT210 for far less.

This is a cumulation of 6 months of study on the topic of low power consuming pc parts that could conceivably (Untested so far) run from a battery supply while still remaining desktop components, and portable with the use of rackmount roadcases.

Last edited by freax; 20th November 2012 at 01:22 PM.
 
Old 20th November 2012, 01:20 PM   #5
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That's interesting. Will check it out. Was planning to change to a new computer ! Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old 20th November 2012, 04:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Know why? People's air conditioners + 30 year old power line transformers.
I live in South Florida USA. We didn't have AC when I was a kid, and it was hot. We lived in rural Miami, there was always an ocean breeze, and a lake in the back yard, so we got by. The population explosion and high rise housing has blocked the ocean breeze, so now we melt. Today (late November, early in winter in northern hemisphere) is the first day this year that my AC has not been on. Everyone has AC and it is pretty much needed year round.

A few years ago the 30 year old power line transformer died and it was replaced by a new one. The new one is half the size of the old one, and housed in plastic. The distortion on my line voltage used to range from 3 to 5%, but with the new transformer, 10 or even 15% is common in the early afternoon. The scope shows obvious flat topping on the waveform. Much of this is due to computers and flat screen TV's that draw current only on the waveform peaks. There is yet no power factor requirements in the US.

We had a hurricane 6 years ago that ripped out much of the power distribution infrastructure. There was no power for 3 weeks. Loss of power for 2 days to a week can happen from even a small storm. So, I set out to build a low power PC with a ham radio SDR that can run on battery power. About two years ago I came up with a similar set up.

I don't play games, so I don't need high end graphics. I want enough graphics power for 1080 HD TV playback and record, enough processing power for the SDR radio (similar performance to this Core 2 Quad Q6600 machine. This is what I built:

M4 ATX PSU (no enclosure, just plug it right into the motherboard.
Asus P8H61-1 motherboard.
Core i3-2100T CPU chip
Intel SSD for Windows 7 and programs. 500GB laptop drive for data storage.
8 gigs of memory (I tested all the 4 gig DIMM's I had for lowest power consumption)
NO graphics card, the motherboard graphics are good enough.
Disable on board sound, add M-audio card required by SDR hardware (adds 4 watts).

Evrything runs from a 12 volt battery. Do not use a car battery. They were not meant to be discharged below about 80%. Doing so kills their capacity and they will be about half capacity in a few months, then develop dead cells. Use a deep cycle marine battery or a golf cart battery. At least here, a 100Ah marine battery is $100 at Walmart.

This system has been running for over a year. I am using an old 20 inch display that will run from a 12 volt supply...or a marine battery. The PC system (not counting the monitor) idles at about 40 watts and will hit 80 watts if I run Prime 95 in torture test mode. Passmark performance tests put the CPU system at 3250. This core 2 Quad desktop (4 years old) runs at 2980 and eats about 400 watts doing it.

There is much newer and better hardware out there for faster lower power machines. I am in the process of sorting out a "man sized laptop". My aging eyes need a big screen and I want to be able to use it for a portable guitar effects / recording rack. I want similar processing and graphics capability as the last low power box. This is what I have chosen and tested so far:

Display: Acer S200HL LED backlight, runs from 19 volt supply, draws 1.7 amps at full brightness.

Motherboard: Intel DQ77KB Internal power supply, everything runs from 19 volts. MB can run up to a 65 watt CPU. So, no overclocked Core i7's!

CPU: Intel Core i3-3225 Third generation 22nm process. Eats less power than 2nd gen 32nm chips. Running an aftermarket low profile CPU cooler (the Intel is too tall). No brand name but it comes from MiniBox (the power supply people). "Intel 4000" graphics. Most other low cost chips have "2500" graphics.

Memory: G.Skill F3-1600C10D-16GSQ 16 GB set eats LESS total power than the 8 gig set it replaced!

Sandisk 120 GB SSD boot and program drive, two Hitachi 500GB laptop storage drives.

On board graphics are as good as an $80 Nvidia graphics card. Drives the 20 inch screen and a 40 inch TV in 1080 HD simultaneously. On board sound OK for internal speakers, 4 watt amp built into MB. I will use a external USB box and amp for recording and playing guitar. There is a Logitech USB wireless mouse / keyboard dongle and a WiFi dongle plugged in too.

The MB with everything mentoned above draws 700 mA from 20 volts at idle. Thats 14 WATTS! After running the Prime 95 torture test for an hour the MB was drawing 2.1 amps (42 WATTS). The CPU was warm and the motherboard chip was pretty toasty. I may try passive cooling. The system Passmarks at 4300, way faster than both previous machines, but behind my overclocked core i5-2550 system at 8000!

The power source is a pair of LIPO batteries from the RC model industry. They are 22 volts at 5Ah each. Each battery weighs about 400 grams. I am designing a power supply / charge controller that runs from line power or 12 volts.
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Old 21st November 2012, 12:49 AM   #7
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Hmm....Things are getting more interesting. I hadn't looked at my computer's power consumption so far though I have been worrying about increased power cuts in the near future. Without a computer I feel lost !
We have tubular cell batteries that are supposed to be deep discharge types. These are used in most home UPS systems that drive some lights and a couple of fans during a power cut. Most however don't seem to last long and I don't know how long the batteries last.
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Old 21st November 2012, 01:01 AM   #8
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I have the opposite problem. I live in a suberb where every house has solar power and my inverter is shutting down during the weekdays because the line voltage is too high (252V) I think that all of the solar input to the grid is bumping the voltage up to too high levels when there isn't a large drain because everyone is at work. as a result my inverter only generates power on the weekends when the voltage drops to about 247V because more people are at home.

Tony.
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Old 21st November 2012, 01:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wintermute View Post
I have the opposite problem. I live in a suberb where every house has solar power and my inverter is shutting down during the weekdays because the line voltage is too high (252V) I think that all of the solar input to the grid is bumping the voltage up to too high levels when there isn't a large drain because everyone is at work. as a result my inverter only generates power on the weekends when the voltage drops to about 247V because more people are at home.

Tony.
This is a far more common problem than many realise. There are cases where inverters are configured to produce higher voltage output than the statutory limits on voltages that the distributor must comply with.

Issues like this present new and unique challenges for the distribution companies!

One novel (and a tad ridiculous) solution would be to use controlled loads (such as hot water) to add load to the network in times of high voltage ... though this might contradict the energy saving purpose of the solar panels.

Last edited by hochopeper; 21st November 2012 at 01:18 AM.
 
Old 21st November 2012, 02:32 AM   #10
freax is offline freax  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tubelab.com View Post
I live in South Florida USA. We didn't have AC when I was a kid, and it was hot. We lived in rural Miami, there was always an ocean breeze, and a lake in the back yard, so we got by. The population explosion and high rise housing has blocked the ocean breeze, so now we melt. Today (late November, early in winter in northern hemisphere) is the first day this year that my AC has not been on. Everyone has AC and it is pretty much needed year round.
I grew up in a place called Marks Point, where we would regularly get a sea breeze, much as you say as soon as the population increased the number of cars and homes increased, we ended up moving out of Marks Point much to my dismay into a more densely populated area which blocked off nearly all of the sea breeze, we still get a fair bit but its now polluted and warmer than it is right on the coast. (yuck)

I have been looking into getting a loan for a portable air conditioner but frankly I don't think it will do much good because of the cost of electricity nowdays, I'm a huge user of offpeak electricity as it is and thats the only time that I could run it when its the coolest part of the day haha.

Quote:
A few years ago the 30 year old power line transformer died and it was replaced by a new one. The new one is half the size of the old one, and housed in plastic.
Wow, plastic! I wonder when they will come out with solid state converters that spew out a few watts of RFI onto our power lines, its a logical leap forward isn't it... *rubs chin*

Quote:
We had a hurricane 6 years ago that ripped out much of the power distribution infrastructure. There was no power for 3 weeks. Loss of power for 2 days to a week can happen from even a small storm. So, I set out to build a low power PC with a ham radio SDR that can run on battery power. About two years ago I came up with a similar set up.
Bingo, this is my exact same line of thought, get everything into one box both reception of a signal and acquisition/analysis inorder to cut down on mess with cards/books/cd's/papers/antennas/wiring and power consumption.

Though you can't beat a minidisc recorder + battery powered transistor radio! = 15 hours straight on one disc! and one AA battery!

Though my old Kenwood TS-430S still consumes only about 12 watts when receiving only, probably mostly due to the incandescent lamps on the front panel.

Quote:
I don't play games, so I don't need high end graphics. I want enough graphics power for 1080 HD TV playback and record, enough processing power for the SDR radio (similar performance to this Core 2 Quad Q6600 machine. This is what I built:

M4 ATX PSU (no enclosure, just plug it right into the motherboard.
Asus P8H61-1 motherboard.
Core i3-2100T CPU chip
Intel SSD for Windows 7 and programs. 500GB laptop drive for data storage.
8 gigs of memory (I tested all the 4 gig DIMM's I had for lowest power consumption)
NO graphics card, the motherboard graphics are good enough.
Disable on board sound, add M-audio card required by SDR hardware (adds 4 watts).
I made the descision that if I was gaming at all that I would be attached to either a large solar panel array or a generator and that I would need a durable linear power supply inorder to survive the torment that a generator would put it through, that part of the project is still in the making.

The one issue that I had with the onboard intel HD graphics was that it cannot stream even SD content out of its VGA output while the onboard HDMI port is in use (acting as a 2-head graphics card), it can playback HD content with some image tearing issues (a quality issue) on 1 monitor but yeah, its not really the best thing is it.

The Gigabyte GTX-650-OC (non-Ti, important!) graphics card acts as a VGA breakout box for the onboard graphics in addition to being a 2x head video card 2x DVI out for GTX 650 + 1xVGA out & 1x HDMImini out for onboard intel HD2000.

Quote:
Evrything runs from a 12 volt battery. Do not use a car battery. They were not meant to be discharged below about 80%.
Bingo, the long-term use batteries for my system are going to be external to the roadcase, I would top-up the batteries direct from the 12v output of a generator or a solar regulator.

My dac project that I'm currently working on in another thread (modifying the russian tda1543 dac) will hopefully have enough space inside of this case to house a large enough linear power supply to power my TA2020 Amp and DAC/charge SLA's at a Constant Current rate of 1 amp.

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/digit...-off-ebay.html

And if there is enough space left I might squeeze in another L200C for trickle charging of a large external deep cycle battery bank.

That box can then take care of converting mains to DC and for powering a high quality audio system, but I dunno just how long the TDA1543 + TA2020 will last off of numerous batteries.

I've been thinking about using 2x 6v 7Ah SLA's wired in series so that I can provide power to a 7805 (and waste little) for the CS8412, and then give 8v power through a L200C to the TDA1543.

Then charging the 2x 6v SLA's wired in series at the normal 12v SLA float charge rate of 13.5v @ 1 amp.

Then powering the TA2020 off of its own dedicated 12v SLA 9Ah battery.

Hopefully that would be the most efficient method of providing power to both the TA2020 and the DAC and its associated components.

Quote:
This system has been running for over a year. I am using an old 20 inch display that will run from a 12 volt supply...or a marine battery. The PC system (not counting the monitor) idles at about 40 watts and will hit 80 watts if I run Prime 95 in torture test mode. Passmark performance tests put the CPU system at 3250. This core 2 Quad desktop (4 years old) runs at 2980 and eats about 400 watts doing it.
Yes, I recently gave a Core 2 Quad Q6600 with a GTX260 to my mother because her computer's graphics card had recently given up the ghost, I got my parents onto Seasonic brand power supplies early on so that we wouldn't have any issues with reliability later on, and the C2Q that I gave her has a 4 year old Seasonic X900 PSU in it, with a replaced fan (Sunon)

Quote:
There is much newer and better hardware out there for faster lower power machines. I am in the process of sorting out a "man sized laptop". My aging eyes need a big screen and I want to be able to use it for a portable guitar effects / recording rack. I want similar processing and graphics capability as the last low power box. This is what I have chosen and tested so far:
I've been looking into LED based projectors, I still haven't found one that is either cheap or low power consuming, most likely that these systems would get the most use when the lights are turned off, however power consumption is a huge issue here with projectors, so it would have to be a very dark place inorder to use it properly.

Its either that or those Sony blu-ray 3D glasses that they raved on about which cost about $1,000 (The Sony HMZ-T1) but the only problem with them is that they require an external converter box attached to the lead coming from the glasses.

As soon as someone releases a set of glasses that don't require the conversion box I might look into going that route.

Quote:
Display: Acer S200HL LED backlight, runs from 19 volt supply, draws 1.7 amps at full brightness.
This might be worthwhile looking into, thank you.

Quote:
Motherboard: Intel DQ77KB Internal power supply, everything runs from 19 volts. MB can run up to a 65 watt CPU. So, no overclocked Core i7's!
I chose an Asus P8Z68 Deluxe Gen 3 mainly because of its immense overkill on the power regulation section, and the fact that it has 8x SATA connectors onboard.

My Norco RPC-430 is jam-packed with 1TB & 2TB hard drives which I hope to upgrade to 3TB hdd's someday. I can't do without my movies/music/tv shows.

Power consumption of these drives is minimal (However untested) when you use WD Caviar Green's, they spin down and don't draw as much, keeping them spun down is another matter.

Quote:
CPU: Intel Core i3-3225 Third generation 22nm process. Eats less power than 2nd gen 32nm chips. Running an aftermarket low profile CPU cooler (the Intel is too tall). No brand name but it comes from MiniBox (the power supply people). "Intel 4000" graphics. Most other low cost chips have "2500" graphics.
Indeed, the newer CPU's GPU's are what people should look for, I bought the Core i3 2120-T at a time when I never knew any better or if intel would ever release another T model.

Quote:
Memory: G.Skill F3-1600C10D-16GSQ 16 GB set eats LESS total power than the 8 gig set it replaced!
lol, thats a nice surprise, I've settled on low-profile Corsair 8GB set, I've been meaning to upgrade to 16GB but eh... got more important things to put money on

Quote:
Sandisk 120 GB SSD boot and program drive, two Hitachi 500GB laptop storage drives.
An SSD is exactly where people should head towards, that way all of the other mechanical drives can spin down, I'm still waiting on a good deal + have money moment when I can buy one, at the moment I'm simply using a split in half 1TB WD Caviar Green for Drive C & Drive D (Backup partition, not using software)

Quote:
On board graphics are as good as an $80 Nvidia graphics card. Drives the 20 inch screen and a 40 inch TV in 1080 HD simultaneously.
Good to hear that, was never really sure about the onboard intel graphics, see above, so I went the external gfx card route.

Quote:
On board sound OK for internal speakers, 4 watt amp built into MB.
You might want to consider this: Stylish Portable USB Powered Laptop/PC Speaker (USB Jack) - Free Shipping - DealExtreme

I've been thinking about cutting off the plug and wiring it up directly to a free front panel USB header and installing it permanently inside of my Norco RPC-430 for super low power "does good enough" sound, ie for when I don't want to power up my TDA1543 DAC/TA2020 Amp.

Quote:
I will use a external USB box and amp for recording and playing guitar. There is a Logitech USB wireless mouse / keyboard dongle and a WiFi dongle plugged in too.
Logitech make great stuff don't they, tho my friend had bad luck with one set that had really terrible reception range in his room, but I had a set that I bought in 2008 and I just recently had to throw it out because half of the keys suddenly stopped working (I must've cracked the pcb or something), it took quite a beating though! and worked flawlessly as of 6 months ago, not bad for $120.

Quote:
The MB with everything mentoned above draws 700 mA from 20 volts at idle. Thats 14 WATTS! After running the Prime 95 torture test for an hour the MB was drawing 2.1 amps (42 WATTS). The CPU was warm and the motherboard chip was pretty toasty. I may try passive cooling. The system Passmarks at 4300, way faster than both previous machines, but behind my overclocked core i5-2550 system at 8000!
I haven't done any power consumption tests just yet, but I intend to, I do have a kill-a-watt power meter, just lazy I guess

Quote:
The power source is a pair of LIPO batteries from the RC model industry. They are 22 volts at 5Ah each. Each battery weighs about 400 grams. I am designing a power supply / charge controller that runs from line power or 12 volts.
Let me know how that goes, i've settled on SLA's because of their reputation but also mainly because of their commonality and their low self discharge rate, if sometime in the future I needed to replace one it wouldn't be difficult to find the nearest CCTV battery backed box and rip one out, or find the nearest battery store that stocks such things.

We've really come along way, I remember not 6-8 years ago that the only thing going was a VIA C3 that would draw 30 watts at idle doing nothing, they almost feel like pocket calculators compared to today's systems!

Last edited by freax; 21st November 2012 at 02:54 AM.
 

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