FAH and the environment

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FAH and the environment

Postby ElectricVehicle » Wed Feb 20, 2008 1:46 am

Baowoulf wrote:... what I don't get is how you and a few others are so caught up on this electricity and emissions thing. I'd bet anything cars and factories are much bigger wastes of electricity and cause more emissions then a few WU's on F@H would cause. In fact in my place I have my PS3 running 24/7 and my electricity bill is low. The local company wanted me on some dumb plan but I figured out I'd be saving more without it.

If it's such a problem for you you should look into pushing for solar panels on houses or something like they do in London. I was watching Bill Maher once with that Ian guy who played Gandolf in The Lord of the Rings. He said in London(whereever he lives in England) you're required to have solar panels on your home that tie into the local network and share electricity.


I think I mentioned in earlier posts in other threads that I already own and drive an electric vehicle, first the GM EV1, now the RAV4-EV since 1999. Our other car is a Prius. Waiting for the light bulb to go off at Toyota so they produce a plug in Prius. The light bulb is starting to go off. Independent companies retrofit Prius' for plug in and it seems like Toyota will in a couple years, by 2010. pluginamerica.org We also need more straight electrics. My electricity for my home and car come from the 7.2 kW solar electric array on the roof of my home and I'm on the PG&E time of use metering so it pays for itself in 6-10 years. (Sell to PG&E during peak summer hours at $0.30+/kWh when they need the power, then at night I use it from them when they have excess for about $0.11/kWh).

A single PS3 folding at 200 watts * 24 hours is more energy than I use to light my entire house since most of my lights are compact fluorescent and some are on several hours day but none are on 24 hours a day. And I run 2 PS3s along with a couple PCs, so I need to do the math to make sure I continue to do more good than harm! It's not so much a problem but a rational analysis.

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Re: FAH and the environment

Postby alancabler » Wed Feb 20, 2008 4:49 pm

Hello ElectricVehicle,
ElectricVehicle wrote: My electricity for my home and car come from the 7.2 kW solar electric array on the roof of my home and I'm on the PG&E time of use metering so it pays for itself in 6-10 years. (Sell to PG&E during peak summer hours at $0.30+/kWh when they need the power, then at night I use it from them when they have excess for about $0.11/kWh).
As solar- array produced electricity gets more affordable, regulatory politics will play a more crucial role in solar power's widespread adoption than will an individual's initial investment costs. Utilities will continue to view the right to produce and profit from electric power generation as theirs alone. Individual investors will likely continue to be offered less- than ideal profit circumstance as alternative power production becomes more viable. The ongoing flap about anthropogenic- induced climate change may be useful in that regard, but climate politics has far more potential to make things worse for everyone, imho.
A single PS3 folding at 200 watts * 24 hours is more energy than I use to light my entire house since most of my lights are compact fluorescent and some are on several hours day but none are on 24 hours a day. And I run 2 PS3s along with a couple PCs, so I need to do the math to make sure I continue to do more good than harm! It's not so much a problem but a rational analysis.
Here are some numbers which may help you in your calculations...

Considering the total climate impact of man's various gas emissions (methane and water vapor have impact as well as CO2, for instance), the sum total of all of mankind's greenhouse emissions is about .28% of the total of all such emissions from all sources. That's right- everything we do adds up to less than 1/3 of 1 percent of all greenhouse emissions. One can research man's CO2 contributions to global greenhouse gases and find that our CO2 emissions amount to .117% of all greenhouse gases.
Consider that all IT-related endeavors, including manufacture, operation and disposal of all devices related to IT, (even text-messaging phones) have been estimated to account for 2% of the total of all of man's CO2 emissions. Multiply .02x.00117 to find the total IT contribution to CO2 emissions (.00234%), and then guesstimate your part in the IT total. It's a small number, and meaningless. Your PS3s won't be having much climate impact.

One could say that your f@h contribution to global climate change could be viewed in the same regard as the impact on global wind turbulence by the flights of a sparrow.

Regards,
Alan

Ps Have you filled your home with plants?
Facts are not truth. Facts are merely facets of the shining diamond of truth.
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Re: FAH and the environment

Postby 7im » Wed Feb 20, 2008 5:15 pm

I think most people just want to offset their own FAH contributions, and maybe just a little more.

And that is very easy to do...

CFLs
Green Power sources
Eating less beef
Alternate transportation
Planting a tree
Re-use and recycle
etc.

There have been threads about this in the past in regards to the the project and the environment, and to continue that debate here again is mostly pointless. It won't change the nature of the project, and you can't put a price on the suffering that even one breakthrough discovery could prevent. There is no way to assign accurate value judgments one way or the other.

It's great that people are conscientious about this idea, and I appreciate the visibility this thread gives to an important topic, but let's not go overboard again or we'll have to put a quick stop to it. Thanks.


P.S. We do not get much rain in Arizona, so few houses even have rain gutters, including mine. So one of my next "green" projects is to install rain gutters and rain barrels to collect water from the rain that we do get. It will reduce my water usage and allow me to grow more desert plants in the yard, and add another patio container or two for more veggies. The barrels will even be re-used from a local winery.
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Re: FAH and the environment

Postby alancabler » Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:18 pm

Hi 7im,
Nice post.
7im wrote:I think most people just want to offset their own FAH contributions, and maybe just a little more.

And that is very easy to do...

CFLs
Green Power sources
Eating less beef
Alternate transportation
Planting a tree
Re-use and recycle
etc.
add: houseplants
I can't remember the exact figure, but the CO2 in 1 person's breath is offset by a surprisingly small patch of grass... something like a 6'x4' strip.
...you can't put a price on the suffering that even one breakthrough discovery could prevent. There is no way to assign accurate value judgments one way or the other.
That's right!

P.S. We do not get much rain in Arizona, so few houses even have rain gutters, including mine. So one of my next "green" projects is to install rain gutters and rain barrels to collect water from the rain that we do get. It will reduce my water usage and allow me to grow more desert plants in the yard, and add another patio container or two for more veggies. The barrels will even be re-used from a local winery.
One of my relatives built a large adobe home way out in the Sonoran desert, far from the grid, and his water supply is via guttering/cistern system similar to your idea. Maybe you can grow some grapes in your containers and recycle one of those barrels with it's original intent in mind... muy delicioso.
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Re: FAH and the environment

Postby Cajun_Don » Thu Feb 21, 2008 1:37 am

As a young child in the fifty's just about everyone in South Louisiana rural areas had a water supply via guttering/cistern system/s, mostly for watering the garden (which most families had a garden for fresh food or canning, and washing clothes. Although we had a public water system for drinking, cooking, and taking a bath with hot water. It helped to reduce the cost of the water bill, where safe drinking water was not required.

Now just a few people use a water supply via guttering/cistern system or have their own garden.
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Re: FAH and the environment

Postby bruce » Fri Feb 22, 2008 3:05 am

ElectricVehicle wrote:Our other car is a Prius. Waiting for the light bulb to go off at Toyota so they produce a plug in Prius. The light bulb is starting to go off. Independent companies retrofit Prius' for plug in and it seems like Toyota will in a couple years, by 2010. pluginamerica.org We also need more straight electrics.


I would buy a Prius today if they added enough battery to make it a mostly electric vehicle (plug-in for moderate distances). The aftermarket modifications are still pretty expensive but when the next generation batteries are mass-produced, it will become both idealistically "green" but economically viable. The faster gas prices go up, the sooner the market for the plug-in car will become a large segment of the market.

I can wait a few more years for the plug-in Prius (or something similar from somebody else). My current car gets 30+ MPG around town and I figure it's worth keeping it a few more years instead of getting the current Prius and then replacing it again in a few years. The 'footprint' of not manufacturing one car saves more than what I'm wasting over those few years.
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Re: FAH and the environment

Postby anandhanju » Sun Jun 08, 2008 8:20 am

Read somewhere about switching off an appliance vs unplugging it. Seems there is a considerable power draw from some appliances even when they are switched off, but plugged in. Pull the plug on unnecessary devices, fellow Folders. Do you really need that TV to be plugged in 24x7?
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Re: FAH and the environment

Postby 7im » Sun Jun 08, 2008 7:08 pm

anandhanju wrote:Read somewhere about switching off an appliance vs unplugging it. Seems there is a considerable power draw from some appliances even when they are switched off, but plugged in. Pull the plug on unnecessary devices, fellow Folders. Do you really need that TV to be plugged in 24x7?


And anything with a wall wart (power adapter) draws power, even when the device is off.

Consider purchasing a Smart Strip. It's a power strip that only turns on when the main device turns on. For instance, when I turn on my PC, the monitor, speakers, and DSL router all power up. When I turn the PC off, they all power down. (Of course, these don't work so well for PCs that fold 24/7, but you get the idea)

Works well for a home stereo system too.
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Re: FAH and the environment

Postby alancabler » Tue Jun 10, 2008 3:00 pm

7im wrote:...Consider purchasing a Smart Strip. It's a power strip that only turns on when the main device turns on.
Good job.
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Re: FAH and the environment

Postby bruce » Wed Jun 11, 2008 6:55 am

7im wrote:Consider purchasing a Smart Strip.


I ordered one yesterday. Until you mentioned it, it's one thing that I didn't know existed, though I'd wondered about "inventing" one.
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Re: FAH and the environment

Postby dittopb » Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:24 pm

I need that smart strip to turnoff my subwoofer that's constantly on and humming. I searched Newegg but they don't carry it.
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Re: FAH and the environment

Postby gwildperson » Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:58 pm

dittopb wrote:I need that smart strip to turnoff my subwoofer that's constantly on and humming. I searched Newegg but they don't carry it.


Ebay has several styles for 1-click purchase.
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Re: FAH and the environment

Postby Ahavi » Wed Jun 11, 2008 6:24 pm

So what if we have 28%? Besides the general problem isn't because of the CO2 that is in the current ecosystem, it is a problem when you add more CO2 to the ecosystem that hasn't been in our ecosystem for millions of years. Problems emerge. If a plant dies it won't have any effect in the icreased global warming as the CO2 it captured was just in the ecosystem. I think all humans are responsible for their part. F@H is one of those parts. If you drive a lot, sure it won't mean a thing globally because you are one of many. Good enough excuse to continue the way we do? No. It all adds up.

PS: I am sure you could find some site that has somehow found out that everything which is generally considered bad for the environment is actually good, that we contribute only to 1‰ of the global enviromnent or something like that so you can keep going the way you do.

Edit: And for the information I consider F@H as a hobby of mine. I have it installed on many machines, running 24/7 and I'm maintaining 1800-3000 generally. I do it since my country has like 98% renewable energy.
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Reply to "Answers to: Reasons for not using F@H."

Postby Ahavi » Wed Jun 11, 2008 7:21 pm

I’m worried about the environment, won’t running this program increase greenhouse gas emissions?/ Won’t running my computer at full or near full usage all the time make my bill skyrocket?
F@H needs only to be run when your computer is running. The average system uses maybe 70W at idle, and 120W fully loaded (i.e. when CPU folding - either uniprocessor or SMP). An extra 50W will not have a significant impact on either the environment or your electricity bill. [Of course, Overclocked, or GPU machines will have a much greater disparity between idle and load, but if you overclock your machine something tells me this question will not bother you so much :) ]
Cheers to Ren02 for approx. power figures 8-)
Cheers to Tarx:If you look at the other side of the argument, F@H can actually reduce bills elsewhere - as the computer produces more heat from working harder, the computer will warm the room it is in and quite possibly the rooms surrounding it too, which will reduce the amount of heating needed and reduce bills that way. There is also the fact that treating all the diseases which this project can and probably will help find cures for, has a significant environmental cost (i.e. to power all the necessary machinery), and also a significant financial cost should you become a victim of the diseases. The comparatively small extra outlay for running F@H is peanuts compared to the cost of treating these diseases.


which will reduce the amount of heating needed and [/b]reduce bills that way[/b]

F@H will not reduce your electricity bill. If your computer generates more heat, and the stove uses less energy it doesn't mean you will have spent less energy, you will just have used the energy elsewhere. It will not reduce the bills in any way, if anything, keep it the same. This sems to be implied somewhat in the text, but not entirely. Also, how good is the stoves thermostat? Will it really notice 60W of heat a few metres away? I must also point out that the computer does not have a thermostat, if the room is heated enough it will not reduce the folding speed. Do you really need heating all the time? And even if you have a heat pump you can save up to 75% of the heating energy required. This kills the argument in the light bulb discussion where they say traditional light bulbs are ok because you need the heating anyway. And in this case, the extra power from the CPU is useless and not efficient if you have a heat pump installed. I don't know about USA, but heat pumps are getting more and more common where I live.

It can also turn against you in the "reduced bills" argument. If you have an AC on, it will have to use more energy to cool the room temperature. Not good. Then the 60 extra watts your CPU uses from idle to 100% might have turned 120W due to the cooling requirements.

As for the enviromnental impact I disagree as well. Yes, it is nothing in the big picture. But everything we can save, we should save. The computer is a part of the houses load just as any other. It all adds up. I just wrote this on a nother topic, I think it fits here as well in regards to the environment.

So what if we have 28%? Besides the general problem isn't because of the CO2 that is in the current ecosystem, it is a problem when you add more CO2 to the ecosystem that hasn't been in our ecosystem for millions of years. Problems emerge. If a plant dies it won't have any effect in the icreased global warming as the CO2 it captured was just in the ecosystem. I think all humans are responsible for their part. F@H is one of those parts. If you drive a lot, sure it won't mean a thing globally because you are one of many. Good enough excuse to continue the way we do? No. It all adds up.

PS: I am sure you could find some site that has somehow found out that everything which is generally considered bad for the environment is actually good, that we contribute only to 1‰ of the global enviromnent or something like that so you can keep going the way you do.

Edit: And for the information I consider F@H as a hobby of mine. I have it installed on many machines, running 24/7 and I'm maintaining 1800-3000 generally. I do it since my country has like 98% renewable energy.
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Re: FAH and the environment

Postby Flathead74 » Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:49 am

ahem, if I read alancabler's post correctly, that's .28%, not 28%.

point-two-eight%

not

twenty eight %

:wink:

For .28%, I think that many will find the risks of running Folding@home to be acceptable, in view of the rewards.
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