Author Topic: Low energy MCE configuration?  (Read 932 times)

skyemoor

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Low energy MCE configuration?
« on: October 06, 2013, 02:29:05 pm »
I'm looking to control lighting and monitor energy in my low energy solar powered house, and in a manner that uses very little energy. I currently have a Dell Mini Inspiron 1012 (Atom processor, 2G memory) that I am planning on using, as it is extremely low energy for a laptop (and I happen to have one available).

With the very limited requirements stated above, can I even get in the ballpark on such a platform?

I'm a Linux lightweight (have used Ubuntu for about 7 years, have worked with Unix/Solaris workstations in the past), so I know my way around Linux in a minor sense.

tschak909

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Re: Low energy MCE configuration?
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2013, 05:29:33 pm »
You'll need to add an additional network port, most likely over USB, which will impact performance.

But yes, this will work, you will see performance impacts when Orbiter needs to regenerate its UI (when scenarios change, etc.)

With all this said,

Why even bother with trying to scrimp on energy usage on the core? To put this in perspective, the total energy usage of a typical PC used as a Core/Hybrid, is less than a single tungsten 150 watt light bulb. Don't believe me? Attach a Kill-A-Watt to such a setup.

I really don't get it.

-Thom

skyemoor

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Re: Low energy MCE configuration?
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2013, 07:16:06 pm »
Thanks, that is helpful to know. I've looked at USB/ethernet adapters, and from what you note, this seems the way to go. Has anyone actually used one of these successfully?

As I had mentioned, the home has very low energy energy consumption. Our lighting is LED, and throughout the house, I doubt we use 150 watts of lighting at any one time (most bulbs fall in the 6-9 watt range).

We have a 2kW PV array and are net metered, so whenever we are generating more than we consume, it is spinning our electric meter backwards.

We are in an area where our electricity comes primarily from coal. Because of the amount of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from burning coal, we've decided to use as little of it as possible, and generate our own. Using less power means we need to spend that much less on solar panels, batteries, etc.

If the unit will be on 24\7, then every watt counts. The biggest power consumer we have in our computers is my wife's energy-star Mac.

Esperanto

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Re: Low energy MCE configuration?
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2013, 08:03:27 pm »
I have not experienced a environment friendly spirit here yet. A bigger setup often uses more power. However I think that if you chose your components properly you don't need a laptop. At least if you also need some performance (otherwise there might be other options, I saw some links to software that runs on routers instead). If you need performance I think you can create a pretty efficient core. Take a look here http://efficientelectronics.nl/content/power-consumption-database/ . There must be many more similar sites that give good info.

Good luck and keep us updated.

CentralMedia

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Re: Low energy MCE configuration?
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2013, 11:04:37 pm »
The following

ASUS P8B WS LGA 1155 Intel C206 ATX

Intel Xeon E3-1220 Processor 3.1

8 GB MEMORY

GT 430

Hybrid hardrive consumes 55 W on average during a Orbitor reg, it normally at around 45 W

This was the best Hybrid/Core, but I re purposed for my desktop and used an old zotac micro atx board with a E7300, on board 9400 GRAPHICS, 4 G memory and a 500 GB harddrive WD RE4 and 3 TB WD red which idles at 53 W and Orbitor reg, at 62 W

Just for examples

Power supply is important I suppose, they all have 80% efficient bronze


skyemoor

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Re: Low energy MCE configuration?
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2013, 01:41:29 am »
Thanks CentralMedia and Esperanto, your input is helpful.

CentralMedia, it looks like you are tracking energy use too? Any other devices that you track energy use of?

CentralMedia

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Re: Low energy MCE configuration?
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2013, 01:25:23 pm »
Only the computers, TV etc I only keep on when I am using it.

For audio, I plan on using squeezeslaves with usb sound cards, lower foot print, honestly do not have any MD's at this time, used my sons machine once to help with an issue, but it was temporary.

Have a PI, which uses around 5W, that has Raspbmc, which I plan to put on LNMCE, when it becomes available.

Also a WD LIVE player, I did not check consumption, think the manufacturer rates it at 15W, but this is powered off when not in use, not controlled by LNMCE as yet.

I normally try to go with the most efficient equipment I can afford, in all aspects of my purchases.

totallymaxed

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Re: Low energy MCE configuration?
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2013, 02:14:39 pm »
I'm looking to control lighting and monitor energy in my low energy solar powered house, and in a manner that uses very little energy. I currently have a Dell Mini Inspiron 1012 (Atom processor, 2G memory) that I am planning on using, as it is extremely low energy for a laptop (and I happen to have one available).

With the very limited requirements stated above, can I even get in the ballpark on such a platform?

I'm a Linux lightweight (have used Ubuntu for about 7 years, have worked with Unix/Solaris workstations in the past), so I know my way around Linux in a minor sense.


We have many installations on Atom based hardware and these work particularly well if you don't use any MD's. Typically most modern Atom based hardware has an energy footprint of between 15-23W. If you are'nt running pxe booted MD's, not interested in the LinuxMCE firewall and your not worried about Plug n Play then you can run single NIC and save some energy/complexity. So I would say your Dell mini sounds fine to me for the purposes you want to use your system for.

All the best

Andy
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hari

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Re: Low energy MCE configuration?
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2013, 11:25:30 pm »
look at agocontrol, it is designed exactly for that. You can run it on a raspberry or other ultra-low-power systems, in the range 3-5W. Features device control and data logging, so should be a good match for your needs. User CrawTech is using it in a solar powered house, too. Find more information here: www.agocontrol.com
rock your home - http://www.agocontrol.com home automation

CristobalBoth

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Re: Low energy MCE configuration?
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2014, 05:53:55 am »
I'm looking to control lighting and monitor energy in my low energy newbielink:http://www.shinesolar.net [nonactive], and in a manner that uses very little energy. I currently have a Dell Mini Inspiron 1012 (Atom processor, 2G memory) that I am planning on using, as it is extremely low energy for a laptop (and I happen to have one available).

With the very limited requirements stated above, can I even get in the ballpark on such a platform?

I'm a Linux lightweight (have used Ubuntu for about 7 years, have worked with Unix/Solaris workstations in the past), so I know my way around Linux in a minor sense.

Hello friend were you able to control out the lighting and monitor the energy of your solar system? I do have similar requirements so can you help me out with some useful information?
« Last Edit: February 21, 2014, 05:52:53 pm by CristobalBoth »