Seti's Carbon Footprint


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Message boards : Science (non-SETI) : Seti's Carbon Footprint

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Orgatron
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Message 601770 - Posted: 11 Jul 2007, 12:52:57 UTC

Leaving on your computer all day to analyse Seti signals increases your carbon footprint. Is this a concern? Should we be turning off our computer at every opportunity to conserve energy and reduce global warming?

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Message 601775 - Posted: 11 Jul 2007, 13:09:43 UTC - in response to Message 601770.
Last modified: 11 Jul 2007, 13:35:28 UTC

I have thought a little about that, and read some previous discussions, and at least for me personally I came up with only more questions:

- Do the benefits ( both potential and realised) outweigh the costs ?
[ By potential benefits I mean the obvious, by realised I mean to the advancements in Distributed Computing advancing many areas of science that may end up helping resolve some of those costs, and as yet untapped uses for the newly advancing science]

- How much carbon would my activities be using without contributing to the science? [ In my case, probably as much or more, others would differ ]

- What about those whose electricity comes from alternate sources, such as windmills in Europe, Nuclear power elsewhere, and hydroelectric and others ? [ How does that change the formula? ]

- Can gains In medicine, Environment and science and technology be made in less costly ways, at the same or increased rate ?

All these are probably not possible to answer, except as directly pertains to our own situations. It then becomes a personal choice which may not know the benefits directly ever. In my personal experience it only makes sense that money and resources etc have to be spent to make gains.

Others' experience and choices will differ from mine.

[ So I suppose in my personal case:
- will doing nothing solve the world's problems ?
(I guess not....}
- will contributing solve the world's problems ?
( It may help some problems, directly or indirectly, in the long term, or it may not. )
- Are there better ways to contribute?
( Possibly, At least I recycle and try to conserve in other areas, A very small impact but I figure a lot of small impacts might make a big one :D ) ]


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Message 601980 - Posted: 11 Jul 2007, 20:44:14 UTC - in response to Message 601770.

Leaving on your computer all day to analyse Seti signals increases your carbon footprint. Is this a concern? Should we be turning off our computer at every opportunity to conserve energy and reduce global warming?

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As far as I'm concerned we shouldn't until we know for a FACT if it is CO2 or something else. (see my post here)

BoB
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Message 608431 - Posted: 25 Jul 2007, 12:46:29 UTC - in response to Message 601770.

Leaving on your computer all day to analyse Seti signals increases your carbon footprint. Is this a concern? Should we be turning off our computer at every opportunity to conserve energy and reduce global warming?

Orgatron



My feeling is that the carbon footprint of SETI@HOME would be tiny compared to the massive waste of energy in cities. Google for pictures of any city at night.

Lights left on needlessly in all sorts of buildings, large amounts used in useless advertising. Who reads ads while driving at night?

Google for images of the earth at night, 99.99999% of those lights are not essential and could be turned off saving huge amounts of energy.

All most of them do is generate CO2 and cause massive light pollution.

Another huge saving could be made by avoiding the daily commute, many thousands of cars mostly with only one person, caught in gridlock spewing tons of CO2.

What's wrong with public transport?

Deforestation, the second largest cause of CO2 emission, could be easily controlled. Pay the poor to stop doing it.

The list of things that could be done is huge.
SETI@HOME would, IMO, be very close to the bottom of said list.

They are all small changes that could save huge amounts of CO2 emissions but I doubt if any will be done in my lifetime.

Too many "rights" abused etc.

Oh well, that's my two bobs worth.

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Message 608455 - Posted: 25 Jul 2007, 14:45:37 UTC - in response to Message 608431.

Since I do leave my computers on pretty much all the time, I signed up for Green Electricity. Here in Australia, it's a Government regulated scheme that basically guarantees your power comes from renewable generation, not coal (we have no nuclear here).

http://www.greenpower.gov.au/home.aspx

I'm sure similar things exist in other countries.

On the other hand, if you're running BOINC on an office PC, consider; the PC may draw say 120W idle, and 150W on load - for an extra 30W, you get actual scientific work done, compared to it just sitting there consuming power for nothing except minefield (ok, a bit harsh, but you get the drift).
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Message 633226 - Posted: 4 Sep 2007, 3:40:35 UTC
Last modified: 4 Sep 2007, 3:41:30 UTC

I just started running a Mac Pro 8 core 24/7 (for Einstein@Home until the mac issues here are sorted out). My carbon footprint definitely has gone up. I think the thing will heat my house this fall and winter. But if I don't have to run my furnace as often, I guess maybe that kind of evens things out a bit.

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Message 637033 - Posted: 9 Sep 2007, 5:05:48 UTC

I've been reading this thread and have been wondering my self for quite some time about the power used by a computer running 24/7 and did some sums. If you go by what your PSU is rated to then you are getting a maximum value, in my case that is 18kW/h a day (750w PSU * 24 hours = 18000W). The problem in useing this figure is that firstly it assumes that the computer is drawing maximum power all the time, ie. all hard drives, cd rom drives, floppy drives, graphics cards, case fans,cpu fans running flat out 24/7 which doesnt happen. also it assumes that your PSU is the exact size for your system. i know mines is bigger than i need cos i bought one 150W bigger than recommended so that i would be able to up grade at a later date. it also doesn't take into account the power the monitor draws.

the 18kW/h a day is a big number but i know its not accurate cos i leave my computer on 24/7 and on my power bill is says i only use 9.8kW/h a day less than half the value of the computer, for my entire house and i have a wife and 2 kids. course i do have gas hot water.

Also while i'm here has anyone ever heard of a PSU that runs off 12V DC rather than having to go to AC? it shouldnt be a problem cos the biggest voltage inside the computer is 12V. is there a PSU out there that converts 12V DC into the required voltages for the computer?

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Message 668246 - Posted: 28 Oct 2007, 15:28:12 UTC - in response to Message 608431.

What wrong with public transport? Well. It doesn't go to where I need it to go. I carpool as much as I can and WOULD rather take the train, but it don't go where I need it to go.

So true about the others however!

Then again...how much CO2 did the fires in San Diego and LA dump over the past week. Geez.

Leaving on your computer all day to analyse Seti signals increases your carbon footprint. Is this a concern? Should we be turning off our computer at every opportunity to conserve energy and reduce global warming?

Orgatron


My feeling is that the carbon footprint of SETI@HOME wold be tiny compared to the massive waste of energy in cities. Google for pictures of any city at night. -

What's wrong with public transport?

Deforestation, the second largest cause of CO2 emission, could be easily controlled. Pay the poor to stop doing it.


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Message 668441 - Posted: 29 Oct 2007, 0:30:29 UTC

Seti's carbon footprint issue solved...

http://www.care2.com/toolbar/download.html

Its actually a practical approach too as they save rainforest and plant trees...

~BoB

P.S. The click to donate items are good there too...
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Message 668953 - Posted: 29 Oct 2007, 17:30:00 UTC

One way to reduce energy consumption and darken the night skies would be to fit every light with a properly-designed reflector that would hide the light everywhere above about 5 degrees below horizontal. This would reduce glare, too. The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) advocates things like this. Actually IDA said 20 degrees but I think that's taking it too far.
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Message boards : Science (non-SETI) : Seti's Carbon Footprint

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