Fan Noise, Power consumption & CERN's electricity bil

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Profile George 254
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Message 1889502 - Posted: 13 Sep 2017, 12:02:12 UTC
Last modified: 13 Sep 2017, 12:03:38 UTC

Great to meet David Anderson and others in Paris last week at the BOINC workshop organised by CERN.
One issue that came up was that new BOINCers often remark that the fan noise increases when BOINC is loaded. From a YouTube video I found that this can be reduced by marginally changing the maximum processor rate.
If one has HWMonitor (from CPUID) on screen and you then change the max processor settings by 1-5% one can see a drop in power consumption and fan noise with hardly any change in number crunching.
HWMonitor shows different data with different versions on different laptops (mine are HP with one remaining DELL) and if one tweeks the max power setting, you can see the drop in temperature and power usage.
With one of my laptops I reduced the power consumption from 30w to 20w and the fan noise disappeared by reducing the max processor power usage to 96%.
Steps: Control panel, power options, select a power plan (I use balanced) Change plan settings, Change Advanced power settings, Processor Power Management, Max Processor state: battery or plugged in.
ADJUST % slightly and watch change in power consumption &/or temperature
Couple of other points from general discussions in Paris:
a) Computer professionals seem to have older machines (32 bit) than volunteers who more often have 64 bit?
b) On PC Laptops, it is easy to change the settings when Closing the Lid so the laptop keeps on crunching but not on Macs? The app that does this is "not supported" by Apple apparently with the result that Mac users crunch an average of only 2 hours a day.
c) speaking to one of the CERN guys in a coffee break, CERN does not run as many experiments in winter as in summer because the price of electricity is higher then!
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Message 1889913 - Posted: 15 Sep 2017, 14:17:57 UTC - in response to Message 1889502.  

c) speaking to one of the CERN guys in a coffee break, CERN does not run as many experiments in winter as in summer because the price of electricity is higher then!
Well that certainly seems counter-intuitive, but there must be a good reason for it, I just can't think of one.

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Message 1889924 - Posted: 15 Sep 2017, 14:42:49 UTC - in response to Message 1889913.  

What part of the world was the OP from, maybe he was thinking his winter and not winter in Europe..
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Message 1889925 - Posted: 15 Sep 2017, 15:00:14 UTC - in response to Message 1889913.  

c) speaking to one of the CERN guys in a coffee break, CERN does not run as many experiments in winter as in summer because the price of electricity is higher then!
Well that certainly seems counter-intuitive, but there must be a good reason for it, I just can't think of one.

Summertime => air conditioning => higher electric usage => higher price per kWh
Wintertime => heating => higher electric usage => higher price per kWh
Spring + Fall => natural cooling and heating => lower electric usage => lower price per kWh
... and still I fear, and still I dare not laugh at the Mad Man!

Queen - The Prophet's Song
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Message 1889951 - Posted: 15 Sep 2017, 16:36:12 UTC - in response to Message 1889913.  

Winter in Australia is frigging HOT
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Message 1889953 - Posted: 15 Sep 2017, 16:37:45 UTC

Summer in Switzerland is pleasantly mild, so very little air-con in use, but winters are cold, so lots of heating. Also Switzerland relies on a lot of hydro-electric which works very well in the summer, but in the winter lots of things are frozen.
Bob Smith
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Message 1890101 - Posted: 16 Sep 2017, 1:59:50 UTC

Ahhh, gotcha, I guess I had slipped into a local-itis mindset, we use NG for heating around here for the most part, and figured from hearing the big concerns a few years back about it being possibly cut off from Russia, something about pipeline issues, so I must have assumed that was the primary heating source for much of Europe. Thanks for the heads up, nice to learn something new every day.

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Message 1890102 - Posted: 16 Sep 2017, 2:01:04 UTC - in response to Message 1889951.  

Winter in Australia is frigging HOT
Their winter, or our winter?

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Message 1890112 - Posted: 16 Sep 2017, 3:36:10 UTC - in response to Message 1890102.  

Our winter, their summer.
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Message 1890141 - Posted: 16 Sep 2017, 8:20:10 UTC - in response to Message 1889913.  
Last modified: 16 Sep 2017, 8:22:37 UTC

I would guess that the reason is an economic one. More demand for electricity esp. heating in cold weather, so charge more when you can. "Make hay while the sun shines" if you like, but not a very good analogy here.
Bob's point is also a good one with HEP plants being frozen up in winter
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Message 1890143 - Posted: 16 Sep 2017, 9:45:44 UTC - in response to Message 1890141.  

I was just thinking that also some power companies are now relying more on solar and wind which would have an effect on seasonal rate changes.
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Message 1890144 - Posted: 16 Sep 2017, 10:05:07 UTC

Locally at least, power demand is higher in the Winter, as there is extra heating, and AC is uncommon in summer + longer daylight hours means less lighting etc. Means much lower demand in Summer. So they have to run the more expensive NG gas powered stations more in Winter, instead of mostly hydro.

Our domestic rates don't vary with the season, but our Winter bill is about 2X the summer one. But that's also partly because I leave more PCs running. 1,000watts of heat from a stack of PCs is the same as 1,000w of heat from an electric heater, so may as well use it for 2 things.

If we were on "demand pricing", our rates would be higher in the winter as the whole country is demanding more power.

Now other places with mild winters and HOT summers, it's opposite, and AC units in Summer are their peak load periods.
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Message 1890147 - Posted: 16 Sep 2017, 10:14:19 UTC - in response to Message 1890112.  

Our winter, their summer.


:P

Our winters depending on where, in Sydney about 9C. And in summer, well its about 35-40C

So send help?
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Message 1890190 - Posted: 16 Sep 2017, 15:50:04 UTC - in response to Message 1890143.  

I was just thinking that also some power companies are now relying more on solar and wind which would have an effect on seasonal rate changes.


Wind and solar are still not as cheap as Natural gas. Also, you are at the mercy of weather to provide the input to those generators.
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Message 1890196 - Posted: 16 Sep 2017, 16:29:12 UTC - in response to Message 1890144.  

Do not assume that domestic energy pricing and industrial pricing follow the same scheme. Domestic tends to be much flatter than industrial, which varies almost on an hourly basis in some countries.
Also, taking one country's energy source cost as being the norm is far from the truth. The US has a massively well established hydrocarbon energy supply and distribution network, and like most countries, a very immature wind & solar network. Switzerland has virtually no indigenous hydrocarbon energy, but has a very well established hydro-electric generation network, albeit one that suffers from a shortfall in the winter months. Move across the boarder in to Germany and one finds a hydro-carbon (coal & gas) network that has all but exhausted its local supply so has started to have to look at other energy sources and is investing very heavily in solar and wind.
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Message 1890244 - Posted: 16 Sep 2017, 20:30:08 UTC - in response to Message 1890196.  

Great tip on the processing reduction...have noticed a marked difference in noise immediately...
Thanks....
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Message 1890257 - Posted: 16 Sep 2017, 21:09:50 UTC - in response to Message 1890143.  

I was just thinking that also some power companies are now relying more on solar and wind which would have an effect on seasonal rate changes.

Solar + snow = nothing generated.
Wind + storm = nothing generated.

We have a lot of those wind turbines as well, but they don't do anything below wind force 3 and above wind force 8. The summer has many a moment where there's hardly any wind, the winter has many a moment where there's too much of it. I'd expect those extremes to be there in Switzerland as well, maybe even more in force due to the mountains.

One wind turbine brings in about 3MW of energy, which is as much as 30,000 solar panels bring in.
But I'd rather have solar panels than a turbine, because of the shadow effect and the noise. :)
Jord

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Message 1890366 - Posted: 17 Sep 2017, 9:06:21 UTC - in response to Message 1890244.  

Glad it worked. Tried to find the YouTube item again when I returned from Paris but couldn't, so just wrote the steps down
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Message boards : Number crunching : Fan Noise, Power consumption & CERN's electricity bil


 
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