|Table of contents|
ENERGY STAR* overview
Energy-efficient ingredients by Intel
Power optimized desktop motherboards
Building an ENERGY STAR system
Certifying an ENERGY STAR system
|ENERGY STAR overview|
In 1992 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) expanded its voluntary program, called ENERGY STAR, to cover computers. The goal of the ENERGY STAR program is to generate awareness of energy-saving capabilities, differentiate the market for more energy-efficient computers and accelerate the market penetration of more energy-efficient technologies.
In the middle of 2007, the EPA updated the ENERGY STAR computer specification to Version 4.0. This version was intended to define a set of testing criteria and power limits that could reduce the amount of energy consumed at idle and when awake but not in active use by up to 65 percent. A newer revision of the specification, version 5.0, went into effect July, 2009.
For system integrators, this specification is a voluntary energy reduction program for PCs. Today, it is only mandated for federal government and public procurement purchases in the US and EU (all 27 member nations), but the demand for certified systems is growing as the cost of energy increases and awareness for environmental conservation grows. There is no grandfathering allowed, which means ALL PCs shipping today with the ENERGY STAR logo must meet the latest version of the requirements, and any old systems must be retested under the new specification.
This website is intended to provide information and resources for system resellers who will need to meet this new specification.
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|Energy-efficient ingredients by Intel|
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|Power optimized desktop motherboards|
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|Building an ENERGY STAR system|
There is only one hardware requirement noted in the ENERGY STAR specification. For version 4.0, you must use a power supply that has a minimum efficiency of 80 percent with a power load of 20%, 50% & 100% and have greater than 0.9 PFC. Version 5.0 increases the requirement by requiring an efficiency of 82%/85%/82% with a PFC greater than 0.9. The three components in a system that consume the most power during system idle are the power supply (efficiency loss), processor, and motherboard. It is important to choose a power supply that fits your system or you will waste a lot of power from efficiency loss. For example, if you are designing a 50W idle system, you will want to use a 200-250W power supply (50W = 20 percent load for a 250W power supply). If you use a larger power supply, you will be operating the power supply at a < 20 percent load, which usually equates to efficiency much lower than 80 percent. It is important to choose a processor and motherboard with low idle power characteristics. For example, if you are building a desktop system, you may choose to use an Intel® Core 2 Duo processor and pair it with a power optimized motherboard such as one of the Eco-Smart Intel® Desktop boards. For more information on integrating a power efficient system, refer to the whitepaper (PDF 896KB).
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|Certifying an ENERGY STAR system|
ENERGY STAR is a self certifying specification. This means that the system integrator will be responsible for testing the system and submitting the results to the EPA. There are requirements that must be met for the test procedure such as specific power meter characteristics, network connectivity, voltage tolerances, and test collection methods. The requirements are outlined in the specification. The procedure is relatively simple and differs slightly depending on the platform you are testing. See below for specific requirements for desktop (and desktop-derived servers), laptops, and workstations.
|Systems Regulated:||Platform Definition|
|Desktop||A desktop computer intended to be located in a permanent location. A computer is composed of a CPU, user input devices, and a display for output.|
A desktop-derived server is composed typically of desktop components but is designed explicitly to be a host for other computers or applications.
|Laptop||A laptop is a computer designed for portability which can be operated for extended periods of time without being connected to an AC power source. It must also have an integrated monitor and battery or other portable power source.|
|Workstation||To qualify as a workstation, a computer must be marketed as a workstation, meet MTBF requirements, and support ECC and/or buffered memory. In addition a workstation must meet an additional three out of six optional characteristics listed in the specification.|
|Server||The EPA developed a new ENERGY STAR specification for servers which went into effect on May 15, 2009. See server tab above for more information.|
European Union – ErP Directive
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