In our article, How to Reduce PC Power Consumption, we have provided several selection criteria for centralized software that would monitor, calculate and measure the PC power consumption. The statistics that would be given vary from low, to maximum and to average power consumption but one can get his/hers reports by using tools to access the database of the system.
Measuring the PC power consumption would essentially enable us to manage and save electricity thus save energy. This task is basically easy and feasible due to the fact that the PC is an intelligent device which can be on the network with an IP address. Being on the network means that we can have central management and control.
What happens though with a non-intelligent device such as the PC monitor? How can we manage and monitor their power consumption? PC monitors have a separate power cable and are connected on the mains the whole time a PC is ON and even after the PC is switched off. There is no way we can address and manage an ordinary PC monitor. There are ways that we can use to measure and monitor the power consumption of a PC monitor and one such way is by controlling the power source.
A Brazilian company came up recently with an innovative way to manage the power consumption of a monitor and save energy. Ecobeneficios from Brazil has developed an application that runs on the PC and it is called GreenCam. What this application does is very simple. Once the user moves away from his desk the GreenCam software senses his/hers absence and turns off the monitor to save energy. When the user returns he/she moves the mouse and the software turns on the monitor. This is a great idea since it adds intelligence to the dump monitor and it satisfies a need because we have to admit that we get up from our seat many times during a day for long periods either for a meeting or for coffee and during these periods the monitor is on and energy is wasted.
This application which runs on the PC or the portable has a few drawbacks. First of all there is the need for a webcam on the monitor, either build in or external. Second, the PC has to be turned on so that the GreenCam application would be running. Given these two constraints we can deduce that this application is not for all environments and is most suited for portable computers or notebooks which have a build-in web camera and the monitor is on when the PC is on. For these cases the GreenCam application is perfect and above all is free! The only problem that you may find when you visit the Ecobeneficios site is the language. The site is in Portuguese but technically oriented people can find their way around the website easily.
If you or somebody, whom you know, wants to save energy and has a portable computer or notebook then we highly recommend that you find a way to download this free application, GreenCam, and start saving money and energy and reduce the C02 emissions thus work towards a greener environment.