Slashdot is carrying a new story on energy saving optoelectronics (like the laser beam in your CD drive)
“UCLA researchers have developed a way to cut power use and heat output from a silicon laser used for optoelectronics. Both have been problems because silicon absorbs too much light — producing high-energy free electrons that make heat. One of Intel’s best silicon lasers produced 125 times more heat than usable light. The UCLA team added a diode to their laser which can harvest free electrons and use them to help power the circuit — simultaneously cutting heat output and power use.”
This looks very similar to the concept of hybrid cars. Harnessing the wasted energy and making it do useful thing.
If we could really implement this principle in our day to day life, we would be able to save a lot of energy. Like using the heat released by refrigerator coils to heat stuff, or in winter using the cold air outside in your freezer, and so on.
From the quoted article
“Vista, while touted as having improved power management capabilities that would make it easier for users to extend battery life, isn’t to some living up to that promise. The main culprit appears to be the Aero Glass interface, a spiffy new user interface that makes Vista more pleasing to the eye with transparent windows and animated transitions when moving from one application to another. “
This difference is seen in-spite of advanced power management tools in Vista.
As shown in my previous article on computer monitor power consumption, colors on screen do not affect notebook monitor consumption, which is LCD panel. So the extra energy consumption must be because of video card and processor consumption.