Energy Conservation Starts with Your Computer’s Wallpaper !!!

by in4maniac

“It is an inescapable reality that fossil fuels will continue to be an important part of the energy mix for decades to come.”

UK government spokesperson, April 2008

Energy Crisis is a very popular term that is being discussed in the world today. While the globe is pacing forward with a rapid improvement rate in the industrial revolution, the demand for energy increases rapidly every second. The sectorial petroleum demand information illustrated by the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority clearly shows how the Demand for energy has increased through years. The main source of energy at present is fossil fuel which is a limited resource. The usage of Fuels used for Power generation has also increased immensely during the last few years. At the rate the energy demand increases at present, the figures and tables show a clear indication of an energy crisis around in 2030 if this demand problem is addressed improperly. Hence it is extremely important that energy is saved in every mean possible.

Sri Lanka Energy Balance 2007 report by Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority (SLSEA) states that the energy consumption of Sri Lanka has rapidly increased after 1997 and is increasing. The gross electricity generation, Hired and off-grid Thermal Generation and Fuel usage and other tables and figures all show the high rate of increase of energy demand. This report by SLSEA also shows how much fuel has been consumed in production of electricity requirement.

The utilization of computers and digital media in the world has had a great improvement within the last decade. With this rapid expansion, the main source of interfacing between digital multimedia and the humans have been display monitors. Apart from the computers, display monitors are being used as Televisions, Mobile phone screens, tablet PC Screens and as various other implementations. A study done by researchers at Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory shows that the energy consumption of display monitors differ with the colours they display on the screen. Their readings show that the energy consumed to display a full black screen differs than that of a fully white screen. Robertson et al, 2002 clearly depicts that the display colour of an image does impact the power consumption of the display monitors. The readings recorded by the group in their research report clearly shows a difference between the power dissipation of full black screen, and a full white screen.

During the last few years, the technological utilization in display monitors has greatly diverted from Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) to Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) and Light Emitting Diode (LED) technologies. The world’s main display technologies are now dominated by CRTs, LCDs and LED Displays. As these are different technologies that use different mechanisms to generate colours, the rate of energy consumption differs from each other.

United States Department of Energy has investigated and published a reading set that they have measured on energy requirement of a CRT monitor in displaying different colours. This data set was quoted and published exactly the same way by http://www.graphicoptimization.com. They have further referred to a study done in September 2007 and state that approximately 75% of the developed economies use LCD monitors while the rest uses CRT screens.

Researchers from the Simon Fraser University in Canada have developed two different color maps for organic LEDs that, thanks to an appropriate choice of colors and by exploiting characteristics of human perception, can consume up to 40 percent less power and could be used to increase battery life for a wide range of portable devices. The details of this research have been quoted by http://www.gizmag.com.

As mentioned above, the amount of power consumed by any display technology differs with the type of colour they display. Millions of visual images are generated in the world every day in forms of images, user interfaces, advertisements and etc… Due to the lack of a proper matrix or a scale that will categorize the colours in terms of energy efficiency, these images are produced inconsiderate of the energy efficiency of the utilized colour combinations. These images are viewed all around the world every second in display screens costing a huge amount of energy that could have been saved if those images were generated with proper concern about the energy consumption of displaying the colours on screen.

Therefore, by creating a scale of values that will position different display colours according to their energy consumption, this scale can be used to compare the energy efficiency of different colour combinations and hence use in building eco-friendly screen images for display monitors. This will ultimately lead to an enormous power saving.

But however, it should also be mentioned that the eco-friendliness of colours do differ with the technologies used to display them. For example, the mechanisms used in CRT Monitors and LED Monitors solely differ from that that of the LCD. And while the CRT Monitors and LED monitors cost more energy to display brighter colours, the LCDs on the other had acts totally opposite to it. It cost more energy to display a darker colour in LCDs. This is because the LCD uses a technology that genetates a colour spectrum using its back light and uses the screen to block the unnecessary wavelengths. This way, a darker colour demands blocking more colour wavelengths which will ultimately cost more energy.

By determining the eco-friendly ness of colours that are being displayed in the humongous amount of Display monitors all around the globe, those colour schemes can be efficiently used. It provide a path way to assess the impact of displaying different colours on display monitors have on the environment. This assessment will help the global community to carefully choose the colour schemes when designing and developing screens, images or interfaces that will be displayed frequently throughout the world.

Awareness of using eco-friendly colour schemes will ultimately lead to saving of large amounts of energy that would have gotten wasted if an energy inefficient colour scheme was used.

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