I recently read an article about the wasted energy resulting from charging electrical and electronic devices beyond the point where they have fully charged. The article used a play on words to call attention to this waste.
In this age of modern technology, more and more devices rely on electricity to function. Gadgets like cell phones, laptops, MP3 players, tablets and lately, cars, are plugged every day to have their batteries recharged. Most of the time, we allot recharging time whenever we sleep so we can make sure that these batteries are fully charged. But what we don’t always realize is by doing this, we consume much more energy than needed.
Lawrence Berkley National Library has conducted a study regarding the wasted energy that these devices use. The study revealed that an average cell phone left overnight for charging for 8 more hours would consume of about 0.02 extra kilowatt hours (KWH) of energy.
Doesn’t sound like much, but when done every night for a year, it adds up to about 8 KWH per device (computers eat up much more).
There’s more: Every time you leave electronics around your house plugged in but not in use – whether it’s your TV, video game systems, minor appliances, etc. – you’re inviting energy zombies into your home to have a delicious meal at your expense, which could eventually leave you with a high electricity bill and an empty wallet.
One easy solution is to plug several devices into multi-outlet strips with on-off switches, so you can shut them all off at once.
Just in case, like me, you forgot what exactly a ”joule” is:
The joule is a unit of work or energy in the International System of Units ... the joule equals one watt-second-i.e., the energy released in one second by a load of one watt (a current of one ampere through a resistance of one ohm.)
It is named after the English physicist James Prescott Joule (1818–1889)
1 joule or watt-second = 2.7778×10−7 kilowatt-hour (not very much).
One joule in everyday life represents approximately:
- the energy required to lift a small apple (weighing approximately 3.5 oz.) vertically three feet.
- the energy released when that same apple falls to the ground.
- the energy required to lift one pound
vertically nine inches (3/4 of a foot-pound).
- the heat required to raise the temperature of 1 oz. of water by 0.015º F
- the typical energy released as heat by a person at rest, every 1/60th of a second.
- the kinetic energy of a 100 lb. human
moving very slowly
1 kilowatt-hour (KWH) is 1000 watts times 60 seconds times 60 minutes (3600 seconds), or 3.6 megajoules or 3,600,000 joules.
It’s about what it takes to bake a cake or wash a load of clothes.
A megajoule (MJ) is equal to one million (106) joules, or approximately the kinetic energy of a 2000 pound car moving at 100 mph.
A KWH is approximately the kinetic energy of a 3 ½ ton truck moving at 100 mph
And finally, a yottajoule (YJ) is equal to one septillion (1024) joules. This is approximately the amount of energy required to heat the entire volume of water on Earth by 1 °Celsius. (a yottajoule is a lotta joules). Think global warming.