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Green gas from Ecotricity 23/9/10

Are all gas companies the same? Not now! Ecotricity are now able to supply gas from renewable sources see here for details.

It's a neat idea, they add the gas from a renewable source into the gas grid. The gas you actually use is unlikely to be renewable, however with your support they can increase the proportion generated in this way. Thus slightly reducing our dependence on imports.

Greener buying guide for your PC: Power Supply Unit (PSU) 1/10/08

What does it do?

The power supply unit (PSU) converts electricity into a form that your computer can use. This conversion process results in heat being produced. This waste heat must then be removed; usually by means of a fan to stop the computer overheating.

What does it look like?

Physically it looks like a box of electronics with a fan mounted in it. It usually has a kettle lead socket to connect it to the mains, and hidden internal wires that supply the circuit boards inside your computer with electricity. They usually come in standard sizes and so they can be replaced as and when required.

Can I use any power supply?

The amount of electricity they can transform varies. So if you're replacing an existing supply make sure you replace like for like. They have these details printed on a label on the cover of a power supply.

What makes a greener power supply unit?

The amount of waste heat produced by a PSU can vary widely between different manufacturers. It is possible to measure the efficiency of a PSU by comparing how much electricity is used from the plug, and the amount of useful electricity available to your computer. The efficiency is displayed as a percentage. The higher the efficiency the less waste heat is produced.

A bog standard PSU has an efficiency of between 65% and 75%. This means that at least quarter of the electricity you use ends up heating the room. If the room is air conditioned, it will also cost more to keep the room cool.

A good PSU has an efficiency of more than 80%. Due to the laws of physics (thermodynamics) it's impossible to make a PSU with a 100% efficiency rating.

Note that the efficiency rate can change depending on your level of use of the computer (a PSU could have a higher efficiency when not doing anything, than when playing a game with lots of graphics).

How can I buy a more efficient power supply?

There is an American standard called 80 plus that is awarded to power supplies that have a minimum efficiency of 80%. This 80 plus standard has been adopted as part of the Energy Star (4.0) standard. Therefore any hardware that has the Energy Star logo on it will have good efficiency.

Before you buy a new or replacement computer power supply, check to see whether it conforms to either of these standards.

Advantages:

  • Lower running costs* (reduced electricity consumption).
  • Quieter (reduced in fan use).
  • More reliable (spending more on a branded power supply should reduce the failure rate).
  • Lower waste heat produced (reduced air conditioning).

*The savings are small for computers that are used less than a couple of hours a day.

Disadvantages:

  • Higher initial cost to buy than a standard power supply.
  • More energy is used in making and transporting a new power supply, than the energy saved in the lifetime of the PSU.

Tips:

When buying a new or replacement PSU that make sure that it complies with: 80 plus or Energy Star 4 standards unless you don't use it very often.

Only buy an efficient PSU for new systems, or when replacing a broken power supply. In terms of planet resources it doesn't make sense to upgrade an existing power supply that works (unless you purchase a lot of computer equipment), especially if you're paying somebody else to upgrade your computer.

You get more good karma for buying a used efficient power supply!

It makes extra sense to buy an efficient PSU for work computers in air conditioned offices.

News 29/4/08

More Efficient Printing - Print Stylesheet Added

We have added a new print stylesheet to this website. What this means is that when you print a page from this website the whole width of your paper is used, and some of the graphics are hidden. Therefore less ink and paper are used.

News 4/4/08

The Green IT Company

We are working closely with the Green IT compnay on being able to supply organisations or indivuals with computer systems that are the most power efficient, and use the least amount of harmful chemicals. For more infomation click here.

Software Testing Course

We have been working on a software testing course with Zoonou, more details at www.softwaretestingcourses.co.uk.

Green Electronics Guide

Have now placed the latest version of this guide on the recycling page.

Dreamweaver Course

We can now offer a one day Dreamweaver Orientation course as one of our services. We can also assist in transforming an existing site, into a Dreamweaver template based site.

News 5/9/07

Green Electronics Guide

Electronics have a lot of toxic chemicals in them, however companies have started to mend their ways. This survey by Greenpeace shows that companies are not all the same. You can do your bit by supporting those who lead the way. The top four in their June survey puts Nokia at the top of the pile, with Lenovo, Dell and Sony Ericsson following closely behind. Follow the link for the full details. Remember the greenest solution is to buy products second hand, and dispose of responsibly at the end of their lifespan.

Greenpeace green electronics guide

Note: you'll need Adobe Acrobat reader or similar to view this file.

Drupal

Drupal has been added to our list of website services. It is an open-source content management system (CMS). The advantage of creating a site using drupal is that once it is set up, it can be maintained by anyone who can use a word processor. No knowledge of html or similar is needed. We can drupalise existing websites too.

See www.drupal.org for more details.

News 14/5/07

Cyberkat website v2 is launched

We hope you find our new redesigned website easy to use, and easy on the eye. Please feel free to contact us with any suggestions or improvements.

News 24/3/07

Hastings & St Leonards Seniors' Forum website is launched by Pam Brown

Last weekend's Seniors' Forum Roadshow was held at St Mary Star of the Sea in the heart of the Old Town. Funds were raised in a number of ways, from the ever popular tombola, to guessing the name of a cuddly polar bear. The event also marked the successful launch of the Forum website by Forum president Pam Brown.

The website will be used by the Forum to publicise information useful for Seniors in the area, and allow the paper newsletter to be available in an electronic format. The site was carefully designed to ensure that it was accessible to those who don't have the latest computers, fastest internet connections or struggle with reading tiny text.

See www.hssf.org.uk for more details.