The projects I'm working on will all require a +5 regulated supply so I've been looking for one that I know is X-10 friendly to recommend.
These are slender types that do not block adjacent outlets on a powerstrip. I've only tested the 5V/2.6A model but think it safe to assume the other models use the same design. I cannot see any noise nor any PLC signal attenuation.
It would help if you knew up front what switching frequency they used. In the past, I've gone through 3 computer PS until I found one that didn't affect X-10. The higher the switching frequency, the smaller the internal magnetic components (inductors, and transformers). Due to the small size of these wall-warts, I think you might find they are OK below 150 kHz. I've been using many of these types around the house for routers, cell phones, etc not to mention the larger laptop supplies and have no problems at all with X10 / Insteon.
I repeated the test using a +5V regulated linear power supply. Unloaded, it uses about 6.5 times as much energy as the switchmode supply. Since both cost about the same, it would take more than 20 years for the reduced energy use to pay for replacing the linear model with the switchmode model. This ignores shipping costs (which nearly equal the cost of the power supply) and the probability that energy costs will rise over the 20 years. It also ignores the time value of money.
The 20 year sav>I left the +5V model plugged into my Kill A Watt meter using the kWh mode
And across a million or so users it'd add up to quite a lot.
I'm puzzled why you're so opposed to efforts that save energy. Sure, at their current delivery levels there's a potential price penalty. But if they're going to drive down the costs using economies of scale, it has to start somewhere.
Only by ignoring the real costs. First, the costs are not all related to energy - I was presenting the best case scenario for your view - the real energy costs are much smaller. Where and how will you dispose of the million or so obsoleted linear supplies? How much will that cost?
When new LED lamps that are far more efficient than CFLs hit the market, will you propose that eveyone replace their CFLs with LEDs? Where and how will you dispose of the CFLs? (They are classified as hazardous waste in most states.)
For that matter you can buy LED lamps today that are 2-4 times as efficient as CFLs and are projected to last 10 times as long. They just cost and arm and a leg. Why aren't you proposing that everyone switch to them? Have you switched to them? If millions of CFLs are replaced, think of the energy savings.
I'm not at all opposed to efforts that save energy. If you ever propose one that will actually save significant energy instead of proposing empty gestures that save little to no energy I'll be all for it.
I'm sure the companies that manufacture small switchmode power supplies have already realized all the economies of scale. Most of the retail price represents transportation costs from Asia.
Very few larger scale technologies like solar are even close to being competitive even with substantial government subsidies. Unless there are significant technological breakthroughs (see below), solar cells will never likely be sufficiently efficient to compete with other sources except in far off the grid applications.
I find most tree-hugger proposals specious, naive and counter productive because they do next to nothing to address the problem. They do things like ignoring the amount of energy needed to manufacture and transport solar cells and other recommended replacement technology or assuming that supposed long-lived replacements will actually last as long as projected. I suspect that many such "feel good" proposals actually originate with energy companies hoping to distract us so we will "ignore the man behind the curtain".
There are plenty of fat targets like coal-fired generating plants and gas-guzzling SUVs (the purchase of which is subsidized by tax law) where the payback is several orders of magnitude greater. We get more than half our electricity from coal and that is projected to grow at a far faster rate than any other energy source. Some companies (e.g. Cinergy, AEP) are doing a pretty good job of bringing new plants online that use cleaner burning technologies and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Others should be required to do the same.
I'm confident that there will be breakthroughs. They will come partly as a result of the government offering even paltry subsidies to prime the pump and partly from the effort of pioneers willing to spend big bucks on solar systems. You just have to compare a modern PC to one built in 1982 to see how much was accomplished - stuff that many people thought impossible in the '80's. If solar technology advances at even one half the rate the PC technology has, it really will be a player in reducing our dependence on foreign oil.
I thought the same of recyling as it's not the household trash that's the real problem, it's big business dumping toxic chemicals in the air and water. I personally don't recycle because here, the same garbage trucks that pick up the trash pick up the recycling the next day. I also believe that the faster dumps fill with non-noxious materials, the better.
The Simpsons said it best:
"Newspaper Tour Guide: And each paper contains a certain percentage of recycled paper. Lisa Simpson: What percentage is that? Newspaper Tour Guide: Zero. Zero is a percent, isn't it?"
You'll be happy to know that the EPA's new rules that old powerplants can evade clean air regs by declaring new plants "upgrades" has been struck down by the courts. That's probably only because judges don't get millions of dollars in campaign contributions. Congressmen rolling over for Big Business is not likely to stop any time soon, Abramoff scandals or not. The federal government has become a slave to big business and all of the efforts of muckrakers like Upton Sinclair and Ralph Nader have largely evaporated. Anyone who thinks Congress cares more if people get sick from Mad Cow disease than they do about the health of the US cattle industry better get some reality meds. There's a woman who believes that there have been many deaths from Mad Cow in the US - but that they've been misdiagnosed as other illnesses and that the Feds just don't care to investigate.
Work with me here, Dave, I am trying to give you a least a little sliver of hope that your kids and grandkids won't be living in an underground vault buying clean air at prices higher than today's natural gas prices!
I'm hopeful that even judges don't want to die of environmental diseases and might show some sanity regardless of who appointed them. Supreme Court justices have had a notorious way of turning on those who appointed them.
But I have to admit that lots of bright, young kids that I deal with don't really have a clue about the magnitude of the problems facing them. Most are shocked when they learn the PC's they have so assiduously recyled end up in the third world where poor people melt components off the boards down by the local riverside while inhaling toxic fumes.
For me, recycling also means squeezing the life out of a product, and for the reasons you've outlined - it costs money to make and to unmake products. The longer useful lives products have, the less cost to the environment. I drive a 16 year old fuel-efficient car and live in a 60 year old house although I could easily choose to do otherwise. For me, something's not ready for the junkheap as long as I can keep it going.
-- Bobby G.
Quote of the moment: Maintenance-free: When it breaks, it can't be fixed...
Power plants pollute everyone's air. WV mountains only affect West Virginians - mostly. Ever see "Spaceballs?" They had canned Perrier air. Maybe it was one of those things meant to be funny that will eventually become tragically prescient.
I'm not sure how the power plant regulations are going to shake out but one thing's on our side and that's the growing consensus among scientists that we're in trouble that may be so deep there will be no getting out of it if something's not done soon.
Blackmun, appointed by Nixon, IIRC, was a staunch conservative, yet he wrote the majority opinion in Roe v. Wade. He eventually turned so liberal he opposed the death penalty. Black, of course, was a KKK'er before he became one of the most liberal champion of civil rights the Supremes have ever seen. O'Connor and Souter are thought to have changed their views once they reached the SCOTUS but since they were not sitting federal judges before their appointments, it's hard to tell what they felt about constitutional issues before they reached the bench.
Now, let's see if we can bring this back to switchmode PS's! Probably not, although the Supremes did reach out and grab a very interesting patent case whose outcome could have some pretty serious consequences for a lot of techno-businesses. For whatever it's worth, I saw Clarence Thomas on CNN a while back along with Justice Kennedy and it was obvious that Thomas was a lot more computer literate than his counterpart. That gives me hope that at least one judge can understand the technological issues presented by the EPA case. I guess we'll just have to wait and see whether SCOTUS is as business-oriented as POTUS and the Congre$$