Industrial Insight

power…. | September 6, 2013

The Rest of the Story

When energy issues are considered the entire picture must be evaluated. If a person is asked how much energy your cell phone uses, the answer will undoubtedly be “very little”. It is so small and has a state of the art battery that can power it for probably two days. The charger only puts out a low voltage and the cord is so thin that it cannot carry any real current. It has got to be one of the star energy saving devices ever conceived?

But a CNBC business FYI report presented some additional thoughts. What about the power used by the cell towers spanning this country? What about the computer processing centers which handle all those calls and route your internet Facebook feeds. The fact is, from a usage basis your cell phone uses more electricity than a medium sized refrigerator. And if you are really giving thought to this evaluation you need to consider the full life cycle energy consumption. No comparison was made if the energy consumed to manufacture and then to dispose of the phone, build and replace communication towers, etc. is added to the baseline.

Watch out, Al Gore may want to take our cell phones away.

Rick Boyd

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