I say real because I foolishly thought I could make one with real high end stuff. When I say “High End” you should read High Power requirements. I also wanted it to do too much. What the plan is now;

1. DVR functions.

2. Network data storage.

None of the other functions I had envisioned. (Original thought about a Green DVR. Did I say a week or two. I should have said a few months.)

What I built. I just used the green computer I made earlier. It uses about 50 Watts now. But the key thing is that it only runs for about 8 hours a day and not 24 hours. In the end it is very easy to do. The DVR software I have will bring the computer out of standby to start a recording. I then have it go back into standby after 10 minutes.

I have Wake-on-LAN enabled to allow for remote computers to access shows and any data. If you do any research on “Wake-on-LAN” I am not using the “Magic Packet” since I have a switch only traffic that needs to go to the DVR makes it. If the DVR is in standby, then it wakes up and starts working. So far everything works as it should. I do need to run the Kill-a-watt for longer then a day to get more accurate numbers. But I am below the target of 500 Watts.

I know that this all seems at bit much for an alternative energy focused blog but I feel that computer’s account for a significant portion of my monthly energy bill. Just how much? The old DVR used 90 Watts.

24 hours x 0.090 kilowatts = 2.16 kilowatts

The new one uses 50 Watts for only 8 hours.

8 hours x 0.050 kilowatts + 16 hours x 0.005 kilowatts = 0.480 kilowatts.

The savings is about 1.68 kilowatts per day. Almost 50 kW hours a month. (8% of my total monthly. Don’t forget I have an office PC, netbook, and my wife’s Laptop.)

So if I used the Green PC for the DVR what am I using for my office computer then. Don’t worry, in all the creating of the DVR I made a desktop computer that uses even less. The only reason I did not use it for the DVR is that it does not have enough processing power.