• Thursday , 22 April 2021

Energy sustainability for meeting room AV

There is no doubt in our mind that the end of the focus on the pandemic will coincide with a renewed emphasis on the environment and sustainability. Last month, TIG got the ball rolling with the publication of a White Paper written by its sales agency client GUDE Systems on energy sustainability for meeting room AV.

Copyright Macom GmbH.

Last month, Technological Innovations Group (TIG) announced that its vendor partner, GUDE Systems, had published a White Paper on how to reduce energy consumption in business AV settings. TIG describes itself as the leading sales agency for collaborative smart spaces and enterprise communication services, and is committed to offering high-end products aimed at reducing operating costs.

This is one of the main reasons that TIG formed a partnership with GUDE, which is renowned for its German-engineered and manufactured Power Distribution Units and Remote Power Monitoring Systems. The new White Paper, created in collaboration with macom GmbH, seeks to address the question of sustainability including savings in power consumption and a reduction in CO2 emissions.

Its findings include analyses of levels of carbon emissions by reducing power consumption in stand-by modes at night and on weekends, using switchable IP power strips that can automatically shut down AV applications outside of business hours.

Additionally, the paper discusses how the trend towards sustainability also comes with cost savings. The White Paper presents these savings according to room sizes and duration of use, so that anyone specifying AV equipment for meeting rooms can point to these figures when calculating how they can reduce energy costs and increase their sustainability by using intelligent switching routines.

Copyright Macom GmbH.

Lower costs, smaller footprint

Steven Dullaert, TIG’s Director of Sales, comments: “This new research highlights GUDE’s dedication to providing users with lower costs and a better carbon footprint. It shows how we’re not just making promises in terms of savings and sustainability but are delivering on them.”

Key findings of the GUDE. entitled ‘Sustainable operation of media technology systems in meeting rooms’, share the objectives of reducing electricity costs and CO2 emissions with intelligent power distribution strips. The White Paper was initiated by a macom GmbH prediction of a trend towards sustainability

Energy efficiency plays an important role in the operation of media technology installations. In addition to purely economic considerations, electricity savings also lead to a considerable reduction in CO2 emissions. And with advancing climate change, this aspect in particular will become increasingly important in the coming years.

Siegfried Hermann, Managing Director of macom GmbH, predicts a clear trend towards greater sustainability in the operation of audio-visual systems. “Companies will increasingly be faced with the question of how to realise concrete savings in power consumption in the future. This is a challenge that can only be met with intelligent technology coupled with the appropriate expertise.”

With a large number of both currently installed and planned devices, power consumption in standby mode at night and on weekends adds up to a considerable cost factor for the installation. In addition, the shutdown routine ensures that the lifetime of the devices is increased by avoiding continuous 24/7 operation.

To solve this problem, switchable IP power strips from GUDE Systems were incorporated. They can be used to automatically shut down AV applications outside of business hours at night and on weekends. Thanks to the programmable shutdowns, the customer can fully exploit the savings potential: in suprisingly short payback period.

Copyright Macom GmbH.

Meeting room equipment

The meeting rooms considered for the research project could be divided into three size categories: Small, medium and large meeting rooms or conference rooms. The installed equipment per room included displays, loudspeakers, wireless presentation systems, microphone and camera systems as well as corresponding control elements.

  1. Initial situation

Together with macom GmbH, the following question was investigated as part of a project in 2020: “How can sustainable operation be taken into account in addition to technical and functional issues when equipping modern meeting rooms and how high are the associated cost savings?

Here, the goal was to equip meeting rooms of various sizes with audio/video and IT hardware. The room sizes ranged from small huddle rooms to large conference rooms. The task was to implement a suitable control technology that would enable the installed media technology to be switched off when not in use.

The night shutdown performed by the power distribution unit removes power-hungry consumers such as power supplies, control and extender systems from the network. To make this possible, the power distribution unit (PDU) was connected upstream of the AV devices as a central network component.

A Size of meeting room Small; Medium; Large

Number of AV devices 8; 13; 20

Number of AV devices to be switched off 3 5 8

IP power strip EPC 1202-1 EPC 8031-3    EPC 8031-3

Number of sockets 4; 8; 8

For the small meeting room, 8 AV devices are planned, for the medium 13 devices and for the large conference room 20 devices. Due to the larger number of consumers, distribution strips with 8 socket locations were used for the medium and large meeting room, while a distribution strip with 4 sockets was sufficient for the small huddle room.

Copyright Macom GmbH.

Ideal setup of an AV installation

Using the Expert Power Control 8031 as an example, the PDUs are installed in 19-inch racks alongside other IT and AV equipment in a few simple steps and connected to the end devices as well as the IT network. The racks themselves are concealed behind wall panels and media furniture in the meeting rooms.

The programming of the power distribution strips for the intended night shutdown is carried out via the web server integrated in the devices, which provides a corresponding configuration interface. This is password-protected and can be accessed from any PC in the network.

Amortization after less than 2 years

Evaluating the device-specific standby consumption, the following total savings are obtained for the various room sizes over a period of 1, 5 and 10 years, the total savings are as follows:

  • Small meeting room

Duration Savings in … kWh EUR

1 year 744.80 148.96 €

5 years 3,724.00 744.80 €

10 years 7,448.00 1,638.56 €

  • Medium meeting room

Duration Savings in,  kWh EUR

1 year 1,134.35 226.87 €

5 years 5,671.75 1,134.35 €

10 years 11,134.35 2,495.57 €

  • Conference room

Duration Savings in. kWh EUR

1 year 1,202.95 240.59 €

5 years 6,014.75 1,202.95 €

10 years 12,029.50 2,646.49 €

Electricity prices based on de.statista.com

The trend towards more sustainability

  • Small meeting room 1.9 years
  • Medium meeting room 2.1 years
  • Conference room 2 years

With a purchase price of 282 EUR for Expert Power Control 1202 and 499 EUR for Expert Power Control 8031-3, the return on investment for the installed PDU was therefore as follows in each case: Accordingly, after about 2 years, the acquisition costs for the night shut-off have already been amortized, regardless of the room size.

From a sustainability perspective, further savings are achieved in the project: Based on the assumption that the kW-hour of electricity leads to emissions of 0.5 kg CO2 on average, the avoidance of electricity consumption through night-time shutdowns results in a significant reduction in CO2 emissions.

CO2 saved as a function of room size and duration:

Duration Room size: Small Medium Large Total savings

  • 1 year 350 kg 533 kg 565 kg 1.5 t
  • 5 years 1,750 kg 2,666 kg 2,827 kg 7.2 t
  • 10 years 3,501 kg 5,332 kg 5,654 kg 14.5 t

Conversion based on:: Energie mix in Deutschland 2019, Quelle: UBA, Climate Change13/2020, S. 9. This means that by avoiding unused energy consumption in the three meeting rooms alone, CO2 emissions of around 15t can be saved after a period of 10 years.

Copyright Macom GmbH.

Conclusion

The power distribution units used allow simple and rapid commissioning. The intended reduction in electricity costs can be realized through intelligent switching routines. When equipping small, medium and large meeting rooms, the investment in IT control technology pays for itself after just two years. In addition, the avoidance of unused energy consumption makes a relevant contribution to reducing the CO2 footprint.

There are further advantages for the operator of the media technology systems: Location independent remote access to the installation is possible at any time and without cost-intensive service technician callouts. What’s more, the integrated automatic reboot function ensures that the power strips restart faltering AV and IT applications without the operator’s intervention.

And in addition, the connection of temperature and humidity sensors to the IP power strips allow extended monitoring of the meeting rooms. Critical conditions on site can thus be avoided at an early stage in the future. The fact that the devices are switched off when they are not needed also reduces the risk of fire. Hence, this solution also improves fire protection.

Recycling and disposal

In the same week that the WHITE PAPER as published the UK Government published new recommendations on the recycling and disposal of electrical equipment has reached its end-of-life. As in the past, organisations have certain legal responsibilities if they sell electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) to provide free take-back services of old equipment.

The requirements around take-back services are set out in The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2013 (‘The WEEE Regulations’) and customers must be provided with a way to dispose of their old household electrical and electronic equipment when they purchase a new version of the same item. This applies regardless of how products are bought such as directly in a shop or by Internet, mail order or telephone.

There is an alternative to providing an in-store take-back service available to organisations; to join the Distributor Take-back Scheme (DTS). Being part of this scheme allows members an exemption from offering a free take-back service as members pay a fee that goes towards supporting recycling centres run by local authorities. The amount paid depends on the size of the business, whether the equipment is only sold online and how much EEE is sold.

The DTS operates in phases and is reviewed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra):

Phase 5 now in operation

Phase 4 of the DTS came to an end on 31st December 2019

Phase 5 runs from 1st January 2020 until 31st December 2021 and will only be open to large retailers until the end of 2020. (Large retailers are those with an excess of £100,000 of turnover in sales of EEE.)

This means large retailers can only join the DTS for the first year of the fifth phase and they are then required to provide in-store take-back facilities from January 2021. (This requirement does not apply to online-only retailers.

The UK has WEEE collection targets that have not been achieved for the last three years. These targets are set out in the WEEE Regulations and come from the EU WEEE Directive. Data published by the Environment Agency shows that in the 2019 calendar year, 494,976 tonnes of household WEEE was collected, which was 55,156 tonnes below the overall UK collection target of 550,132 tonnes.

In order to try to meet future collection targets, changes were needed and the key to improving collection rates is to make it more convenient for consumers to recycle their waste electricals:

 

  • 42% of people would use WEEE recycling banks at supermarkets and shops if they were available.
  • 61% would use in-store drop off points in electrical retail stores, according to a recent survey.


By requiring large retailers to offer take-back services rather than having the option to pay the fee for the DTS it is hoped these facilities will support more people to recycle their items.

Another key part of helping to improve recycling rates of EEE is more information for consumers. In early 2020 a ‘Recycle Your Electricals’ campaign was launched to encourage and support more people to reuse and recycle their old electricals. This campaign has been financed by producers of EEE.

However, there are concerns that as the DTS is still open for online-only retailers these organisations are not currently having to take full responsibility to facilitate the recycling of old electrical equipment. As online retail continues to grow, this is certainly an area that Defra need to consider.

So, if your customers are purchasing electrical equipment don’t forget to make use of the recycling facilities for your old item and help increase the recycling rates for WEEE.

Recent changes to legislation

The EEE sales data from UK producers shows we are generally buying more electricals, most which will have been imported from outside the UK. The proposed changes to the UK WEEE Regulations table options that could cause a huge impact on producers and with that, changes in financing and end of life management that could trickle down to consumers and businesses users. The main challenges include:

  • Product classification – how to adopt a change in classification of products from 10 to 6 categories with minimal upheaval to producer costs or waste stream separation for producers? Despite this, there could be significant differences between the UK and European compliance systems if EU continue on anticipated trajectory (move to 6 dimensions-based categories), and the UK preferred option is adopted (retain 14 categories).
  • Inclusion of previously exempt products – unless an electrical product is specifically exempted, then it is assumed to be in scope. The inclusion of previously exempt products coming into scope is likely to bring new businesses into the WEEE system for the first time. Will this spread the burden or add more demand to the system?
  • Impact on budgets – a year ago in a stakeholder meeting, we thought an adoption of 6 categories was most likely for the UK. However, time, likelyto retain the 14 categories with a protocol behind, which will bring the most stability with lowest impact on producer market.
  • Recycling costs – waste holders may suddenly find themselves with increased WEEE recycling costs; waste classification is complex and those in the many industries previously outside the scope of WEEE Regulations could find themselves with more administration and separating more waste. Otherwise they risk paying for the mixed loads to be sorted elsewhere!

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