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Home entertainment systems
One way to reduce this waste is to use BlackRemote technology to reduce power loss. Based on United States Patent 7825545 for “Energy Conservation and Control Systems”, this concept uses the physical location of a remote control device to completely turn off devices. One implementation would be used primarily in home entertainment centers. The following is a prototype device. Note that removing the remote from the cradle restores power to the system (a lamp in this case) and placing the remote in the cradle cuts off the power.
This centers around stand alone electronics which use a remote such as portable CD players, Ipod speakers, and so on. These types of devices can be designed with a remote control cradle built into the base of the device. When the remote is placed in the cradle a switch is activated, causing the device to stop listening for remote signals. When the remote is removed from the cradle, the device starts listening for remote signals. Here is an example of an existing product, the Pure I10 iPod Dock:
Here is how it can be modified to hold the remote control. Note that the base of the unit does not need to listen for remote signals when the remote control is in the cradle. Removing the remote from the cradle will activate the remote signal functionality of the device.
These two simple design changes will help eliminate phantom power loss with minimal effort on the end-users part. While reducing household power consumption by 5% may seem trivial, as a nation we are wasting 65 Billion kilowatt-hours of electricity a year. To put that in perspective, the Hoover Dam produces 565 million kilowatt-hours each year. That is equivalent to 115 Hoover Dams.