Newsletter Archive

E-News Issue #91

15 November 2005

Who are we?

Do you wonder who the face is behind the telephone or email? Well you can see most of us on the 'about us' page. If you want to browse the rest of our site, click on the ‘home’ icon at the bottom of the page to bring up the Site Index at the top of your monitor. I estimate that there are now some 4000 pages of info on our website- if that is not enough info- check out our links page- it has heaps of really valuable links on it!

World PV Market trends

As reported previously, the world demand is sky rocketing. According to the Industry Research firm, Solarbuzz, consumers installed 927 megawatts in 2003. Due to limited supplies of high grade processed silicon, costs are rising- the average price per watt in the USA rose from US $4.99 to $5.28. All PV manufacturers are reporting shortages with orders exceeding supply.

Television Energy Consumption

I have decided to revisit this topic as more information is now available and some LCD televisions have come down substantially in price.

For small/ medium size televisions, LCD is clearly the choice for those of you with limited power. The other great news is that they are getting cheaper as time goes on. Coles and a number of supermarkets are now selling 38 cm LCD televisions for AUD$299 (about US $220)!

All the LCD televisions (at least up to 51 cm) actually work on a 12V power supply (from a 230V plug pack).

They are incredibly efficient if you can run them direct from 12V.

I say ‘if’ because they are designed to run off a 230V- 12V regulated power supply. This is not the same as running it direct from a 12V solar system where the battery voltage can easily range from 11 to 15 volts. An even wider variance is possible with flat or failing batteries; a battery system being equalised to 15.5- 16 volts etc.

There appears to be a few brands that can definitely be run off a battery and these are marketed to the caravan and yachting market. Majestic LCD televisions will operate between 10.9 and 15.5 volts. Xien sell a range for the marine industry. Sharp televisions are also sold as ’12 volts’ but come with a $140 special 12 V lead. I suggest this has a power conditioner/ regulator on it. Dick Smith sell an AC/DC 15 inch model for about AUD$600.

Most people assume that all the brands would operate satisfactorily but we are unable to recommend this without information from the manufacturers. If any of you have information or experience in this regard, please let me know.

The power ‘saving’ of being able to run it direct is significant. From my observations, the 230 to 12V adapter supplied with the television is only about 50% efficient. By the time you then use an inverter to change your 12V to 230V, I estimate that you could be tripling your power consumption.

For those of you on 24 volts, an efficient 24 to 12V converter is a reasonable option. I tested the 15” Music TV using our 8A Voltage Reducer (APX-006) and it used a modest 1 amp on 24 volts.

For the ‘big end of town’, a consumer magazine tested 4 popular brands of large LCD and Plasma televisions for power consumption. Interestingly, the 45/ 46 inch Plasma televisions used 260 –286 Watts while the 42/ 43 inch Plasma televisions used significantly less (183- 186 watts). All four used between 0.67 and 1.4 watts on stand by.

There are three main types of televisions available now and some power consumptions that we know about are listed below:

1) Cathode Ray Television (CRT): This is the ‘old’ type that has been around for twenty odd years.

* 34 cm/ 14 “ Sony Trinitron Rated 72W Measured 28W.
* 34 cm/ 14” Daewoo measured 39W
* 51 cm/ 20” Daewoo measured 79 W
* 52 cm/ 21” Philips measured 40W

2) Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) Television:

* 7 “ Xien 6W measured direct on 12 V
* 8 “ Xien 8W measured direct on 12 V
* 12” Xien 15W measured direct on 12 V
* 15” Xien 15W measured direct on 12 V
* 15” Music TV 22W measured direct on 12 V- 25W on 24V
* 17” Xien 25W measured direct on 12 V
* 17” NEC 53W measured with 230V adaptor
* 21” Xien 48W measured direct on 12 V
* 45” Sharp 261W measured on 230V
* 46” Samsung 286W measured on 230V

Note: 17, 45 and 46” are wide screen format

3) Plasma Television:

* 34” Panasonic 165- 200 W measured
* 42” Panasonic 240W average measured
* 43” Pioneer 186W measured
* 42” Sony 183W measured

Note: The Panasonic models tested were 1- 2 years old. I’m not certain if their higher wattage is due to older technology or brand differences.

Conclusion: In the small/ medium size television range, LCD has the lowest power consumption; however, it is not known if all brands can be run directly from a ‘solar battery’ system. In the very large size, Plasma televisions appear to be more energy efficient than LCD. Many televisions use power on standby unless they are switched off at the power- point.

Any data that you can send us will be added to the list!

Cheers from Dave and all the RPC crew.

Dave Lambert (Director)

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We install solar systems in Northern NSW and Southern QLD.


QLD:
Gold Coast (from Coolangatta to Southport), Nerang and Hinterland (Beaudesert) and out West (Warwick, Stanthorpe, Killarney)


NSW:
Northern NSW (Tweed Heads to Yamba, including Evans Head, Byron Bay and Ballina); the Far North Coast Hinterland (Grafton via Lismore to Murwillumbah) and out West (Casino to Tenterfield, including Drake and Tabulam, as well as Woodenbong and Bonalbo)

For larger system we also go up to Brisbane or down to Coffs Harbour and even Glen Innes. Other places by arrangement.