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what is powernet?

Data from the Department of Energy suggests that computing equipment in office and education buildings accounts for about 1.5% of all electricity consumption in the United States. Unfortunately, it is difficult to understand exactly how this energy is distributed among different devices and user tasks.

The PowerNet project aims to characterize the energy consumption of enterprise-style computing infrastructures. This includes user machines, as well as networking and storage equipment. Fine-grained power consumption data correlated with device utilization can highlight opportunities for reducing the energy costs of everyday computing.

Currently, a hybrid network of power meters is monitoring 138 devices, consuming 9,463 watthours.

This amount accounts for 2.1% of the total electricity consumption of the Gates Computer Science building at Stanford.

Where is electricity going?

The extensive power measurements that PowerNet provides result in a breakdown of electricity consumption. The graph below shows how different device classes contribute to the overall energy bill.