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Living Green

Iameco drastically cuts carbon footprint in personal computer use

Iameco drastically cuts carbon footprint in personal computer use
A worker strips down electronic circuit boards in Germany.

An Irish computer company is cutting down the carbon footprint of that most familiar of devices, the personal computer, by 70 percent. MicroPro Computers Ltd.’s Iameco touch-screen computer has a carbon footprint of less than 360 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent over its full product lifecycle. Quite simply, it allows a computer user to say “I am eco.”

Having been engineered to be energy-efficient and almost 100 percent recyclable, Iameco provides answers to two of the most urgent environmental concerns regarding computer use – high energy use and proper disposal.

Computers, once they become obsolete or outdated, can be difficult to dispose of properly as many components are either toxic or non-biodegradable. Iameco is 98 percent made up of materials that can be recycled.

“Indeed, 20 percent of the computer can be recycled immediately – in other words, many parts and components can be reused for repairing other computers,” said Alexander Schlosser, a scientist at the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM in Berlin.

The IZM team worked with MicroPro to develop the Iameco, which was awarded the European Union’s “Ecolabel” in 2011.

Iameco achieves a typical energy consumption of 94 kilowatt-hours, which is 45 percent more efficient than the current Energy Star Standard for the same class of PC’s. One of the features that enables it to be this efficient is its heat sink cooling system.

In an ordinary PC, a fan typically provides cooling so the processer doesn’t overheat. In the Iameco, the fans were replaced with heat sinks which convey the heat away from the processor via copper tubes, called heat pipes.

The Iameco also features LED’s in its display lighting which improves its energy efficiency by 30 to 40 percent. MicroPro Computers and IZM are continuing to collaborate towards making more environmentally friendly computing devices, next on their agenda would be delivering a notebook with as small a carbon footprint as the Iameco. – EcoSeed Staff

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