Information Technology Solutions
When we began the implementation of the thin clients in early 2008, the UCMC used a power savings calculator to get a rough estimate for the cost savings if we replaced 1100 of our personal computers with Thin Clients. If we had rolled out all new pc’s rather than thin clients, we would have seen an increase to our power consumption by about 15K a year, this way we were able to add more new devices while still saving power!
What makes a thin client so power efficient?
There is no fan and no hard drive, both of these items require extra power to run in a regular pc. In addition to providing power for these components it creates heat as well and pulls in dirt and dust which can clog up a normal pc and slow it down or cause it to malfunction altogether. The processor chip in a thin client is a low wattage chip compared to its full pc counterpart which also consumes less power.
Why use a thin client?
Thin client pc’s are perfect for environments where the applications are mostly server side or web based. In our environment our clinical software application is managed via a server side implementation and therefore we are able to use thin clients in all our in-patient areas and our mobile carts (R2’s), to access most of the application services.
In addition to the thin clients power efficiencies, it is also very small in size measuring 8 ½” X 10” X 1”. This small platform enables us to mount the computer the back of the LCD monitor thus saving valuable desk and counter space particularly in our in-patient areas.
Coal-fired power plants, the largest source of energy production in the U.S., are major contributors to particulate pollution, which can increase the risk of asthma, respiratory diseases, and heart attacks. Power plant emissions amplify their contribution to global climate change by releasing greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide (NOx) into the atmosphere through smoke stacks. Sulfur dioxide emissions contribute to acid rain. Furthermore, according to the U.S. EPA, coal-fired power plants are the largest source of human-caused mercury emissions. Mercury released to the environment enters the aquatic food chain and contaminates fish consumed by people and wildlife. Mercury is a potent neurotoxin. The most sensitive health effect of mercury is an adverse impact on brain development of fetuses, infants and children. Low-level prenatal exposure can result in language, memory and attention deficits in children who were exposed in utero. Energy efficiency can enhance human health by reducing particulate, chemical and greenhouse gas emissions associated with fossil-fuel based combustion and electrical generation, thereby improving outdoor air quality and curbing global climate change and acid rain.