Energy consumption is an important parameter that not only concerns sustainability. It is true that by optimizing the use of energy on the device, less energy will be required to perform its function, therefore more efficient, but also by performing this optimization you will have an overall better product.
This post was originally published on the WindAid blog. The article can be found here
Back in the summer of 2014, I had one of the best experiences of my life (sounds cheesy and the start of a teenage girl movie doesn’t it?). I was just finishing university and graduating with an electronics engineering bachelor degree at the University of Plymouth and before getting hooked into a 9-5 job I was looking to have an experience where I could combine three different factors
Wind Turbines with Twitter accounts? Unconventional perhaps, but it’s a zero service cost option I was able to implement that allows WindAid Institute, a Peruvian Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) to receive notifications from their wind turbine systems in rural Peru. The open source remote monitor project (or ReMona) was born out of a need to:
- Receiving system alerts, such as battery level being critically low.
- Wanting Live data to track system usage and turbine performance anywhere in the world.
If you think about it, almost all electronic devices found out there have their components sitting in a nice looking Printed Circuit Board or PCB. No one sells a device with their electronics stuck on a breadboard and hold by electrical tape (or I hope not).
Since electronic devices are booming, PCBs are everywhere. Making sure their materials can be collected and reused instead of just throwing them into a landfill would potentially be a smart and environmentally sensible move if performed properly.
In this article, we will discuss the issue of PCB recycling, if it’s possible at all, how it is done and what can we do as electronics design engineers to create more recyclable PCBs. Note that with PCB we mean the PCB without any components.
Do you know what a sustainable electronic product is? You probably already have an idea but not a well defined concept. But that’s OK, it turns out that it is not either a simple or well established definition in the electronics world. After all, as developers and designers our main focus, as we’ve been taught both at work and at university is to focus on the product specifications and characteristics itself, not how its components, performance, and end of life affects the environment and other people (unless you are actually designing a product with sustainability in mind from the beginning).