# Power Distribution Unit With Remote Control?

Has anyone found a 125V power distribution unit (PDU) with a remote control? I'm looking for a way to power on and off individual consumer electronic
items, and I do not want to leave them in standby mode. I'm finding some devices take up 10 or more watts in the "off" position, and when you have 15 such devices it adds up. Many of these devices will be used once every three months, so there is not a good reason to leave them on.
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Will

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Will wrote:

What is the break even point, where the \$ savings in electricity equals the price you will pay for the PDU(s)? Likely, you would need several PDUs to support 15 devices.
You're talking roughly 324 kwh in 3 months, worst case (15 devices all using 10 watts each): (10watts*15devices*90days*24hours)/1000 = 324kwh If your rate per kwh is 10 cents, your worst case cost for leaving the devices on is ~ \$130 per year.
Figuring 4 devices per PDU, you need 4 PDU's (or a kludge of "outlet expanders" perhaps unsafe). Your 4 PDU's will use power - using your figure of 10 watts each, worst case, so that's 86.4 kwh in 3 months. Your worst case cost of operation at 10 cents per kwh is ~ \$34.50 per year, with some additional cost for batteries, so about \$40 per year. So by spending ~ \$40 per year you could save \$130 for a net savings of \$90/year. Of course, that does not include the cost of the PDU equipment you would need.
So, if you can find the remote PDU(s) you want, you can factor in what it will cost to buy them, and determine how many years of use it will take for them to pay for themselves.
Or you could purchase some \$10 power strips with switch and manually turn them on/off. A ~ \$40 one time investment and no operating costs to save ~ \$130 per year. Sounds like a winner to me. :-)
Ed
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I'm fighting against the marginal cost of energy, which because we are over the previous year average they are charging 21 cents per kwh, so roughly double the numbers in your calculations. In the end, one extension cord per device with a switch on it is certainly a cost effective option. If a PDU with a remote is available cheaply, that would certainly be preferred (I certainly wonder why no one has invented such a convenience item if it is not to be found commercially...the item would pretty quickly pay for itself on top of making things convenient).
The bigger picture here is I am trying to determine energy utilization in a home that is getting \$600 utility bills, and doesn't appear to have any obvious major electrical consumers that could drive that kind of number. Metering the appliances or computers or anything that plugs to 125V will be pretty straightforward. Monitoring utilization on the HVAC and 220V devices is going to be more difficult to do cost effectively. In that bigger picture, the item I originally inquired about is certainly not the most important or most difficult problem.
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Will

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As Ed pointed out, remote control units, at least wireless types, still suck power constantly.
However, there are wired remotes that could come in handy. There are units marketed for Christmas trees that have a foot pedal for a switch, which you put in a convenient place. This keeps you from having to crawl around behind the tree and plug stuff in. I've used them for things that need to be 'reset' often enough to justify buying them.
Now would be a good time to look for them. Target has their Christmas stuff 75% off, and most other stores are doing much the same. Few people need more than one of these, so you still might find a few sitting around.
This is really the only solution that has any hope of actually saving you money.
Personally, I like charging stuff in the car. I doubt it saves me any substantial money, but if it poops out while I'm on the road, I can charge it on the spot.
CS
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Will wrote:

The PDU will draw power continuously as well. Why not just unplug them?
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Paul Hovnanian mailto: snipped-for-privacy@Hovnanian.com
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On Wed, 02 Jan 2008 19:16:47 -0800, "Paul Hovnanian P.E."

I use X10 Appliance models for loads like computers, lamps, and other electronics. The control unit is the X10 Plug N Power Alarm Clock, but you can buy simple controllers as well.
Each X10 unit does have a small standby draw of 1 or 2 watts, but the convenience greatly overtakes this small added expense.
X10 is not always reliable, so I wouldn't use it for mission critical alarm functions. Leviton used to make a nice telephone responder that would control all 256 X10 code/device combinations, but I'm not sure if this is still available.
Not many people realize that the reasons that devices are designed to be powered up 24/7. There are internal clocks and standby circuits that may drift if power is not applied continuously. Settings may be forgotten on older equipment. Also, for other appliances, on a mass-production basis, it is just too expensive to switch the AC line power, so the designers leave it off.