Factors Influencing Selection Of Desktops And Laptops In Corporate Environments – Part 2

In the previous article, we discussed how power consumption can influence the management’s decision to either procure a desktop or laptop, now we are going to dive deeper into heating and cooling requirements and how the costs associated with heating and cooling can be a game changer.

Heating and cooling requirements
If you are stationed in Minneapolis, Minnesota where temperature  never rise above 55 Farenheit, then desktop may be an ideal choice , as more heat dissipated by desktops will keep your cubicles warm and will keep temperature ambient for employees, and will result in lower costs of cooling  the building.

What if you are stationed in Dubai , UAE where even the record low temperature in December is 50 Farenheit and can rise to 118 Fahrenheit in summers. In this case buying 500 desktops and placing them in a 50,000 Square foot building will be a catastrophe from the HVAC perspective as heat generated will be so much that you will have to turn on cooling in winters.

Take an example, you have 500 employees and you have 10 ft x 10 ft office rooms accommodating 10 employees in each room. Now we will draw a comparison on money spent on cooling your office space, if we choose either desktops or laptops. A 10 ftx10ft cubicle usually requires a half ton of air conditioning in warm places like UAE, which is equivalent to approximately 6,000 BTU. Heat load of 10 humans sitting in a 100 square foot of the cubicle is  around 6000 BTU.

The heat load of a laptop during moderate usage will be watts x 3.4 = 40 watt x 3.4 = 136 BTU /laptop. In turn we will require additional 1360 BTU for 10 laptops. In case of a desktop each desktop will require 70 watts x 3.4 = 238 BTU of cooling, thus a total of 2380 BTUs will be required to maintain an ambient temperature for the employees. Now turn we turn our focus on mathematical calculations.

Total Cooling Required ( 10 Desktops in a 100 Sq Ft Room with 10 Employees) = 6000 + 6000 + 2380 = 14380 BTU

Total Cooling Required ( 10 Laptops in a 100 Sq Ft Room with 10 Employees ) = 6000 + 6000 + 1360 = 13380 BTU

One ton of air conditioning is equivalent to around 12,000 BTU and an energy efficient one ton air conditioner consumes around 1200 Watts of electricity in hot conditions. Let us assume that One KWH of electricity cost us around 0.25 USD / KWH in Dubai. Below is yearly expenditure on cooling the whole facility for one year.

10 Desktops in 100 Sq Ft with 10 Employees=  1.2 x 1.2 KW x 8 hours x 22 working days/month x 12 months x 0.25 USD

= 760 USD / Year

500 Desktops in 50 Cubicles                                         = 760* 50 = 38,000 USD

10 laptops in 100 Sq ft with 10 employees =  1.11 x 1.2 KW x 8 hours x 22 working days/month x 12 month x 0.25 USD

= 706 USD/ Year

500 laptops in 50 cubicles                                              = 35,300 USD / Year

So we can conclude that in warm conditions like those of Dubai around 7-8 % more electricity is consumed just to keep the facility at comfort cooling level if we purchase  desktops instead of a laptop for a 500 employees office.

On the other hand in cold conditions like of Georgia or Minnesota, we can save up to 10 % in heating costs if we purchase desktops for our employees, as more  heat generated by desktops will keep the facility warm and will maintain the ambient temperature.

Tom Rhoden Jr – Freelance author of articles related to Windows 7, Windows 8, Server 2008 , Server 2012, Microsoft MCSE and MCSA Certification. Over decade of training Consultant as a Network Technician. This article is courtesy of aarons computer training.com