Press Releases

"Intelligent Standby Energy Saver" can reduce global domestic energy consumption by 10% and save the equivalent of one third of the USA's CO2 output annually


Winning design takes top prize at Premier Farnell's global Live EDGE - Electronic Design for the Global Environment-awards ceremony

A $10,000 USD Premier Farnell scholarship announced to benefit engineering students.

Premier Farnell plc (LSE:pfl), the leading multi-channel, high service distributor and its companies (Farnell, Newark element14, Premier Electronics, Farnell-Newark CPC, and MCM), announces Pedro Rodrigues from Portugal as the Live EDGE 2008- Electronic Design for the Global Environment - Challenge winner. Mr Rodrigues is awarded a unique prize package including a $25,000 USD cash prize and support services valued at an additional $25,000 USD from experts in the fields of design consultancy, marketing, legal and commerce to drive the design towards production. Mr Rodrigues' winning design is an Intelligent Standby Energy Saver - a system that automatically detects the standby mode of electrical equipment and disconnects the power when it is not required.

"This unique power controller design analyses power consumption using an artificial intelligence algorithm implemented on a high-end micro-controller," said Pedro Rodrigues, Live EDGE 2008 winner. "This enables the Intelligent Standby Energy Saver to distinguish between the "standby" and "non-standby" modes even when faced with complex consumption patterns and, thus disconnect the load. The device has sensors that detect changes in the environment and intelligently restore power, when required".

Power savings are achieved by the intelligent control of power to such consumer items as televisions and entertainment systems, whereby the accumulated "standby" power is effectively reduced.

The Intelligent Standby Energy Saver design takes a radically different and technically superior approach to determining power usages," said Sir Peter Gershon, Chairman of Premier Farnell and Live EDGE judge. "The idea of using a neural network algorithm to accomplish Mr. Rodrigues' energy saving design is original and clearly more efficient than conventional energy savings methods."

The first highly commended $5,000 USD winner of the Live EDGE challenge is John Tillson from England. His entry, a PowerShift Power Controller is designed to switch off critical loads during supply/demand imbalances, easing the burden on national power grids at times of peak demand. The system works by detecting the peak times of electrical power usage, then switching off any suitable electrical appliances to lessen the total load presented to the power grid.

The second highly commended $5,000 USD winner is Antonio Lalguna from Spain for his design of an automatic irrigation system to improve Photovoltaic systems. This device is aimed at improving the efficiency of solar panels by 30%, using a rainwater harvesting system to automatically clean and cool off the panels.

"Our congratulations go out to Pedro, John and Antonio. We truly look forward to helping Pedro register his design and supporting him to take the unit from prototype to production in the coming year, said Harriet Green, CEO of Premier Farnell. "We feel the Live EDGE challenge provides a great opportunity for electronic design engineers to bring their environmentally friendly designs to the market. We are proud to encourage the design of products that could positively impact the lives of at least 3 billion people worldwide. We will continue to work towards providing the very best service, technology and support to our critically important design engineering customers, like Pedro Rodrigues."

Editor's note:

The 2007 Live EDGE winner, Mr. John Noble has already taken his design through to completion and anticipates having the product ready for distribution later this year. For more information on his energy saving product visit:

Estimates vary for the amount of electricity used in standby mode but a consensus is that around 5-10% of domestic power is wasted in standby power; A UK Government study suggested 8% . Research published by Reed Elsevier states that China needs six power stations running constantly to provide standby power. In 2004 the global annual CO2 emissions were 27,245, 758 thousands of metric tons a 10% saving would equate to one third of the CO2 output of the USA at 6,049,435.

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About Newark element14

Newark element14, a subsidiary of global distributor Premier Farnell Ltd, is North America's leading small-quantity distributor of electronic components and test equipment, and its #1 source for RoHS compliant parts and information. RoHS is the acronym for the European Union's Restrictions of certain Hazardous Substances directive, which took effect July 1, 2006.

Visited by thousands of engineers and electronics buyers each week, Newark element14's RoHS Express site at provides critical information to help companies transition to compliance, including: the latest news, on-demand lead-free soldering webinars, downloadable step-by-step guides to compliance and updates on US and Canadian green laws.

In addition to offering the broadest electronics selection from 440+ top manufacturers for same-day shipping, Newark element14 provides a unique range of value-added services at no charge, including, RoHS Bill of Materials updates, eProcurement implementation and support, and automatic re-reeling for components.

With multiple sales channels, customers do business with Newark element14 through contact centers, a local branch network in the US, Canada, Mexico and Brazil, a dedicated field sales force and a world-class website at The holder of a General Services Administration schedule (#GS-06F-0044M,) Newark element14 also supports federal government customers through a dedicated website,, and a specially trained team of representatives.

Newark element14's parent company, Premier Farnell Ltd, is a leading global marketer and distributor of electronic, maintenance repair and operations (MRO) and specialist products and services, trading in more than 100 countries with a database of 2 million customer contacts. For general information, visit and Also, you can reach Newark element14's media contact, Janice Fleisher, at 773.907.5941 and at jfleisher@Newark

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