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SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 141-142

Vampire power in dentistry: Should we be concerned?


1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Manipal University, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Pedodontics, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Manipal University, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication19-Nov-2015

Correspondence Address:
Kalyana Chakravarthy Pentapati
Department of Public Health Dentistry, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Manipal University, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2348-2915.169823

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  Abstract 

Developing countries like India face severe and acute shortage of electricity due to constant urbanization, growing demand and use of electrical appliances. Many areas face acute shortage which forces the individuals to use alternative power sources that run on fossil fuels or inverters running on batteries which in turn worsen the scarcity of electricity. “Vampire appliances” are those appliances which use electricity even when they are “off” contributing to significant amount of wastage of scarce and valuable power. Hence, we would like to educate the readers about occult power consuming appliances which could be prevalent in dental clinics along with few recommendations to overcome the same.

Keywords: Awareness, dentistry, energy, vampire power


How to cite this article:
Pentapati KC, Kumar S. Vampire power in dentistry: Should we be concerned?. J Dent Res Rev 2015;2:141-2

How to cite this URL:
Pentapati KC, Kumar S. Vampire power in dentistry: Should we be concerned?. J Dent Res Rev [serial online] 2015 [cited 2019 Oct 23];2:141-2. Available from: http://www.jdrr.org/text.asp?2015/2/3/141/169823

Developing countries like India face severe and acute shortage of electricity due to constant urbanization, growing demand and use of electrical appliances. Many areas face acute shortage, which forces the individuals to use alternative power sources that run on fossil fuels or inverters running on batteries, which in turn worsen the scarcity of electricity. Government of India along with Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) educates and encourages individuals and organizations to use clean and renewable power resources viz., solar and wind power solutions by providing logistic and monetary incentives. Through the national energy labeling program (BEE Star rating), they provide an informed choice about the energy and cost saving potential of the various marketed equipment. They also issue educational public interest messages and videos to switch off power consuming devices when not in use and promote the use of low power consuming appliances. However, they often ignore few important issues that need attention to end users to conserve scant energy resources. Hence, we would like to educate the readers about occult power consuming appliances, which could be prevalent in dental clinics.

“Vampire appliances” are those appliances, which use electricity even when they are “off.” Alternative terms such as standby power, vampire power, vampire draw, phantom load, or leaking electricity are often used to describe such power loss phenomenon.[1] Such appliances are everywhere including homes, offices, schools, hospitals, clinics, and often consume a lot of energy without the knowledge of the consumer. These appliances are quite common and constitutes a significant proportion of appliances even in dentistry viz., air conditioning units, X-ray machines, viewing boxes and developers, computers, laptops, internet modems, Wi-Fi routers, printers and scanners, dental chairs and compressors, televisions, media players and digital satellite receivers, autoclaves, needle burners and glass bead sterilizers, amalgamators and curing units, chargers for mobile phones, laptops and cordless units (light cure units, intra-oral camera, endomotors, apex locators, pulp testers). However, few of such appliances often are required to be on standby rather than completing switching off for efficient and smooth workflow in clinics (answering machines, compressors etc.,) while majority of them can be completely switched off when not in use and save the valuable limited energy resources.

Identifying such devices may not be daunting task if we look for devices, which have an external power supply or remote control, or devices which run rechargeable batteries or devices, which have continuous display including light emitting diodes (LED's).[2] The role of dental students, dentists, and auxiliary personnel lies in identifying such power thirsty appliances in the vicinity of the clinics and often should take the initiative to switch off such appliances when not required. All the personnel in the dental clinics (students, dentists, and auxiliary personnel) should be knowledgeable about the power hungry devices including the basics about the power source and consumption pattern.

Appropriate orientation of the power consumption of various appliances that are commonly used in dentistry should be included in curriculum at the end of internship so that students and dentists can effectively incorporate the same in their dental clinics and become responsible role model in society toward energy management. Such capacity building exercises can be executed in collaboration with manufacturers, service, and technical engineers to get maximum benefit to the end users. A thorough protocol should be prepared regarding the usage of all such appliances which should include timely switch on/off the devices when not in use or for prolonged intervals, list of devices which have high power consumption, mandatory switching off the mains after the work hours, preventive periodic maintenance of all the devices, which have high power consumption etc.

Regular monitoring and demonstration of the various power consumption units should be done to understand the usage and wastage patterns, which can reinforce the good knowledge and attitudes toward effective energy conservation. Installation of sun shading systems against overheating of glass panels of the buildings should also be considered to have effective and efficient air conditioning system without reduction of the ambient light. Wherever possible, compact fluorescent lamps and LED lighting devices should be used and simultaneous use of automated occupancy sensors in areas such as restrooms, break rooms, cabins, etc., should be widely promoted. A total of 35–45% savings of the lighting cost could be achieved by the installation of occupancy sensors.[3] Regular commissioning should be done in which team of engineers observe a building and perform a tune-up of its systems to ensure operating efficiency. Previous studies have shown that such monitoring resulted in reductions of 10–15% in annual energy bills.[4] Even accreditation agencies like International Organization for Standardization and environmental management system demand protocols for efficient energy management in the health care sector and mandate achievable objectives to reduce power consumption.

Few technical tips that are suggested to overcome the energy consuming vampire appliances are unplugging the devices which are not used often, using power strips (or smart power strips), curb the idle times by powering down the devices such as computers, laptops, printers, and scanners, replacing old devices with smart upgrades like that energy star rated devices.[5]

 
  References Top

1.
Available from: http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standby_power. [Last accessed on 2015 May 5].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Available from: http://www.savewithsrp.com/advice/appliance/energyvampires.aspx. [Last accessed on 2015 May 5].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Bohdanowicz P, Kallhauge AC, Martinac I. Energy Efficient and Conservation in Hotels – Towards Sustainable Tourism. Manoa: 4th International Symposium on Asia Pacific Architecture, Sensible Design and Smart Practice; 2001.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
National Grid. Managing Energy Costs in Full Service Hotels. Waltham, Massachusetts: National Grid USA Service Company; 2004.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Available from: . [Last accessed on 2015 May 5].  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

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