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How Fujitsu is cutting power use after Japan quake

The company is shifting employee vacations, using laptop batteries during peak demand times, and moving servers to parts of Japan with fewer power problems.

Stephen Shankland principal writer
Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and writes about processors, digital photography, AI, quantum computing, computer science, materials science, supercomputers, drones, browsers, 3D printing, USB, and new computing technology in general. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces. His first big scoop was about radioactive cat poop.
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Stephen Shankland
2 min read

Fujitsu will cut its power usage by 15 percent this summer in parts of Japan suffering from power shortages caused by the massive March earthquake, the company said today.

Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) has been struggling to deal with nuclear power reactors severely damaged by the quake and resulting tsunami, leading to efforts in Japan to encourage lower electrical power use. Fujitsu said it will cut its own power usage in areas serviced by Tepco and Tohoku Electric Power through a variety of programs, and it's an interesting list for any company worried about power cost and supply issues:

• For 3,600 of 10,000 servers, Fujitsu is temporarily shutting them down or moving them to areas served by different power companies.

• A plant in Numazu City will use its own electrical power generation equipment during times of peak power demand.

• Some manufacturing operations will be shifted to take place at night when overall power demands are lower.

• It's setting laptops to run off battery power during peak energy usage times.

• It's using "smart power outlet" technology developed at Fujitsu Laboratories. These sensor-equipped outlets conserve power, the company said.

• Some employees will take two days off in July or August, when power consumption is highest, for holidays that actually take place later in the year. On top of that, "additional discussions will be held with the labor union regarding the implementation of further work schedule changes to conserve electricity," Fujitsu said.

• The company is curtailing use of elevators, lights, air conditioners, water heaters, and refrigerators.