Project Zero Watt Inside (ZeWin)

Zero Watt Inside: Preventing Excess Power Consumption by Network-Enabled Equipment

Together the ZeWin project partners developed a system that switches network devices on and off as required, ensuring that power is only consumed when devices are actually in operation.

The system comprises a network switch, which replaces a conventional switch, and simple ballasts for each network device. If a device is not in use, ZeWin disconnects the device from the main power supply completely, ensuring that the device does not consume any power at all (0 watt). Once a request is sent to the device (such as a print job to a printer), ZeWin automatically switches it on again. This negates the need for standby phases between periods of operation.

Time to operation is longer when restarting the controlled network device manually than when activating the device from standby mode in most cases. Additionally, many devices consume more power during restarting than in transition and standby modes. In terms of power consumption, switching the device off only makes sense if the transition and standby phases are so long that they consume more power than restarting. For this reason, the ZeWin system is equipped with an adaptive, intelligent control system, which saves and continually assesses the power consumption of the controlled device, using this information to decide whether switching the device off is preferable. This ensures that the high energy consumption during intensive use of the device is avoided and the user is not subjected to unnecessary waiting times due to frequent restarting.

The ZeWin system is provided by our project partner Allnet.


Services offered by the Department of Environmental and Reliability Engineering


The Zewin-project was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research under grant number 01LY0814A.

Project Partners:

  • Fraunhofer IZM (Coordinator)
  • Allnet, Germering
  • IT-Designers, Esslingen
  • Molex, Bretten-Gölshausen

Product Brochure for Download (pdf/2,6MB)