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I'm trying to find out a way to power off a device (hard drive) via sysfs or anything else.

The only thing I have found was to turn off the power supply to the USB device, but that's not what I'm looking for.

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You can spin-down ("put to sleep" according to help page) a HDD with hdparm -Y /dev/...; remember to umount it before. Is it that you are looking for? – mpy Jun 7 '13 at 11:50

Well,

hdparm -Y /dev/...

actually worked for me.

Although I was looking for something like echo smth > /sys/...

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