Author Topic: Phantom Power 3 Questions  (Read 5178 times)

Captain and Mrs Slow

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 414
  • Age: 59
  • Location: Munich Germany
Phantom Power 3 Questions
« on: November 24, 2012, 01:26:23 PM »
Trying to work out the cost benefit analysis of replacing some stuff.

1. Is my math correct?  Internet says a clock radio uses 44 kilowatts a year x 3 that I own x 20 cents a kilowatt hour I pay = 27E a year I'm spending. Well worth replacing it with a 

2. Any idea how much power a transformer uses?

3. Does size make a difference, got some huge ones, and some tiny ones.

On point 2 and 3 trying to decide if it is worth replacing something like an Ikea desk lamp that I don't use very often but has a huge transformer attached to it with a regular lamp but with a LCD bulb (about 20 euros currently) inside. I know that they draw power but can't find anything anywhere about how much. Some are on power strips, others not. Not quite ready to spend 20 euros on a kill a watt device quite yet.

As an aside looking for rechargeable batteries, good quality ones cost the same as regular ones!!! So will be replacing a bunch of transformers this week:)

grantmeaname

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4758
  • Age: 27
  • Location: NYC
  • Cast me away from yesterday's things
Re: Phantom Power 3 Questions
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2012, 02:25:27 PM »
Obligatory Michael Bluejay link on phantom power.

Captain and Mrs Slow

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 414
  • Age: 59
  • Location: Munich Germany
Re: Phantom Power 3 Questions
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2012, 02:33:18 PM »
Edited: I CAN FINALLY STOP OBSESSING ABOUT MY PHONE CHARGER

OK that was a huge (understatement) surprise, from everything I've read I expected that my computer and my iphone were using a ton of hydro, not true, big surprise!!!

Phone Chargers the truth

http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/sustainable/charger/

But I will look into installing LEDs everywhere


Thanks, that is exactly what I was looking for.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2012, 03:31:56 PM by Captain and Mrs Slow »

Hamster

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 623
Re: Phantom Power 3 Questions
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2012, 12:26:00 AM »

3. Does size make a difference, got some huge ones, and some tiny ones.


I feel my immaturity welling to the surface...

strider3700

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 516
  • Location: northern BC
Re: Phantom Power 3 Questions
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2012, 12:55:30 AM »
It depends.  My laptop's use about 30 watts when active.   my desktop 150 watts.   Since I'm on the computer most of the day  it actually uses more electricity then my fridge or chest freezer.

I have a TED 5000 http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_3_5?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=ted+5000+home+energy+monitor&sprefix=ted+5%2Caps%2C224 (disclaimer - I don't work for them  just a happy customer and that link shouldn't have any reference codes or anything to make me money) I track my usage daily and watch the graph regularly to see what's going on. Recently I noticed the freezer was running more then normal and discovered ice build up was killing the efficiency. It was easy enough to see in the data.

  The big electric user in my house is my electric hotwater heater.  Roughly 6 kwh/day.  After that the electric stove almost always eats up 3-4 kwh each day.    The dryer is averaging 4.5 kwh/load so laundry days hurt.  I get big savings with the clothes line.

my house has a baseload of 35 watts that I never drop below.  That's basically the doorbell transformer, programmable thermostat,  the answering machine/phone chargers, some night lights for the kids, standby on the TV, the box that provides us telephone from the cable company, the TED remote monitor and the various annoying clocks on the stove, microwave...  I usually leave the internet modem and wireless router running as well and that puts me in the 55-60 range each night.   When I go to bed I check the TED monitor and can tell If I've left something on.

I'd get the killawatt when you get the chance.  Some libraries have them available for checkout.    I've had one for a few years and I'm sure it paid for itself easily enough
« Last Edit: November 25, 2012, 12:58:53 AM by strider3700 »

Captain and Mrs Slow

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 414
  • Age: 59
  • Location: Munich Germany
Re: Phantom Power 3 Questions
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2012, 06:02:03 AM »
Thanks for all the replys. He does state in the article that you need to look at the big items first, lights heating cooling etc, than move on to the small stuff.

strider3700: I've seen the TED but I'm a bit unsure about installation. We are moving next year (back to Germany) and it seems the average usage is quite a bit lower 250 watts a month. I figure once we move I'll get a kill a watt and do a detailed assessment of what were using. Currently my average bill is almost 100 euros a month so I have a lot of room to save. 

Also the one thing I couldn't figure out from his site is how much electricity a computer uses (two laptops) he said you could calculate it by multiplying the watts by 9 but somehow it didn't make sense.

« Last Edit: November 25, 2012, 06:05:53 AM by Captain and Mrs Slow »

strider3700

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 516
  • Location: northern BC
Re: Phantom Power 3 Questions
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2012, 12:14:31 PM »
I wouldn't get a TED if you're moving.  It's wired directly into the power panel.   It could be removed but it's not a simple just unplug it and go.

I don't see that calculation on his site  but with a Killawatt the calculation is simple.    plug the laptop into the killawatt and leave it off take the reading for how much power it's drawing.

now turn the laptop on and use it for an hour,  you should be able to get a watts used reading from the killawatt.     now just figure out how many hours the laptop is off and how many it's on in one day.

off hours * the off reading = standby power used
on hours * the on reading = in use power used.   sum the two and you get your daily power used.   This won't be exact because you'll find that the power used when it's turned on varies depending on what you're doing but it will be pretty close.    I've had laptops that used 20 watts and I've had laptops that used 90 watts.

grantmeaname

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4758
  • Age: 27
  • Location: NYC
  • Cast me away from yesterday's things
Re: Phantom Power 3 Questions
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2012, 02:43:16 PM »
I don't see that calculation on his site  but with a Killawatt the calculation is simple.    plug the laptop into the killawatt and leave it off take the reading for how much power it's drawing.

now turn the laptop on and use it for an hour,  you should be able to get a watts used reading from the killawatt.     now just figure out how many hours the laptop is off and how many it's on in one day.

off hours * the off reading = standby power used
on hours * the on reading = in use power used.   sum the two and you get your daily power used.   This won't be exact because you'll find that the power used when it's turned on varies depending on what you're doing but it will be pretty close.    I've had laptops that used 20 watts and I've had laptops that used 90 watts.
You may be doing something wrong with your math, because your numbers seem pretty high. 90W in a laptop? That's a fireball.

I'm using a 2008 macbook air with a 48Wh battery that gets 3.5 hours of battery life; that means it's using something like 13.7W, or a bit more after you factor in the charger. My last laptop was a mid-2009 Dell Studio desktop replacement with a 54Wh battery that got 5 hours when new, so it used 11W (again, before the charger). Even exceptional desktop PCs with a whole bunch of goodies in them use less than 200W if they were manufactured in the modern era, and many are under 100.

chucklesmcgee

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 613
Re: Phantom Power 3 Questions
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2012, 04:07:37 PM »
You may be doing something wrong with your math, because your numbers seem pretty high. 90W in a laptop? That's a fireball.

Unless it was one of those modified alienware laptops that use desktop chips, enormous fans and was playing games and rendering videos, no idea how a laptop could get that high.

I have a honker of a laptop, a quad-core Intel i7 with a discrete graphics card. Uses about 20 W when on and doing light tasks, maybe a bit over 40 with processor intensive tasks like encoding or gaming, and about 9 when it's on with the screen off, less than 3 when it's in standby. Even if it's on and plugged in at home 24/7, that's only around $12/year. It is a Sandy Bridge, which does run a lot cooler than older models.

You can measure your laptop's power draw in windows with a joulemeter:http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/downloads/fe9e10c5-5c5b-450c-a674-daf55565f794/. It's not perfectly accurate, since the program itself is going to use power to measure, but it should get you in the ballpark.

I did buy a killawatt device. Basically what I learned was that a lot of devices people get really concerned about phantom power aren't worth worrying about. A lot of devices like phone chargers and power strips wouldn't even register (under .5W) if they were plugged into the wall but not another device. It's a lot of fun from an academic experience, but I think it's not going to save people that much versus just guestimating.

strider3700

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 516
  • Location: northern BC
Re: Phantom Power 3 Questions
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2012, 05:39:16 PM »
90 watts measured with a killawatt meter.   It was one of the original P4's jammed into a laptop.  You couldn't sit it on your lap the thing was so hot and the fans ran flat out non stop.   It also got something like 2 hours of battery life even though it was massive and heavy from the batteries.

It came from work.  I don't know if they got  a deal on them or not  but I wasn't the only employee given one.

grantmeaname

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4758
  • Age: 27
  • Location: NYC
  • Cast me away from yesterday's things
Re: Phantom Power 3 Questions
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2012, 05:52:01 PM »
Wow, what a monster. That's super impressive.