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Subject: Measuring Electrical Useage rss

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Billy McBoatface
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Before plugging it in? Only if you can get an accurate wattage from the product specs, which is pretty rare.

I had a coworker who had basically a very short extension cord with connectors out of it where you could hook up a multimeter. It gave you very accurate measurements of power consumption for devices. I'm sure you can buy that somewhere, but I don't know what it was called.
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Chris Robbins
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FlummoxedCallipygian wrote:
I basically pay double my usage amount for delivery.


How are you calculating this now?

Once you have the major loads (heat, A/C, hot water, stove, refrigerator/freezer) accounted for, very few things are more than adding another light bulb.
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maf man
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bltzlfsk wrote:
Once you have the major loads (heat, A/C, hot water, stove, refrigerator/freezer) accounted for, very few things are more than adding another light bulb.

don't forget you cable box! shake

well the only way to get an accurate number is using something that will measure it right then and there but you may have some success trying to contact the company that makes the product for the specs. Most electronics just demand such a range its hard to get a # without testing. I borrowed a friends meter for a day many years back just out of curiosity.
 
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If you don't mind waiting until after you've bought it, there are little meters (Kill A Watt is one brand) which you plug into the outlet, and then you plug the device into the meter, and it tells you how much juice it's using. After you've collected enough data for one device, you move the meter to a different outlet, etc.
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Ed Holzman
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With DC electricity, it's a piece of cake. EMF measured in Volts multiplied by current draw measured in Amperes equals power consumption in Watts. With AC electricity, Ohm's Law gets a little screwy and this calculation actually results in a Volt-Ampere (VA) rating that must be modified by a Power Factor (PF) as well (DC circuits only encounter Resistance but AC circuits encounter Impedance which also accounts for capacitance and reluctance in addition to resistance). This PF is calculated by taking the cosine of the phase difference between the current and voltage. Fortunately, for household appliances that don't actually have a Wattage rating provided by the manufacturer you can safely assume a unity PF (1.0) and get crudely accurate results.

Once you determine the wattage of the device, multiply that by the number of hours that the device is energized and divide the product by 1000 to determine kilowatt-hours of power energy consumed.



EDIT: kuhrustyized for your protection
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Bearcat89 wrote:
Once you determine the wattage of the device, multiply that by the number of hours that the device is energized and divide the product by 1000 to determine kilowatt-hours of power consumed.

Really want to reply to this with "power" crossed out & replaced with "energy," plus a GIF of some athlete making a breathtaking drive down the field only to trip just short of the goal line.
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Chris Robbins
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The International System of Units (SI) uses a watt as a measure of power. A joule is a measure of energy.
 
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Chris Robbins
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If you have something you can't open up and get one of these clamped around individual conductors, it's unlikely to cause much of a usage increase.



You can experiment with turning off or unplugging whatever you can and compare one month's payment during similar weather to the next. And it's not quite rocket science to read the electric meter they're using to bill you.
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Jon M
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bltzlfsk wrote:
The International System of Units (SI) uses a watt as a measure of power. A joule is a measure of energy.


kWh is a measure of energy since it is kW (power) multiplied by time (the hours bit) to give you the energy consumed. ie you can convert kWh to joules by multiplying by 3.6 million (1000 for the k bit and 3600 for seconds in an hour)

Absent any info from the manufacturer best to look at the Amp rating on the plug. Generally the bigger this is the more power it is going to consume.
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Walt
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In the US, a product that plugs in should have a label indicating maximum power, like "120 Volts 1.2 Amps". Multiply: 120 × 1.2 = 144 Watts. Run it for 24 hours, 24 × 144 = 3456, or about 3.5 kilowatt hours (kWh) per day. This should be a maximum.

If you live in a hot area and run a lot of A/C, everything else is probably trivial, unless you're recharging an electric car.
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kSwingrÜber
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Tall_Walt wrote:
... If you live in a hot area and run a lot of A/C, everything else is probably trivial, unless you're recharging an electric car.

No! Apparently you have not been properly "re-educated": electricity for cars is cheap, and causes no pollution whatsoever!
And here's another environment saving tip: it's ok to drive your HumVee when you go to recycle those plastic water-bottles!
 
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Chris Robbins
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Hydroponic agriculture is a bit different than a "fish pump". You are wise to minimize the increase in your electric payment.
 
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Ed Holzman
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bltzlfsk wrote:
Hydroponic agriculture is a bit different than a "fish pump". You are wise to minimize the increase in your electric payment.

True. Large increases in energy consumption usually tips off the authorities regarding your indoor hydroponics.
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Billy McBoatface
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I'm sure he's just growing some begonias or tomatoes or some such. C'mon guys!

(Or maybe he lives in Washington or somewhere like that...)
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Walt
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http://mamalikestocook.com/urban-produce-indoor-organic-farm...
Actually, urban farming is undergoing (under-growing?) a revolution. It used to be just about saving transportation costs.

The new generation of urban farms are about that, too, but also minimizing water, soil, and fertilizer usage, and need zero pesticides because the environment is totally controlled. The "farms" are in normal industrial buildings and use high efficiency lighting. The farms look more like electronics clean rooms than Green Acres.

Urban farms also save space. The Urban Produce "farm" near me grows 16 acres of crops (~6.5 hectares) in 1/8 of an acre (5445 sq.ft., ~1/20 hectare, 506 sq.m.) So, you could get half an acre in a spare room and nearly an acre in a garage.

The plants grow in the containers they'll be shipped in. Customers include high end restaurants that want the very freshest produce. (Some chefs have had their own gardens, but now they can concentrate on cooking and let the urban farmers concentrate on farming.)

(I'm reminded of re-reading The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov, written in 1953. Asimov was a professor of Biochemistry at Boston U at the time. His view of the future in Caves was that population pressure would create hyper-dense, heavily regimented cities, while the countryside would struggle to grow enough food. His postulated world population? Eight billion. We're at about 7.5B now, and we'll hit 8B in the 2020s.)

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Walt
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Also known as vertical farming. Good description of why it's more efficient, and why you don't need heavy hydroponic set ups.

Article:
http://gizmodo.com/the-worlds-largest-vertical-farm-is-being...
 
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