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Idle power control – phase 1

Posted by admin on Nov 4th, 2008
Nov 4

As I mentioned in my last post, I was going to plug an old Xbox that I had lying around to my Kill-a-watt, leave it powered off for a week, and see how much phantom power it used. I got it all set up last night out in the garage (which suddenly makes me wonder if weather/temperature will skew any of the results in any way….) and this morning, before I left for work, my curiosity got the better of me and I had to check the status.

According to the Kill-a-watt, it had been plugged in for 12 hours and 45 minutes, and had used .02 kW. That doesn’t seem like much, but after 24 hours it should be around .04 kW – again, I know, not much. *But* if you combine that with several other electronic devices plugged in around the house – tv, computer, computer monitor, dvd player, phone charger, clock, rechargeable batteries and/or flashlights, night lights, lamps, video game player, stereo, electric razor, hair dryer….I’m sure you get the picture – then it will turn into something quite substantial quickly. If I had 10 items pulling the same amount of phantom power as my “control” test, then they would be using a half a kW (500 watts) about every 30 hours. Here’s what could happen:

1 device @ 24 hours = .04 kW (40 watts)
10 devices @ 24 hours = .40 kW (400 watts - what a 200+ watt solar panel produces in two hours of full sun!)
.40 / 24 = .0167 kW per hour
.0167 kW * 30 hours = .501 (501 watts, or half a kW)
There are 8736 hours a year (24 hours * 7 days in a week * 52 weeks)
8736 total hours / 30 hours = 291.2 * .501 kW = 145.89 total kW used in a year

Almost 146 kW used in a year from only 10 plugged in and powered off devices. I know I have a lot more than that around my house, how many do you have?