RESEARCH :: Recording Lab Monthly power-consumption readings for Research

Written by: Kiran Kankipati
Published: 10-Jun-2016

Year: 2017

Start Date End Date Days Meter Reading (kWh) Consumed Units (kWh) Avg. Units per day (kWh) Comments
1-Apr-201730-Apr-201730455.057.51.92* Netgear ReadyNAS rebuilds, GlusterFS, mdadm RAID, FreeNAS ZFS research, etc.
1-May-201731-May-201731499.944.91.45* Lithium-ion battery pack issue and so the degraded solar output for few weeks.
1-Jun-201730-Jun-20173000* Lithium-ion battery pack issue rectified and serviced so the improved solar output again.

Total Days: 151 :: Total Consumed Units(kWh): 230.5 :: Average Units per day(kWh): 1.53 [year 2017]

Year: 2016

Start Date End Date Days Meter Reading (kWh) Consumed Units (kWh) Avg. Units per day (kWh) Comments
1-Jul-201631-Jul-20163167.435.81.15 1) Desktop PC to MiniPC
2) Solar Mini-UPS
1-Aug-201631-Aug-201631116.148.71.57 Excess use of Core i7-5820k for TOFFEE-DataCenter development
1-Sep-201630-Sep-201630148.1321.07 1) Upgrade to 90Watt Solar Panel
2) Excess use of Core i7-5820K for TOFFEE, TOFFEE-DataCenter development, migration of The TOFFEE Project website from Joomla to custom non-Joomla
1-Oct-201631-Oct-201631185.837.71.22 1) Using HP Laptop's USB as UPS to power WiFi Router most of the time and charging via Solar power
2) Excess use of Core i7-5820K due to complete migration of all TOFFEE projects on the same

Total Days: 203 :: Total Consumed Units(kWh): 269.4 :: Average Units per day(kWh): 1.33 [year 2016]

Recording Lab Monthly power-consumption readings for Research

Background and Initial Setup: Here is my home lab monthly power-consumption readings for research. This will help to measure and monitor the overall power usage and assess the power requirements. This will help me in future purchases such as UPS, battery upgrades and so on. And as well remove replace old obsolete hardware with new less power-consuming devices. This can be say replacing old monitors with new LED and OLED monitors. Replacing large obsolete PCs with small MiniPC (such as Intel NUC) and Raspberry Pi. Replacing damaged or obsolete 3.5" desktop harddrives with smaller less power efficient 2.5" notebook harddrives and SSD drives and so on.

Analog Kilowatt (KWH) Electricity Meter: To measure the same, I can choose to use either my Kill-a-watt meter or my unused analog dial based kilowatt meter. In this case I need a device which is much more simple and for more permanent basis. So I chose to use a old type analog kilowatt meter. I do not have to worry about any data-corruption (which may occur with LED/LCD meter variants). The only disadvantage is that you cannot reset its old existing meter readings in it. So I chose to open the meter and reset manually to zero by turning the dials before I install the same for this purpose. Here is my VLOG Youtube video:

VLOG - Recording monthly lab power-consumption with my Kilowatt meter - Episode1

Kilowatt Meter Installation: Here is the way I installed the same. I connected directly the ground terminal. And I intercepted the line and neutral via the Kilowatt Meter. This way I can capture the readings in my kilowatt meter in real-time.
kilowatt meter installation

I thought of installing from the start of the month (that is 1-July-2016 00-hours), then again I was quite tempted to install right away on 00-hours 12-Jun-2016 and monitor the same. Anyway since I can find the average units consumed per-day. So I want more data-points I collect before I upgrade or alter my lab equipment. This way I know how far I am improving the things. As well assess my long term power needs if I ever install any off-grid power solutions in future. Here is my VLOG Youtube video:

VLOG - Recording monthly lab power-consumption with my Kilowatt meter - Episode2

Recording my first monthly Kilowatt meter reading measurements (30-Jun-2016) VLOG Youtube video

Update 9-Jul-2016: As a research experiment I replaced my Intel Core i7 5820K desktop PC with my Intel Celeron 1037U Mini-PC as my everyday desktop system. This is an attempt to reduce my overall monthly power consumption. As well an attempt to do feasibility tests and research to know how far Mini PC will dominate the market in future and to study the real potential of Mini PCs (such as Intel NUC, Intel Compute stick and so on). For few cases I can still choose to use my high-end desktop such as kernel builds via remote SSH terminal connection, etc. But choose to use Mini-PC as a regular desktop for all basic workloads. And sometimes for simple software development such as user-space components and GUI modules.
A laptop can be used instead of a Mini-PC, but the laptops in my lab are being used as a dedicated test systems. And sometimes Mini-PC is a better choice than a laptop, since when you purchase a laptop you need to buy entire package (such as the RAM, Harddrive, inbuilt monitor/screen etc). But a Mini-PC gives the choice, flexibility and it is modular unlike a laptop. Hence a Mini-PC is cost effective. For more details kindly watch my Youtube VLOG below:

VLOG - Replacing in Lab Intel Core i7 5820K Desktop PC with Intel Celeron 1037U Mini-PC

Thank you, Kiran

Back to Top