Printer energy consumption



  • Just thought I'd share this.

    My printer is on the large side with a 400mmx 400mm bed fitted with an 800 watt heater. Also, there is a lot of weight moving around - about 2kg in the X direction and a tad over 4kg in the Y direction for which I use 4 stepper motors with current set to 1800 mA. I run between 3 and 5 extruders as well as a 40 watt heater and some incidental things like a few LEDs, 27cfm hot end fan, part cooling fan, plus another 6 stepper motor and board cooling fans running in thermostatic PWM mode.

    I was curious as to what it actually costs to run in terms of energy consumption so I bought one of those energy monitors - the type that plug into a socket and then you plug the appliance (printer in this case) into that. I set it up, zeroed it, then heated the bed to 60 degrees C from an ambient of about 20. This consumed 0.088 kWhr of electricity. The bed is insulated on the underside by the way.

    Then I ran a 17 hour print using 3 extruders with the bed heat maintained at 60 deg C, the hot end at 220 deg C (T glass filament) in an ambient of about 20. Total energy consumption (assuming the monitor is reasonable accurate) including the bed warm up phase was 3.361 Kwhr. My current energy provider charges me about £0.13 per kWhr so the total electricity cost was about £0.44 or about £0.03 per hour. Compared to the cost of filament consumed in that time, I think that's insignificant.

    Anyway, just though I'd share that information…...............



  • Thanks for Sharing. For the next project Solar powered printing? 🙂



  • @DADIY:

    Thanks for Sharing. For the next project Solar powered printing? 🙂

    Yeh. Solar panel trickle charging a deep cycle battery providing 240V power via an inverter. At a saving of £0.03\hr it'll take quite few years to see a return though 🙂

    Alternatively, use the steppers for regenerative braking during deceleration. Like F1 KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery Sytsem) but for printers. 🙂



  • Yes, I energy monitor my kossel XL. With all heaters in heat-up phase, it consumes around 900w. Once heated it's more like 150W whilst printing. The electricity cost is not worth worrying about, however, stick the energy monitor on a paper printer - these achieve unbelievable low power consumption 20w for my A3 sized inkjet. It's quite impressive, although no heaters to speak of.



  • Surely you would run the whole system at 12v or 24v to avoid the inverter and use a lesser powered bed heater, although for smaller printers the 12v Kapton heaters I've used weren't bad.



  • @DADIY:

    Surely you would run the whole system at 12v or 24v to avoid the inverter and use a lesser powered bed heater, although for smaller printers the 12v Kapton heaters I've used weren't bad.

    Good point but a lesser powered bed heater won't work with my 400mm x 400mm x 10mm (pus 6mm glass) bed. 800W at 24v is 33 Amps so pretty thick cables required. Even with just the battery, solar panel, and cables, it's still going to take a few years at £0.03 an hour to recoup.

    Now that the Chinese don't want our plastic to re-cycle, maybe we should all convert to printing with used plastic. Tried it once - couldn't get good layer adhesion - maybe I should have washed out the margarine tubs first 🙂



  • @DADIY:

    Surely you would run the whole system at 12v or 24v to avoid the inverter and use a lesser powered bed heater, although for smaller printers the 12v Kapton heaters I've used weren't bad.

    I'm not sure it makes much difference, 240v is more efficient, no transformer required and no losses from one. Plus whatever voltage you use the wattage is going to be the same to maintain any given temperature. However, having a bed which can be partially heated, makes sense to save power. Provided the various sections of the bed are reasonably thermally isolated.



  • @deckingman:

    Total energy consumption (assuming the monitor is reasonable accurate) including the bed warm up phase was 3.361 Kwhr. My current energy provider charges me about £0.13 per kWhr so the total electricity cost was about £0.44 or about £0.03 per hour. Compared to the cost of filament consumed in that time, I think that's insignificant.

    Very useful! Thanks.

    John


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