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  #1  
Old Oct 2nd, 2008
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josh josh is offline
 
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Default Kaleidescape power usage

I've been wondering for a while, so I finally put a
Kill-a-Watt meter Kill-a-Watt meter
on my fully-loaded 5U server to find out what it really costs to run this mini-NetApp server.

The 5U server, with every slot filled, draws about 192 Watts, pretty consistently.

Yikes. do the math for your own utility rates... out here with PG&E, I pay nearly $0.33 per KwHr after all the surcharges and tiered power rate schedules.

So powering the Kscape server works out to $45.85 per month or $557 per year in electricity for me. I guess most people would say that's not a lot to pay for the convenience... but I bet most people don't factor that $557 per year in power into their cost calculation. And that's ONLY for the server... the players probably add a few tens of dollars onto that. I'll check them when I get the time.

I suppose most Kscape customers aren't too concerned about the cost, but I bet many of us just want to do what we can to reduce our own energy usage. Seeing that number on the meter was pretty sobering... I do resent the overall energy usage, especially as the things just sit there not doing anything most of the time.

I renew my call for Kaleidescape to offer programmable off-times for the server... if you never use the thing from 1am until 10am on weekdays, it's a shame it can't go into a lower-power standby state where it can spin down most or all of the drives, but I do know this is tough on hard drives to keep spinning up and down.

--josh
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  #2  
Old Oct 2nd, 2008
Dizzman Dizzman is offline
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put some solar panels on the roof and fuhgeddaboutit!
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  #3  
Old Oct 3rd, 2008
Byron Byron is offline
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You sound like a client I have who built a pool that was 25 metres long holding more than 250,000 litres (Sorry, don't work in Gallons) and then spewed about a $ 12,000 electricity bill because he was heating it all year round with an electric 3 phase heater.

If you can afford the expensive toys, expect the upkeep........

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Old Oct 3rd, 2008
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Jeez... It's probably obvious that anyone can afford a Kaleidescape can afford to power it. I just thought it was interesting to see how much it draws... and some people (I'm one) care about reducing energy use for reasons other than just the cost.

Wrong crowd for tree-hugging, icecap-fretting I suppose...
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Old Oct 4th, 2008
cinelife cinelife is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by josh View Post
Jeez... It's probably obvious that anyone can afford a Kaleidescape can afford to power it. I just thought it was interesting to see how much it draws... and some people (I'm one) care about reducing energy use for reasons other than just the cost.

Wrong crowd for tree-hugging, icecap-fretting I suppose...
I'm with you on this Josh. It's unfortunate, but that mentality (no offense intended to Byron) is one of the reasons we are facing current energy issues in this country. Sooner rather than later we are going to have to wake up to the fact that we waste far too much energy. Just because we can afford to waste it, doesn't mean we should.

As an aside, we just rebuilt a home we have in Indiana (use it for ND games) and I was actually shocked at what proper insulation and triple insulated Pella windows accomplished in energy savings. In truth it was my wife that insisted on the changes. While my Brother-in-law's home across the street had either the A/C or heat going throughout the day, struggling to maintain 70 degrees, our unit came on only once at 11:00 pm the day we arrived, ran for 15 minutes, hit 71 degrees, shut off, and the house maintained that temp for several days without the need to activate the new Trane system. Outside air temp fluctuated between 54 and 76 degrees and the inside temp remained at a constant 70-71 degrees. In the three weeks we were there (2 home games), the unit came on maybe three times for 10-15 minutes (we actually had it off for 10 days). I was very surprised at the performance and energy savings.

Jim
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  #6  
Old Oct 5th, 2008
JerryL JerryL is offline
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I don't know if this is the wrong crowd at all. I think everyone wants to do their part and spending less on power doesn't hurt either. Perhaps this is something for K to consider for future servers or software updates. Maybe they can get it to sleep and then when a player calls the server(s) can wake up. This might cause a delay so there could be a user setting with an explanation that using sleep mode will save some energy but it will add some delay upon startup... Just some thoughts. I agree just complaining about some extra cost is kind of silly, but its the things beyond the cost that are worthy of consideration.
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Old Oct 19th, 2008
Dizzman Dizzman is offline
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getting "green" through insignificant things like solar or new windows are not tree hugger. they are smart. why consume the grid energy if you can get it from the sky for "free" why spew it out your windows if you can hold it in.

in an AVS thread about running air filters and such, one of the guys commented n running ac 24/7. somebody then came on to raz him about the same crap about how we consume... blah blah blah. then coldmachine mentioned that the solar panels on his roof and the small wind farm in the back of his property produce 220% of his needs.

It only makes sense.
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  #8  
Old Oct 26th, 2008
MrCaseyB MrCaseyB is offline
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I hope my wife never sees this thread or Josh's numbers. She's been giving me grief about the energy bill.
Because I purchased my employee system upon leaving Kscape, I do not fall into the category of "you can afford a Kscape, you can afford to run it" I could use the Crestron system and other devices to power it off during idle times but that is not recommended and could effect the long term reliability of the drives.

I would love to see a low energy or standby mode for the server and drives.
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  #9  
Old Oct 31st, 2008
vdeangel vdeangel is offline
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Default Home Automation Solution

I am a Home automation enthusiast/hobbyist so my house is totally automated (Elk Security, UPB lighting/outlets, some X-10, and CADDX wireless). Therefore when I bought my 1U server I called K and asked if I it drew much power (answer was "no"), if there was a way to shut it down over my ip network (answer "no") and lastly if my putting an appliance module on the power supply (which can then be controlled on schedule or remotely via web, phone, etc.) would be detrminetal to the unit or my warranty or whatever. The answer to this was very encouraging. I was told that the OS and the hardware was designed to not be adversely effected by sudden power off's so that though they didn't see the need (power utilization-wise) to power down regularly, there was no reason why I couldn't if I was going to be away and the server was not going to be in use for several hours or days.

So what I have set my house/server up to do is:

1) If I arm the house for vacation mode it will automatically power off my server. The server will then power back up when the alarm system is disarmed.

2) I recently set up my system (which always arms when we are away, i.e. no motion anywhere inside the house, no TV on, etc. from the house for 45 minutes or more during the daylight hours) to wait an hour after the house has automarmed to away mode and then power down the server.

So the result is, when we are home it is powered up and when we are away for an hour and 45 minutes at a stretch it powers down.

I have noticed my electric bill has been significantly lower though I have enacted several other energy saving ideas recently so I can't tell you definitively how much is attributable to just the server shutdown.

So, if you want to do something similar you can pick up an X-10 lamp module (in my experience you don't need a larger appliance module and I currently use a lamp module on my 1U server) and a timer or controller. That is the cheapest, though simple method. Alternatively you can invest a little more in UPB or Zwave and hook it into other systems or your network in your house, etc.

BTW, I do the same thing with always on subwoofers, and other audio/video equipment that is not effected by robbing it of power (TV's usually are effected unfortunately). Hope this helps some folks save some energy. V
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  #10  
Old Oct 31st, 2008
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Good post vdeangel, and good ideas. In my experience of about 20 years of messing with X-10, it's a pretty unreliable system, but I still use it for some outside lights. I'm not sure I'd agree that using a lamp module is wise, however... X-10 is susceptible to noise and I'd hate to have it receive spurious signals and try to "dim" your kaleidescape. (or someone sending the wrong unit code with a "dim" command). The power supply would presumably not like that! Use an appliance module for the same cost and it will avoid any possible chance of power supply damage since those modules only have true on/off. Are you sure the x-10 modules are rated for this type of load?

-josh
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