Business Plug Load

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In Residence Business Plug Load Study

Goals of Experiment

  • Measure power usage of In Residence Business office equipment.
  • Educate others on what power requirements are of office equipment and how more efficient equipment may be obtained in the future.

Decisions to be made from Experiment

  • How much to charge each in residence business for electricity usage.

Expected Outcomes

  • Develop catalog of power requirements for laptops and other office equipment.
  • Reduce plug loads over time.



  • Record information on owner of equipment and equipment rated power requirements.
  • Record information from power adapter nameplate for V DC and amps (or milliamps) or watts.
  • Plug equipment in Kill A Watt meter and plug meter into wall.
  • Have owner of equipment perform normal work on equipment and record values in workbook for volts, amps, and watts.
  • Check power usage in sleep and hibernate modes. Record in workbook.
  • Keep monitoring for at least 2 hours and preferably 4 hours with computer under normal usage.
  • At end of time period, record kWh and time elapsed before unplugging meter.
  • Use kWh and elapsed time to calculate average watts.
  • Watts may be used to calculate electrical usage fee for Green Garage Services billing.

Process Measurements

  • Volts, amps, watts, kWh, time from meter.

Resources Required

  • Kill A Watt meter
  • Workbook to record data



  • Jason Peet
  • Tom Brennan
  • The Labs


  • In Residence Businesses
  • Jason Peet

Help Wanted

  • Need someone to perform testing as businesses arrive at the Green Garage. - Jason

Scheduling & Sequencing

  • T. Brennan requested measurement starting on 12/13/2011.
  • Need to document refrigerator test before unplugging Kill A Watt meter, if used. - DONE
  • Helen may have another Kill A Watt meter we can use instead. - DONE; Meter made available.


  • Checking power in various modes of operation.
  • Lowest power draw is solid state drive (power vs. capacity of drive - state of industry)
  • Energy drawn is highly dependent on if battery or other connected devices are charging or not. Quicker charging battery system uses more energy than slower charging.
  • Graphics and cooling fan operating are also big energy draws.
  • Size of screen impacts energy used.



  • Is it more efficient to use your battery and charge it back up or run on power when you can?
  • "Earth cost" of the battery?
  • Generalizations on what was measured and observed?
  • Does operating system impact energy used along with screen size?


  • Plan / Do / Study / Act / Repeat
  • Finish Blog of lessons learned