Worried about electric bill


#1

Hey guys, July 31st is just around the bend, and I’m getting pretty stoked about gettting my GF here in Japan.
A friend who’s father runs a creators’ lounge and owns a few laser cutters kind of threw a bucket of cold water on me though…
He said his electric bill has gone through the roof since he got the lasers, and so I was hoping I could ask you guys what your experience on the matter had been. Any comments?


#2

Depends on the lasers he has. With a month’s use of a Glowforge Pre-Release I can say the electric bill impact hasn’t been noticeable (I see more impact when my daughter comes home from college). It’s got a Max draw of 800W if I recall so it’s pretty easy to figure out what that will do to your bill. It only consumes that under max load so you’ll have to estimate how much time jobs will actually be running (cutting/engraving) vs sitting waiting for you to load designs, place parts, etc where it’s powered on but only consuming what’s needed for the lights & wifi.


#3

I don’t have one, but I’m curious (and skeptical) about such an increase. Tech specs here says a Pro + Filter has a maximum consumption of 1400W. Now my sky-high electrical rate (PSEG Residential 180) is going to cost (using the highest possible numbers at the most expensive time of year):

  • $0.0867/kWH “Energy Charge”
  • $0.091812/kWH “Power Supply Charge”
  • $0.002927 “DER Charge”

Putting that all together, $0.181439/kWH * 1.4 comes out to around 25 cents an hour. Unless you’re running it all day every day (in which case I’m sure burning the thing out is more of a cost than the power bill), it’s probably not that significant in direct cost of electricity.


#4

Another thing to consider is that those laser setups (more than one?) have external water pumps and exhausts that run even when the laser is not doing jobs.

Having an opportunity to see a GF :glowforge: in action, peak power draws are only when a burn is going on.

I didn’t get an opportunity to measure the idle power draw, but seeing the fan at low speed and just LED lighting, it could not be more than 40 watts at idle (closer to 20 if I had to guess).


#5

Good point. On my other machines the pump, chiller and air are running whenever the machine is on & idle as well as when it’s lasing. The GF is just sitting there patiently waiting - I’ll check tonight but I don’t think even the fan is running, just LED lights and wifi.


#6

Not sure what lasers he’s using, but they must be pretty heavy duty.
Thanks for easing my mind a bit.
I appreciate it.
Greetings from Japan.


#7

at 1400 watts the glowforge should have a maximum power draw similar to a high end gaming PC if that helps


#8

Thanks for the break-down. Should be easy to see for myself how much of a hit my wallet will get. Judging by your numbers, it won’t be much, which really makes me feel better. Arigato!


#9

I have a Kill-A-Watt meter in the shop – I’ll try to remember to measure consumption during tonight’s runs.


#10

This is great stuff, thanks!


#11

It does, thank you!


#12

#13

True. The GF 1400W is including the filter. The non-filter basic machine is 800W at full power.

The chiller on the Redsail 60W is 800W all by itself. If it were the bigger 100W laser the chiller for that is 1400W. Refrigeration is expensive in terms of electrical draw. (The Redsail also has a 30gal 1.5hp compressor for air on its own circuit.) I don’t know what the water and air pumps on my K40 run but they’re small so not likely a lot - the whole thing doesn’t trip the power strip that’s plugged into.


#14

I didn’t want to “volunteer” you to test power on, idle and full load (5 minute and 15 minute jobs).


#15

Back when I used an Epilog, I only turned on the externals when I was cutting.


#16

I run up to 8 3D printers at a time and the highest impact to my power bill in the additional AC from the heat they generate.


#17

I can take a look at this at the end of the month. Our electric company provides a report of monthly energy usage. It shows that we used nearly 80% more power last month (we set up a PRU on April 1) but that is definitely not just because of the :glowforge:!

Our Godson arrived on the same day as the PRU, and he had his 5th wheel parked on our property and plugged in for 21 of the 30 days in April. His trailer used a lot of power and tripped our breakers more than once (good thing we really love that kid! :wink: ). Thus, last month’s bill/use is not a viable indicator, but I can check again later in the month and get a better guess.


#18

I think cost of the materials you cut will dwarf the cost of cutting them.


#19

oh yeah… My wife asked “how can a small piece of weird orange wood cost so much?”


#20

I was actually surprised that my electricity usage did not increase. The last three months I’ve used 850, 691, 722, 737 kwh. Only the last was a full month with the Glowforge. The surprising thing was that the unit is on 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, and all the lights in the studio basement are on with it. Though I probably only average an hour cumulative each day of actual burn time.