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Author Topic: X10 modules power consumption [1 of 2]  (Read 21294 times)

ArdentGuy

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X10 modules power consumption [1 of 2]
« on: November 18, 2006, 05:31:31 AM »

I filled my home with modules on every lamp, switch, and appliance in order to control everything and anything in the house.  I always realized that X-10 modules consumed a small amount of power but I assumed it was negligible compared to the “safety and convenience” I had gained.

I was wrong.

Over six (6) years, I installed a total 87 X10 modules/switches/controllers.  Hey ... modules were cheap.  But it turns out electricity isn’t.  After all taxes and fees, I pay $0.11/KWH.  I recently measured the power consumption of a dozen modules and switches.  The average power consumption (in the off state) is a meager 3.5 watts.  But the following math has raised the ire of my wife:

87 modules
x 3.5 watts/module
x 24 hrs/day
x 365 days/year
x .001 KW/watt
x $0.11 $/KWH
-------------
$293.42 /year  <==  OUCH!   :o

This is the equivalent of a 300watt load ... the equivalent of  7.3 KWH/day or 219 KWH/month.   I had X10 modules on closet lights that were never sent an “on” code during six years.  (A macro sent an “off” code to all closets every two hours in case anyone ever left a closet light on -- which, as far as we can tell, never happened.)

In short:  I am an X-10 junkie who is now being forced to kick his habit (read: install plain manual $0.38 switches) unless I can find a way to reduce the current being drawn by X-10 products.  So here’s the question (finally):  If I disable the current sensing circuits, can I eliminate the bulk of the quiescent current consumption?  For 85-90% of my X10 applications, I only require X10 automated control.  I visited www.geocities.com/idobartana where I learned to cut the lead of the D10 diode to defeat current sensing.  I tried this on one appliance module.  The current sensing is defeated ... but the module still consumes 3.5 watts of power.  Is there anything else I need to do?


Re: X10 modules power consumption [2 of 2]


[TTA Edit: Experiment to determine whether or not SPLITTING 'Highly-Viewed' / 'Highly-Replied' but currently INACTIVE threads from LONG, LONG AGO (I'm starting with ~2 years) into parts will allow current ACTIVE threads to appear in the Top 10 Topics (by Replies) section of the Statistics Center (aka More Stats) Page.

NOTE: I *WILL* address the <BR> problem...]
« Last Edit: May 02, 2007, 10:22:51 PM by TakeTheActive »
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glt

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Re: X10 modules power consumption
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2006, 08:39:53 AM »

Well, that doesn't sound right, but you know more than me just to be able to make that post....


Ask the same question in comp.home.automation ( a newsgroup - see google/groups) and you should get a worthwhile response.


 :) Fortunately, I have nowhere near that many modules, and the ones I have don't use that much power, and if they did, there is no one but me to complain about them!

GLT

P.S " But the following math has raised the ire of my wife:"

So when did SHE calculate those numbers? And with what did SHE measure the power consumption? And if SHE didn't, exactly how long have you been an HA hobbyist AND married? Not long? See WAF! ;D

(All in fun.)
« Last Edit: November 18, 2006, 08:50:55 AM by glt »
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vhoang

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Re: X10 modules power consumption
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2006, 02:01:14 PM »

You shouldn't have given the yearly figure.   ;)
all 87 modules (that's a whole lot of module) is taking up about 7kwH per day.
That's kinda high.. but still less than a dollar a day for all that automation.

Keeping it in perspective.   
Less than 1 cents a day per module.
A energy efficient refrigerator take up beteen 3-7kwH a day.   
A computer running 24/7 will take up 3-5kwH a day.
My AC peeked at 30kwH per day during summer.
(always someone home this year...)

Would have came out to $400 a month (not a year), if I hadn't
install a 4.5kW solar panel that product 35kwH/day during
summer.  (pricey up front payment / investment)

Even if you are able to reduce the module's consuption by say 20%,
that .20 * 293 / 12 = $5 savings per month.   How many cents
will you save a day?

You have a lot of modules, and yearly figures will seem high sometimes.

Being energy conscious is a great thing, but keep it in perspective
and it won't seem as bad.   

For a about 80 cents a day for the level of automation you
get with 80+ modules, It's not such a bad argument if phrased
correctly.

My X10 automation turns on lights at night when needed and shuts
of lights when no one is there.   It has it's own way of conserving energy.

Consider being able to turn on and off christmas lights and not worry
about forgetting and leaving it on....  Walking into the closet and the
lights turn on.   Etc, etc.   It's the cost of an high tech lifestyle.   

Be careful not to make it seem like a hobby cost.   At 87 modules,
it should start doing convenient stuff for the family that use to be a pain
to deal with without.

I Just make sure the stuff my wife likes work well, and everyone is happy.   
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JeffVolp

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Re: X10 modules power consumption
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2006, 09:33:35 AM »

Your consumption numbers for each module are too high.  The capacitive power supply used in most X10 modules cannot deliver that much power.  I did a simulation on the TW523/PSC05 power supply some time ago, and it consumes just over 1 watt.  That has a 2.2uF line capacitor.  Lamp and appliance modules have a .68uf line capacitor, and will only consume about 1/2 watt with the load off.

As a reality check, consider a nightlight with a 4-watt bulb.  Those are normally pretty well ventillated, but can still run hot.  X10 modules are sealed.  Lamp modues (when off) and appliance modules are barely above room temperature.  Transmitters will be warm, but think about how hot it would be with a nightlight bulb sealed inside.  Lamp modules and dimmer switches will heat up when powering a load because the dissipation increases about 1 watt for each amp of power delivered.

Assuming that most of your devices are receivers, your automation power bill is more like $50 per year.
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steven r

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Re: X10 modules power consumption
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2006, 10:17:28 AM »

I to think the figures are a bit high also. Tell your wife that you figured power use wrong. Quote this topic.

What you need to figure out is the cost of running the lights when they're not needed. i.e. How much is X10 saving by making sure the lights are off. I'd put X10 reliability to turn my lights off way ahead of my remembering to turn them off. Figure the cost of forgetting to turn them off say once a week. (3 or 4 times if your memory is like mine.)

Then go and spend some of that money X10 saved on your wife. I'm betting the WAF will go up.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2006, 12:29:01 AM by steven r »
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HA Dave

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Re: X10 modules power consumption
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2006, 11:51:21 AM »

What you need to figure out is the cost of running the lights when they're not needed. i.e. How much is X10 saving by making sure the lights are off. .............I'm betting the WAF will go up.

I agree with steven R whole heartedly!

My personal WAF dropped when I put up motion sensor lights around the house. However it was soon evident that the lights rarely activated. When the lights did come on, it was actually very handy. I pointed out, our neighbors that left a single light on outside at night consumed considerably more electricity.

Of course.... wife's are cleaver people. So when asked if I was SURE automation wasn't actually running up the power bill. I suggested she ask her friends how much they spent for electric.

She was pleasantly surprised when she realized, by comparison we used very little power. Being a bit of a watt miser myself, I wasn't.
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KDR

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Re: X10 modules power consumption
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2006, 12:14:49 PM »

I am lucky in the sense that my wife use to flip on switches, and not knowing that she could also turn them off, left lights on everywhere. Now she doesn't have to turn them on or off. So even if I double the expense listed above I'm still making out. The one problem that I have run into since I live in an older home Is outlets. In the basement where all my gear is stowed I have had to add about 22 outlets in the form of new hardwired or outlet strips. And the number is still growing. Anyone else run into this problem? (Counted 16 wallwart power units so far to date. Includes some computer ones.)
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Brian H

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Re: X10 modules power consumption
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2006, 02:43:00 PM »

KDR; I am not that crowded yet, but getting there.
I found what is called a socket Liberator that lets you plug wall warts in all the outlets of an outlet  strip; as many block one or more when installed into an outlet strip.
Like a 1' extension cord I now have seen a dual head one.
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KDR

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Re: X10 modules power consumption
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2006, 03:25:20 PM »

I just got a couple of the outlet strips that TTA posted about awhile back. The outlets are turned which allows you to plug a wart into it without blocking one.
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HA Dave

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Re: X10 modules power consumption
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2006, 05:44:01 PM »

The one problem that I have run into since I live in an older home Is outlets. In the basement where all my gear is stowed I have had to add about 22 outlets in the form of new hardwired or outlet strips. Anyone else run into this problem? (Counted 16 wallwart power units so far to date. Includes some computer ones.)

I also have an older home and most of my X10 equipment is in the basement. I built my theater down there, and my office is in the basement also.

The basement was finished when I bough the home, and the electric had been upgraded to a 200 AMP service. Still... I have fished a mile of wire. I think me being an old wire twister is part of the problem. Plus the cable TV, Phones, CAT5, speaker wire. Still... power strips rule!
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KDR

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Re: X10 modules power consumption
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2006, 05:55:32 PM »

When I purchased the house the house it had a 50 Amp Main. The panel has been updated to 125 amp but the line coming in and the main breakers are still 50 amp service. I will upgrade it next spring when I finally install a new service entrance.
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dave w

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Re: X10 modules power consumption
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2006, 06:03:49 PM »

I filled my home with modules on every lamp, switch, and appliance in order to control everything and anything in the house.  I always realized that X-10 modules consumed a small amount of power but I assumed it was negligible compared to the “safety and convenience” I had gained.

I was wrong.

I recently measured the power consumption of a dozen modules and switches.  The average power consumption (in the off state) is a meager 3.5 watts. 

*But the following math has raised the ire of my wife:*

87 modules
x 3.5 watts/module
x 24 hrs/day
x 365 days/year
x .001 KW/watt
x $0.11 $/KWH
-------------
$293.42 /year  <==  OUCH!   :o

In short:  I am an X-10 junkie who is now being forced to kick his habit (read: install plain manual $0.38 switches) unless I can find a way to reduce the current being drawn by X-10 products.  

Is there anything else I need to do?


Yes, (slap) quit whinning and consider if you did not have X10.  ;)

I have over 100 modules, and I contend that 300 bucks a year (if it really is that much) is cheap; considering the energy savings, safety(!!!), and convenience, that  X10 gives us...not to mention security.
  
If you do not think X10 is giving you $300 worth of convenience, safety, security, etc a year, then dump it. OR take out the modules you find you use infrequently and tell your wife to reduce the number of her beauy salon trips per year, so you both give a little.

In 1984 my wife thought X10 was unreliable and a pain to use UNTIL my Enerlogic 1400 controller blew the Dallas clock chip. It took about three weeks to troubleshoot, order parts, and repair the unit. After week one, the same wife who whined about X10,  was now asking every day "when is it going to be fixed". So another option would be to shut the system down for a while and see if wife recalibrates her WAF.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2006, 11:31:19 AM by dave w »
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TakeTheActive

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Re: X10 modules power consumption
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2006, 06:47:06 PM »


I just got a couple of the outlet strips that TTA posted about awhile back. The outlets are turned which allows you to plug a wart into it without blocking one.

  • What STORE?
  • What STATE?
  • What PRICE?
[/b]

Please add your info to the OP if necessary. [Photo too, if possible. ;) ]

Thanks! :)
« Last Edit: November 19, 2006, 06:50:48 PM by TakeTheActive »
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KDR

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Re: X10 modules power consumption
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2006, 07:40:50 PM »

Found them at WalMart for about 9 bucks. Don't have a picture of one but when I get a chance I will snap one and post it.

(TTA if you want to move this post around feel free.)
« Last Edit: November 19, 2006, 07:43:40 PM by KDR »
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TakeTheActive

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Re: X10 modules power consumption
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2006, 07:46:05 PM »


Found them at WalMart for about 9 bucks. Don't have a picture of one but when I get a chance I will snap one and post it.

Does it look like the one on the right in my photo?

Walmart / New York state?
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