Tag Archives: Watts Up Pro

Energy Consumption of Alyssa’s Room

I was excited for this research as I didn’t actually have a good estimate for how much energy my room used. I was surprised by how much energy is used by my refrigerator, especially since it’s also the only appliance that is constantly in use. In fact, the wattage of the fridge was far greater than the total of all my other electronics. In contrast to the fridge value, my laptop used almost no energy  – which makes me feel less guilty about how often I use it! I was also happy to find that my phone charger, laptop charger and lamp all used no (or negligible) energy when not in use.

I will be measuring my usage of these electronics over the next three days to determine the average total amount of energy I use per day. From there, Irene and I will be calculating how much of our Vassar room and board fees actually go towards the energy we consume.

Appliance Wattage Notes
Laptop in use 29.8 Increased from average of 22-24W after extended use
Laptop + powerstrip 31-32
Phone charger in use 2.9
Phone + power strip 3.2
Laptop + phone + powerstrip 33.6
Fridge 304 Slowly decreased over time
Fan – low 19.6
Fan – medium 21.4
Fan – high 24.0
Christmas lights 23.6
Standing lamp 13.9

Energy consumption of Irene’s room

The energy consumption of my room turned out to be less than I thought. As expected, the refrigerator took up a large amount of my overall consumption. I was surprised at how little power my computer ended up using as I waited for the Watt’s Up Pro’s value to level out. One thing that surprised me was that the power strip and my chargers did not show a reading when tested while not in use. I had thought that the lights on the power strip and charger may have used some energy, but I guess the amount is negligible.

An interesting thing to note is how the wattage appeared to change when measurements using the Watts Up Pro were taken from devices plugged directly into the Watts Up versus when the values were taken from the power strip connected to the wall. In addition to this preliminary data, I will be recording how long I am using these appliances over the next 3 days to determine my average energy consumption.

Appliance Wattage Notes
laptop 21-22 Increased from average of 17-22W after extended use, high 43 when turned on
phone charger 4.1
alarm clock 1.1
phone + power strip 4.7
laptop + powerstrip 23-24 Started at 32, slowly decreasing, flatlines around 23-24
laptop+ phone+powerstrip 26.9
fan- high setting 30
fan-low setting 20.1
fan-medium setting 23.5
fridge 283 Slowly decreasing over time
camera charger 3.5
camera + powerstrip 3.9

Project Plan

  • Roles:
  1. Rebecca Valencia:  Technology Background Researcher/Record-Data Keeper
  2. Tamila Shalumova: Experimenter/Instrument Wielder
  3. Zach Ward: Historical/ Economic Researcher
  • Our group plans on investigating exactly how a jump drive uses electricity in its ability to store information quickly, conveniently, and safely in a static state form (meaning that there are no moving parts which make up the body of the jump drive itself). The modern flash drive is derivative of past forms of memory saving technologies, including floppy drives and zip disks. However, the science that goes into a jump drive has been miniaturized and maximized. We will be investigating how electricity and semiconductor technology have evolved in such a way that we can now carry 4 GB or more of memory in our pockets.
  • We plan on utilizing the Watts Up Pro electricity measuring device to perform a series of experiments where we 1) figure out the computer’s baseline electricity usage level 2) measure the electricity output whilst the jump is uploading and downloading information. We will then subtract the difference in order to discover how much electricity the jump drive itself must use in order to carry these tasks. We will also examine how price of jump drive and level of memory have had an inverse relationship over the years. Using this information, we may be able to predict the price of jump drives in the next 5 years. We will meet each Thursday night as needed around dinner time so that we may perform our initial tasks of researching the technology behind jump drives, collecting and analyzing data, and finally, completing the price chart.
  • We expect that the prices of USB drives have gone down as the size of the memory capacity has gone up over the years. We do not expect the USB drive to consume a great deal of power, considering that most external drives do not use a source other than the computer unless they are larger than 500 GB.

Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/86/SanDisk_Cruzer_Micro.png

Energy Consumption Project Plan

The goal of our project is to determine a reasonable estimate for the personal energy consumption of a Vassar student. In order to achieve this goal, both members of our group will use the Watts Up Pro to measure the energy uses of the various appliances, technology and light sources in our dorm rooms. We will then calculate the average energy consumption per day. Using this value we will calculate the approximate energy consumption over the course of an academic year and determine how much this costs.

To carry out this project, we plan to test all electronic devices in our rooms and record how long they are in use over a span of three days. For each day of the study we will also re-test each device using the Watts Up Pro. If the values do not change between the first two days of testing, we will assume they remain constant. After we have calculated our average energy use per day, we will multiply by the number of days in the academic year to determine our total consumption. We will then contact the college to find the cost of energy per kWh on campus and use this to calculate the total cost of our energy use. It will be interesting to determine what percentage of Vassar’s room and board fees are used to cover energy expenses. We predict that this value will be quite small.

A possible extension of this project might include obtaining the same data from other individual dorm rooms, as time allows. This would give a more accurate measure of an average student’s energy use.

My tuition: The costs to power my life

As one of the most expensive colleges in the nation, Vassar’s room and board fees are estimated at $10, 430 for the upcoming school year. Though this covers many services, one wonders what the actual cost of living at Vassar is. Using the Watts Up Pro, we will attempt to estimate the energy consumption of a typical Vassar student throughout the course of a school year and how much this costs the college.