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Folding Farms and Power Usage/Requirements

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
As I am slowly building up my folding farm and the more and more I add the more and more I become concerned not really with how much it is going to cost to run everything, but if I will have a problem running everything.

What I mean by this is with the current electrical wiring in my house will it support everything I will be running. If not, I will need to have an additional circuit added to supply the necessary power to keep the machines folding. This is something that I have yet to see discussed and I am not sure if it is because it is not really a problem or that no one really knows. I feel that this should probably be discussed for the simple fact that as more and more people build folding farms they need to be made aware of the situation.

Here is my story as to what started this:

I currently have five computers in my house that are folding 24/7. It produces alot of heat therefore I purchased a portable air conditioner for that room to keep it cool. Of course me not thinking about the electrical part, when I plugged it in and the compressor kicked in the breaker tripped. Ok so I cannot run that on the same circuit, duh, should have thought of that. But what got me thinking is how much power these computers and the additional ones I plan to add will draw and if it will be to much for the circuit they are on.

I totaled the max wattage of all the current computers and those that are planned down the road. I came up with roughly 2700 watts. Now I know that they will never use that much power so maybe a minumum of 1500 watts and more of an average of 2000 watts total power usage. That means that just for the pc's not including any monitors, switches, routers, etc I will be looking at using on average 16 amps. My house I believe uses a 15 amp breaker so I could install a 20 amp breaker and be fine, however I have not yet accounted for everything else that is also on that same circuit like monitors, two tv's (one of which is a rear projection big screen) a dvd player, my PS3 (folding 24/7), a lamp, and probably some other small stuff.

My point in this big long post is really to let others know what may be involved when creating folding farms because overloading a circuit can create a fire hazard and be very dangerous. Maybe some of you who have larger farms can chime in on what, if anything, you did to accommodate the extra power requirements.
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post #2 of 24
You can't just install a 20A breaker... you need to make sure the wiring is able to handle it. Will it be easy to drop another 15A line to the room? Why do you have so many outlets on one circuit?

I recently redid my house's wiring.... a dedicated 15A for my PC outlet plus a shared 15A for the rest of my office.

Why use AC? Can't you just vent the room assuming it it has a window? If not a window, can you vent to attic or basement?
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post #3 of 24
Your house should be on a larger breaker than that.60-100amps
    
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post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by markt View Post
Your house should be on a larger breaker than that.60-100amps
I think/hope he meant the circuit had a 15A breaker. A 15A breaker for a house would be ridiculous!
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post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post
You can't just install a 20A breaker... you need to make sure the wiring is able to handle it. Will it be easy to drop another 15A line to the room? Why do you have so many outlets on one circuit?

I recently redid my house's wiring.... a dedicated 15A for my PC outlet plus a shared 15A for the rest of my office.

Why use AC? Can't you just vent the room assuming it it has a window? If not a window, can you vent to attic or basement?
I am not sure that I can just upgrade to a 20A breaker. I plan to have an electrician come out and give me some options.

With only fans running, the room goes up to 81ish (f) during the hottest part of the day. The rest of the house is 75ish (f). At night it only drops 1-2 degrees. With the air conditioner I purchased it keeps it at a comfortable 75-76ish (f) all the time.
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post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post
I think/hope he meant the circuit had a 15A breaker. A 15A breaker for a house would be ridiculous!
^^ Ya what he said.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markt View Post
Your house should be on a larger breaker than that.60-100amps
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post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by markt View Post
Your house should be on a larger breaker than that.60-100amps
he didn say he had a 15amp service......
all houses(and trailers) now-a-days have 100 to 150 amp services
now my aunts camp has a 1911 trailer on it with a 60amp service.....

i would do what Duckieho said!
if you cant do it yourself, hire some 1.... it bites hard
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post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenBrown View Post
With only fans running, the room goes up to 81ish (f) during the hottest part of the day. The rest of the house is 75ish (f). At night it only drops 1-2 degrees. With the air conditioner I purchased it keeps it at a comfortable 75-76ish (f) all the time.
Is this room dedicated to Folding? If dedicated, it doesn't matter what the room temps are as long as systems are stable.

Are fans circulating air in the room or are they exhausting the hot air outside?
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post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post
Is this room dedicated to Folding? If dedicated, it doesn't matter what the room temps are as long as systems are stable.

Are fans circulating air in the room or are they exhausting the hot air outside?
Three of the computers are used by my wife, myself, and my 2 year old son almost daily to either play games, do homework, surf the net, etc, etc. This room has just been dedicated to be the office/computer room, so cooler temps are a must.
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post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenBrown View Post
Three of the computers are used by my wife, myself, and my 2 year old son almost daily to either play games, do homework, surf the net, etc, etc. This room has just been dedicated to be the office/computer room, so cooler temps are a must.
Since you plan to expand your farm.... can you place them in a corner or rack next to a window? Just run a USB hub for mouse/keyboard/DVD drive and run DVI cables. Build an enclosure around the stack and vent the heat? Is that possible?

Using AC for such a heatload is such a waste to me....
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