Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Measuring Power Consumption with the Belkin Conserve Insght

I recently bought a Belkin Conserve Insight on Amazon for 30 euros (and again for 23 euros just now!) to be able to measure power consumption of various home appliances, especially PCs.

In an attempt to reorganize the mass of cables behind the tele I unplugged everything and started adding back the cables, nicely attached with cable ties to better manage the mess.  I took advantage of this to install the Insight device and measure the power consumption of various devices as they came back up.

I'd really not much idea how much some of these devices consumed in their various states of operation and non-operation so I was keen to see if there were any surprises.

I imagined the TV, a 4-year old LCD 40" model, would be "heavy" in consumption and I'd read about the sleep mode being quite heavy.  Well yes and no.  In operation the TV consumes a fair amount, at 200W, or 73W is on but a blank screen.  Switching it off with the remote reduced this to 15W which was quite a bit better than what I expected but the nice surprise was that the on-off button reduces consumption to only 0.5W.  That's not bad for a state from which the tele can be woken up with the remote.

Another nice surprise was the Packard Bell iMax mini C2600 - basically a clone of Acer's Revo nettop - which I use for running XBMC, well until I'm happy with XBMC on the Raspberry Pi that is.
The C2600 consumes about 22W, which is not so much ... it's an ATOM based mini PC with nVidia 1st generation ION graphics.

Below you can see the result of my measurements, whilst not extremely scientific - it was difficult to measure at times as values varied and were not completely repeatable - it gives a good idea of the consumption of the different devices in their different states.

Item State Consumption (W)
Freebox v51 Freeplug plugged in
(Freebox disconnected)
Freebox server plugged in18.0
Freebox server + TV box (sleeping)30.0
Freebox server + TV box (on)32.0
DECT Phone
Sony Bravia 40" LCD TVoff0.5
on (no image)73.0
on (SD image)200.0
on (HD image)206.0
standby (red light)15.0
on (no image)0.0
Sony Radio/CD/MP3standby0.2
on (volume down)12.0
Packard Bell
"Revo clone"
iMax mini C2600
XBMC (UbuntuBMC) X Desktop22.0

I didn't get around to measuring the Raspberry Pi but by all accounts (e.g. it consumes about 2W in use, and about 0.5W in standby (due to the Model B's greedy LAN chip).

One of these days I must get around to some serious power measurement using monitoring of remote sensing devices like these guys ...

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