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Leave on at all times or turn off daily?????
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Leave on at all...  
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JonR10
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JonR10
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Posted Thu May 19, 2011, 4:10pm
Subject: Re: Leave on at all times or turn off daily?????
 

__________ Said:

There is no argument with those facts, and I don't recall anyone doing so.  

Posted May 18, 2011 link

My assertion earlier (strictly on energy draw for an idle vs. a busy machine) was rebuked, and the request to make a measurement to compare running idle to running a startup from cold condition was refused.  


__________ Said:

If you still maintain that there is a break even point between switching a machine off for a period of time and leaving it on, you must be wrong.  But It is unclear from your later posts whether you have shifted away from that fundamental point or still maintain it to be correct. If you have dropped that assertion, there is nothing to argue about.

Posted May 18, 2011 link

First - I will apologize for posting something that was wrong and factually errant.  

I went to check my references and notes and see now that my comparison was just on running idle vs. startup and does NOT account for time with the machine turned OFF (which obviously is a greater power reduction than the difference between running hard and running idle)

I also apologize that you seem to have gotten the impression that this was a fundamental argument for me, when it was an aside to my main point.  Sadly, it seems that the jolly good sport of proving me wrong seems to have gotten in the way of my intended primary assertion being clearly communicated.  

Thirdly, I will apologize for participating in a bickering pi$$ing match that was unproductive and only generated harsh and unfreindly feelings on both sides.  For this I most sincerely apologize.  


 / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /  / / /


For the final time, I'll try to be brief about my intended assertion from the start:  
For those who would turn the machine off for a brief period during the day to save money and/or resources, the difference may not be as much energy/money as you might have thought because of the startup heating requirement (demand).  Also, there may be additional wear and tear on certain machine components from repeated heating/cooling cycles.  


Finally, if you will remember the last time you and I participated in a thread about the subject of power consumption, you may recall that I measured my Wega with a Kill-A-Watt and found it to require about  $0.70 USD for electricity per day in continuous use.  So the difference between turning off for a few hours in the afternoon and letting her run idle through that period really only amounts to a few pennies anyway.  


Cheers,
Jon

 
Jon Rosenthal
Houston, TX
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JGG
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JGG
Joined: 31 Mar 2006
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Posted Fri May 20, 2011, 5:16am
Subject: Re: Leave on at all times or turn off daily?????
 

It's amazing how persuasive the incorrect common sense argument is, i.e., "it takes so much energy to heat up the boiler that you are saving electricity by just leaving it on."

What almost everyone loses sight of is that nearly all of the electrical energy used in initial heating is stored by the system and can be used for something productive.  If our machines were perfectly insulated, we could leave them on all the time and the only watts we'd ever have to buy would be the ones needed to heat up the system for the very first time, plus the ones we flush through the group or carry off in our cups.

But in practice most of the watts we buy, we don't get to use.  They are given away by the boiler through radiation, convection, etc. as it gives up heat to the surroundings.

There is no getting around the fact that a hot boiler gives away many more watts than a cold boiler.

Jim
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TheMadTamper
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Posted Fri May 20, 2011, 6:37am
Subject: Re: Leave on at all times or turn off daily?????
 

JGG Said:

It's amazing how persuasive the incorrect common sense argument is,

Posted May 20, 2011 link

Isn't that the founding principle of "real politik" under which we're kept in our cages? :)


What almost everyone loses sight of is that nearly all of the electrical energy used in initial heating is stored by the system and can be used for something productive.  If our machines were perfectly insulated, we could leave them on all the time and the only watts we'd ever have to buy would be the ones needed to heat up the system for the very first time, plus the ones we flush through the group or carry off in our cups.

But in practice most of the watts we buy, we don't get to use.  They are given away by the boiler through radiation, convection, etc. as it gives up heat to the surroundings.

There is no getting around the fact that a hot boiler gives away many more watts than a cold boiler.

All true, but I think the central focus of the argument that gets lost is, while leaving the machine on will always draw a little more power than not leaving it on, and few are discounting that, depending on the owner's usage pattern, the relationship of difference between energy used with start/stop cycles versus always-on, when considering the low energy costs of maintaining a temp relative to cold cycling, is an asymptotic relationship.  While always more energy is used by leaving it on, the more frequently a user pulls shots from the machine during said on-time that would otherwise have required a cold start brings the difference in energy closer and closer to the zero-point without ever quite reaching it, technically.

For someone with a usage pattern like mine has a given "session" layout of one or two "sessions' per day, where numerous shots are pulled, all within the space of about an hour (plus an hour warmup), leaving it on would be entirely silly from an energy standpoint.  One to two cold starts a day, with two hours of actual usage, means I'd be burning 20 hours of power minimum for a mere 2-4 hours of on-time.  

For someone with a usage pattern such as an office, cafe/restaurant, or home user that has someone pulling shots at random times during the day, the number of cold starts would easily start consuming more power to the point of being trivial, and being terribly inconvenient.   That of course leaves open the debate open for "overnight off time".   In a cafe, I can't imagine shutting down the machines.  Those are BIG boilers and the amount of time required to reach temperature equillibrium would either mean opening shop much earlier than one needs to, or serving customers coffee that is not optimum.  It also would throw grind settings out of whack.   For a home user, it depends on what the startup process will require for them.  Certainly an 8 hour period with no use wastes more electricity than an 8 hour period off + warmup.  But the question is, is it a trivial amount of extra money given the usage habits of the owner?

In Jon's case we're talking about a $.70 difference, or a little over half a shot at a random cafe.  In my case the difference would be significantly additional since I would end up doing significantly fewer cold starts per day.

And, of course, every time energy consumption enters the equation, while not irrelevant, it's sensible to point out that espresso involves bringing a boiler of water to pressurized steam temperatures, and holding a substantial amount of metal at an equalized temperature, and forcing water through a plugged hole via a pump (or steam force) forcing relatively high pressures of water through it.  There is nothing particularly energy efficient about the very nature of espresso.  If you want to be super energy concious about coffee, buy a Hario and be done with it!  Any debate about "the more efficient" or "less efficient" way of spending 1-5 hours of bringing 30-200lbs of metal to an equalized temp using a small metal vessel held at steam temp and high pressure, and a large pressure loaded pump starts getting redundant after a while.  Yes, insulated boilers are great.  Yes, on-time must be based on an evaluation of usage pattern.  But beyond that, all methods are fairly wasteful.
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germantownrob
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Posted Fri May 20, 2011, 10:39am
Subject: Re: Leave on at all times or turn off daily?????
 

N.S. Oscar usage for 1 hour from a cold start up = .28KWH
                   for each hour after that while idle = .11KWH
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JonR10
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JonR10
Joined: 26 Apr 2004
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Location: Houston, Texas
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Posted Fri May 20, 2011, 11:20am
Subject: Re: Leave on at all times or turn off daily?????
 

germantownrob Said:

N.S. Oscar usage for 1 hour from a cold start up = .28KWH
                   for every hour after that while idle = .11KWH

Posted May 20, 2011 link

Thanks Rob.
Why couldn't you have posted this before I apologized for being wrong?

 
Jon Rosenthal
Houston, TX
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Vivaldi
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Joined: 3 Nov 2010
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Posted Fri May 20, 2011, 2:49pm
Subject: Re: Leave on at all times or turn off daily?????
 

The original post asked for "advantages / disadvantages".  Most of the discussion focused on saving energy by turning off the machine when not in use.  I agree with this, just because I like to save energy.

There were comments about turning off your car or refrigerator, but to me those have no bearing here.  Of course you don't turn off your refrigerator, because you're always using it to keep the cool temperature you set it at.  In Japan, to save energy, they turn off the bus when  it comes to a stop light.  So aside from energy, are there any other advantages or disadvantages?  

I know that heat can cause electronic components to fail, so maybe it is better to leave the machine off when not in use?  I could envision that being advantagous to my electronic control board.  The only component I can see getting extra wear would be the on-off switch.

Any comment from espresso repair experts?
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SteamPunk
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Joined: 4 Feb 2011
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Posted Sat May 21, 2011, 4:22pm
Subject: Re: Leave on at all times or turn off daily?????
 

You don't mention how frequently You use Your machine.
I turn mine off if there's more than a two hour interval
between shots.
I turn the steam boiler off if I'm not using it for more than
half an hour.
Hopefully the only parts I will have to replace besides gaskets
will be a power switch?

I think any nine to five type is a bit flakey if they leave their
machine on all day, unattended.
And anyone who leaves their machine all night is just dumb.
My duetto2 and also my old Faema Family both heat up
in ten minutes, I usually leave it five another five or ten.

I don't enjoy tinkering with my machine or paying repair bills,
while suffering down time, unlike some on here.
I just enjoy making and drinking a great cappuccino

Use a high current, timer if need be , like others suggested.
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germantownrob
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germantownrob
Joined: 2 Dec 2007
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Posted Sun May 22, 2011, 6:47am
Subject: Re: Leave on at all times or turn off daily?????
 

SteamPunk Said:

I think any nine to five type is a bit flakey if they leave their
machine on all day, unattended.
And anyone who leaves their machine all night is just dumb.
My duetto2 and also my old Faema Family both heat up
in ten minutes, I usually leave it five another five or ten.

Posted May 21, 2011 link

Really??
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Joel_B
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Joel_B
Joined: 9 Oct 2007
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Posted Sun May 22, 2011, 9:43am
Subject: Re: Leave on at all times or turn off daily?????
 

Things seem pretty well hashed out here, but I'll add my preference.  I leave my machine on 24/7. I don't do it to save money and I'm aware it may lead to early failure or some parts.  I do this as an issue of convenience for me.  I won't even think about pulling a shot unless my machine has been on for 1 hour and I feel better about 90 - 120 minutes.  That hardly makes the ability to pull a shot spontaneous so leaving the machine on gives me the liberty to have a shot when I feel like it whether I pull zero shots or ten shots in a day. I'm aware this may not be the most economical approach (both in energy and possible higher maintenance cost) but neither is having my pizza delivered.

Regarding a timer this doesn't work for everyone as not everyone has the same schedule everyday.  For me, a timer wouldn't be my best solution. A timer falls fully under the YMMV clause.

What's with all the talk about safety and leaving a commercial machine on all day "unattended"?  Has this been an issue?  Does anyone have any statistics of how many unattended espresso machines have caught fire or exploded or melted your countertop?  I haven't heard anything but I'd suspect the actual risk to be ridiculously low. Water leak would probably be my biggest concern, but with mine being direct plumbed there's a level of risk whether my machine is on or not.

SteamPunk Said:

And anyone who leaves their machine all night is just dumb.

Posted May 21, 2011 link

Wow!  That's awesome.

SteamPunk Said:

My duetto2 and also my old Faema Family both heat up
in ten minutes, I usually leave it five another five or ten.

Posted May 21, 2011 link

Sorry, but your machine isn't ready to pull shots in 15min.  Just because the boiler has "come to temp" doesn't mean the machine has come to temp and subsequently stabilized.
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gime2much
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Posted Sun May 22, 2011, 11:06am
Subject: Re: Leave on at all times or turn off daily?????
 

Hopefully the OP can pick thru and get enough information to answer his question. To add a bit of perspective to the discussion, lets mention another boiler common in all US homes ( I think Wayne might have brushed on it).

The boiler is 40 times as large as most espresso machines. The energy draw is several times as heavy. Mine comes to temperature in less than 10 minutes. It's the common hot water heater. Can we get a show of hands from those who use a timer or shut theirs off during non-use times?

  If you shut down an espresso machine when not in use but not the water heater isn't like the fat lady eating cream filled donuts while drinking a diet coke?

 
Dan Brewer
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