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How much will I pay in electricity? (Part Three)

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Add up to five 10 lpm oxygen concentrators to the Mighty Mite 20 gallon system

In previous posts, we’ve examined the electrical usage of a large studio setup and a medium studio setup. In this article, we’re looking at a small High Volume Oxygen system for a single torch – the Mighty Mite 20 gallon system with two HVO Pro Gen 10 lpm oxygen concentrators.

This small setup works great for someone working with a Bethlehem Bravo or GTT Phantom. It could handle a couple of folks working on smaller torches like Bethlehem Alphas or GTT Lynxs. High Volume Oxygen systems are modular and expandable, so you can always add more concentrators or additional storage if you upgrade or need more oxygen, but this setup is a great starter system.

How often is the system actually on?

In this scenario, we are following a glassblower making bubble caps and a Sherlock on a Bethlehem Bravo. Using our Seeing Eye (TM) technology, we can look at the exact oxygen usage for the duration of the glassblowing session to figure out how long the system was running. Follow the blue line to see the pressure and what times the system turns on and off. The High Volume Oxygen system will start compressing oxygen when it reaches the low pressure set point of 100 psi and automatically turn off at 150 psi making oxygen on demand as the glassblower continues to work.

The purple line shows how many liters per minute of oxygen are being used by the torch. Following the purple line, we can see that although the Bravo specifications say it can use up to 38 lpm of oxygen, the actual usage will vary and for these projects, the actual usage was between 7- 20 lpm.

So, how much money was spent on electricity over the course of the five hour period? Looking at the times that the system turns on and off will tell us how long the system was running.

During the three hours of use, the system turned on to charge for a total of 1.35 hours.

Calculating Wattage

To find the electrical costs of running the High Volume Oxygen system, we need to start with the wattage of the components. The HVO System uses about 480 watts and each concentrator uses about 600 watts. We can take this information multiplied by the hours the equipment was running divided by 1000 to find the kilowatt-hours (kWh). Once we know this number we can use the energy costs in our area to determine how much we paid for electricity. In Lincoln, Nebraska, our residential $/kWh at this time is 8.9¢. (Of course, we’re located in a commercial space, but I’ll be using residential pricing and rounding up for the sake of showing the higher cost that you could expect.)

In this situation, the electrical costs of running the system for the duration of the session (3 hours) was $0.20. (The amount of oxygen generated was about a fifth of a ktank.) If you worked this way for 3 days a week, 48 weeks out of the year, your annual electrical costs would be $30, and you would generate the equivalent of roughly 28 ktanks! If you worked more, the system would generate even more oxygen.

The 20 gallon system is compact and can be stored under your bench. Great for small shops!

Small Shop System

In this scenario, the system is a small system meant for a one person shop with one torch running or a couple of small torches. If you need help figuring out the perfect High Volume Oxygen setup for your situation, get in touch with us and we would love to discuss your oxygen needs and make a recommendation!

If you missed the first part of the discussion, check out the medium shop system or the large shop system.

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