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Estimating electrical costs of generating your own oxygen (Part One)

bulb close up electricity energy

Have you ever thought that you’d like to set up an oxygen generation and compression system so you could make oxygen on site, but you’ve wondered how much you would end up paying in electricity? Many people are curious to know if their electrical bill will skyrocket after making the switch to High Volume Oxygen. When the HVO System is properly specified, it will cycle on and off. For most glass studios, the system may run for half of the workday, or it may run for a couple of hours. The size of the system, the components being run and the amount of oxygen being used are all considerations when figuring out how much you’ll be paying in electrical costs. This three part series will examine a large, medium and small studio setup.

Calculating Wattage for Your Oxygen System

To figure out your electrical costs for your oxygen system, you’ll need to know the watts being used over a period of time and your cost per kilowatt hour. To figure out watts, you can take the amps x voltage.

The High Volume Oxygen System uses about 4 amps at 120 volts, which using the above calculations makes 480 watts.

The technical data sheet from the M10s lets us know that their average power consumption is 600 watts.

How often is the system generating oxygen?

In order to figure out our costs, we need to know when the system is charging and using electricity. Much of the time, the system will be providing oxygen, but not recharging.

View of Seeing Eye(TM) Graph during a murrine build and pull in the Lincoln Hot Glass studio.

At the Lincoln Hot Glass studio, our local High Volume Oxygen studio, we’ve got the Seeing Eye(TM) technology from our Pro Series hooked up to the High Volume Oxygen system, which allows us to see various information about the system while it’s running, including: Oxygen Purity, Liters per Minute being used, Tank Pressure and most importantly for our calculations, when the system is on and charging, and when it is at rest.

The system was on and charging for a total of 215 minutes over the course of the 11 hour period in the studio from 3 pm to 2 am. Hours in Use: 3.58

Large Studio Oxygen Compression System

The Lincoln Hot Glass studio system expands and contracts occasionally, as the High Volume Oxygen shop is right next door. Sometimes we borrow components for our testing stations or for off-site demos. The setup during the above murrine build included a MAX 60 gallon Main and MAX 60 gallon Drone with eight 10 lpm oxygen concentrators. That’s two components using 480 watts and 8 components using 600 watts. Total wattage : 960 (HVO Main and Drone) + 4,800 (8 oxygen concentrators) = 5,760 watts

Now that we know how many watts we’re using and how many hours the system was running for, we can figure our kilowatt-hours (kWh). Our wattage (5,760) multiplied by the hours in use (3.58), divided by 1000. kWh: 20.6208

The last number we need to know is our cost per kWh, which changes depending on where you live or work (as well as whether you are classified as residential, commercial or industrial) 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 highest cost that you could expect for this larger system.)

So, in this situation, the electrical costs of running the system for the duration of the murrine pull (11 hours) was $1.84. (The amount of oxygen generated was approximately two and a quarter ktanks.) If you worked this way for 3 days a week, 48 weeks out of the year, your annual electrical costs would be $265.

In this situation, the oxygen system is a large one meant for a teaching or rental studio, so there are more components than there would be in a system specified for a one person studio.

High Volume Oxygen Main and Drone system at Lincoln Hot Glass

Read on to see a medium studio setup…

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