How to fry an egg with the sun…

Add 13.6 kW of solar panels on the roof!

16 off 425 Watt panels this side
And another 16 this side, in two strings due to shading from next door

I’ll detail more about the system and some numbers in the future, but I saw it as a simple choice,

Pay energy bills at XYZ per month

Or, pay an identical repayment on a small loan at XYZ per month.

Really, the math is that basic.

We don’t have a battery, so will have some energy bills, but switching everything to Time Of Use (TOU) will mean we can shave at least 75% off our energy use by simply not using tumble dryer at midnight, or not heating water automatically after sunset!

We chose to pay a $3k deposit to make the math work out such that our predicted energy bills matches the loan repayments…

Anyways, enough waffle, stuff should arrive early next month, then I can really start playing and getting back to Amiga / speccy thingies

Power Consumption and Smart Plugs


Picked myself up a cheap Wifi Smart Plug

I figured that if Octoprint can monitor the printer remotely…..if I see on video anything spontaneously combusting, I can remotely cut the power too!

I’ll figure out some scripting at some point to allow temperature sensors / smoke sensors to trigger the plug, but for now, it’s just a bit of fun…

For those wanting to know more about these types of plugs, this one on Amazon just happens to be an ESP8266EX with a relay………just like those cheapy sonoff thingies (of which I have two!)

And someone’s already torn one down and documented it – for which I’m grateful as there’s another rabbit hole I don’t have to follow (for now)

Some useless information about power consumption measured with this plug


  • 9.5 to 16.6 Watts when Idle – probably a bit more / less when fans kick in?, lets call it 10 Watts
  • 58 Watts when heating the Extruder
  • 247 Watts when heating the Bed(Blimey!)
  • 291 Watts PEAK and settles at 281 whilst pre heating for PLA
  • 13.9 watts when driving X left and right
  • 17.8  Watts when driving just Y / Bed
  • 13.4 Watts when driving Z up and down – which is a suprise really as I’d have thought it would be double X due to two motors
  • 261.4 Watts when Printing – (205 degrees PLA and 60 Bed)
  • alternates from 261.4 to 43 watts whilst printing

So, Overall, it’s not too power hungry…Lets call it 300 watts peak.

Electricity is about 35p per KWh here…..

if you have a 10 hour print, using 300 watts (peak), that’ll cost you about 33p in electricity! in practice, it’ll actually be a bit less as the heating elements aren’t on all the time, they cycle on/off to maintain the temperature!

Summary, run the printer as much as you want!, it’s less than 4P an hour here in the UK!