Electricity costs for running your POS System


Electricity prices are going up, here is a sample of what is being sent out now.

This works out to between a 5% and 40% increase. Is solar going to help? I doubt it, most shops are rented so it is not an option and besides there is now a growing solar that the growth rates in the daytime are less of a problem than the hours when the solar dies. Solar problem is that batteries to store power are not cheap. 

For now, for most shops, their computers' energy use for the POS System is a significant portion of their electricity use but calculating electricity computer uses is a difficult undertaking since it relies on the sort of equipment you have and what you are running. A lot of programs use a lot of power. As a punt say $100+ a year per computer run for 12 hours a day. 

Having said that, I can tell you some points to consider: 

- In computer systems, specific components eat more electricity than others. Some like the video you have no control over. Typically, your standard desktop computer will use between 100 to 400 watts however if you have overclocked your computer, it will use more electricity.

- A desktop computer uses more power than a laptop because laptops are optimized for battery life.  So you will save electricity by using your laptop.

- The energy use of some of the peripherals like keyboards and mice is low usually below 0.5W, on the other hand, an average laser printer tends to consume anywhere between 300 to 550 watts of power, which is often more than the computer. 

- Typically desktop monitors consume between 20 to 100 watts of power

- You can look at the equipment label that shows its power consumption but this is generally a theoretical maximum and not a typical figure. So it is only a rough guide. 

The equipment we have been actively selling recently is with energy star ratings so they use about half the electrical energy of the older type of computers. There is a saving there for our clients.

How To Cut Back Your Computer Energy Consumption

- Turn off computers when not in use. However, it is unwise to do this too often. If you intend not to use the computer in the next hour, yep turn it off. 

- Selecting the hibernate option is not recommended as it turns off something in processing; turning it off works better in a shop. 

- Set your monitor automatically to turn off after 20 minutes of inactivity.

- Laser printers not in use should be turned off.

- If you want to know exactly, you can get a power meter in the hardware shop for about $25. You plug it into the power plug and it records the power consumption of the object. Most people that have one, measure everything in the shop and at home. It will almost certainly pay its cost.  


Generally, while some trial and error may occur, it's better to calculate the requirements beforehand to avoid the hassle of returning and exchanging equipment. We calculate it out with the following steps, and then if it turns out that it's not big enough, we swap the unit for a bigger one.

To calculate the required UPS power capacity for a POS (Point of Sale) bank yourself, follow these steps:

List all the POS equipment and devices that need to be powered by the UPS, such as cash registers, card readers, receipt printers, computers, monitors, etc.
Find each device's power rating (in watts or VA). This information is usually printed on the device itself, but you can also look up the manufacturer's specifications online.
Add up the power ratings of all the devices to get the total power requirement.

As an example, let's say the POS bank consists of:

Two computers acting as cash registers @ 300W each
Two barcode scanners @ 0.5W each
A receipt printer @ 80W
Two monitors @ 75W each

Total power requirement = (2 x 300W) + (2 x 0.5W) + 80W + (2 x 75W) = 831W

Apply a safety factor or buffer, typically 20-30%, to account for future expansion, power inefficiencies, and peak power demands. For the example above, with a 25% buffer:

Total power requirement with buffer = 831W x 1.25 =  ~ 1040W

Since most UPS ratings are given in VA, you need to convert watts to VA using the formula: VA = Watts / Power Factor (typically 0.6 - 0.8 for POS equipment; we assume the middle, so 0.7)
For the example above, the required UPS VA rating would be:

VA rating = 1040W / 0.7 =  ~ 1500VA

Therefore, you would need a minimum UPS with a rated output capacity of at least 1500VA to support this POS bank load with some headroom properly.

Note: About a third of the time, we need to swap the UPS for a bigger one, so do not count on this completely.


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