With all the movement towards energy star appliances, CFL lighting and
microwave infra red cooking what do you folks see in the future for power
needs for our homes? 200amp--100amp or less.
Might be a dumb thought but I am interested in how others feel.
Around here 4,000sf was the minimum size new "house" that many builders
would build. From friends in real estate that size or larger is the
minimum for proper bragging rights and they couldn't sell houses that
were smaller. We comfortably raised a family in a third of that space.
Depends on the size of the home and what electrical devices will be
used. Electric ranges, electric heating, electric water heating, and
Air conditioning are the biggest users. If you dont have much of
this, your basic lighting and appliances dont consume that much power.
The small uses have probably leveled off in recent years. Houses have
more lights, and more electric gadgets, but most of these things
consume less power. CF lights draw less, new tvs compared to the old
tube sets use much less, etc.... But when it comes to the big
consumers, like ranges and heating, etc. they still suck the power in
large amounts. 100A should handle the needs of most smallish average
homes without all the big consumers, but there are too many variables
to determine YOUR needs. You need to sit down and determine what you
will be running, and add up the power needs.
If people were logical I'd expect them to stabilize around 200A for a
"medium" house. Bigger houses would of course require more.
We have a 1250 sq ft house and a 100A panel. Currently it's fine, but
if I ever wanted to add a 5HP cyclone and a big compressor I'd have to
upgrade the main panel. The actual service is 200A, so it would be
fairly straightforward to swap out the panel itself.
I dont think that number will be decreasing for at least the next 30
years or so. It also depends on if natural gas is available locally
too. The "base metabolism" of homes is greater now, that is the
amount of current the house still eats up even though you think
everything is "turned off", wall warts draw constantly, embedded
computers inside smart switches draw constantly too, security cameras,
TV's in standby, etc. You only need the big amps for intermittent
items like AC, tools, etc. When really we're getting nicked and dimed
on the base usage.
Rather than reducing mains panel size, I would rather see the future
bring a parallel set of low-amp AC wiring with a new outlet standard
being powered by a local solar panel or other alternative source.
Then you could use those special outlets for all those wall warts and
things that draw low current constantly. A future TV set could
conceiveable have 2 power cords, one you plug into your current grid
outlet (for run time) and another you plug into your local outlet (for
quiescent power draw needs). Cell phone chargers, etc. could also go
For sure, part of that is because people were told it is good to buy
cheap stuff so manufacturers use the absolute cheapest power
supplies/components possible. Efficient power supply designs are more
With Ng heat and HW, If you want to Burn money put in what ever you as
a sucker are sold. With energy savings in mind and as the issue, 100a
is more than enough for all but the largest house and family to Zone
7. Put in more into design and insulation first.
On Tue, 06 Nov 2007 15:41:17 -0800, " email@example.com"
Is this the code these days, or is this just "more is better
thinking". I run a whole farm on a 200A service. I'm wired for 400A
but I only use one of the two 200A cartridge fuses on the pole box.
My house only has a 60A breaker, and one barn has a 100A, the garage
has a 100A and the other barn is only 30A fed from the garage, which
is right next door. I have never tripped a breaker yet, except when a
motor burned out. I'd hate to pay the bill for someone that actually
uses all 200A, and anyone needing 400A needs an extra job just to pay
the electric bill. Actual consumption is not always in accordance
with the "bigger is better thinking", which seems to be the rule these
days in most everything.
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