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Recommendations for power for school netbook cart

Posted on 2010-08-23
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Last Modified: 2013-12-11
I'm looking for recommendations for providing power to a cart of netbooks while charging overnight.  There will be thirty (30) netbooks on this cart where each adapter is rated for 1 A.  They will all be plugged into power strips and surge protectors to be charged overnight.  I was thinking I needed to split them into two groups of 15 and plug each group into their own circuit for charging to keep the planned maximum load to 15 amps for each group.  Someone at the school is thinking they can you plug all 30 into one standard 15 amp outlet to charge.  Can anyone with related knowledge or experience let me know your thoughts.

Thanks for your input.
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Question by:kbirecki
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Lee W, MVP earned 336 total points
ID: 33506888
Frankly, I would use your plan.

But, that said, just because they are rated at 1 amp doesn't mean they will draw 1 amp.  You can test using a device like a Kill-a-watt meter - they are cheap and should tell you how much power is actually being drawn.
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by:dreamcomputer2000
dreamcomputer2000 earned 332 total points
ID: 33506889
I would split them into at least two groups. Even two groups would be loading the circuits to maximum. Considering different tolerances in the power supplies and the circuit breakers feeding them you may trip breakers. Also after being tripped a few times breakers tend to trip at a lower amperage.
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by:RRRRyan
RRRRyan earned 332 total points
ID: 33506938
They won't draw their maximum amps while just charging. Not even close, probably not even half. Your colleague is probably right.
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by:kbirecki
ID: 33507224
Thank you all for your comments.  I agree they won't draw the full amp rating on the adapter label, but even if they use something in the half amp area, all 30 are going to be near a full 15 amp circuit.  And my guess is that existing circuits will be shared with other outlets in the room.  But they ought to be able to find two sockets on two different circuits and in that case, I think it's going to balance the load not only between two groups for the netbooks being charged, it will also balance with other power-drawing devices on those circuits.  

All of your answers were helpful and I split the points as evenly as possible.  (I had to give someone the extra point, and leew really hit the nail on the head in his opening sentence.:))

Seriously, thanks for the feedback!
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