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My searching efforts have failed when trying to find this. On average, how much energy does the raspberry pi consume in 24 hours ( minimal usage vs max usage in a day AND usb vs micro usb powered)?

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You are interested in the wattage en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watt If you look around you'll find various figures, eg: kaibader.de/my-new-raspberry-pi claims 3-3.5 W for a model B. – goldilocks Feb 19 '13 at 23:57
up vote 40 down vote accepted

My research began with the original thread on the Raspi forums: http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=6050&p=291334&hilit=watts+power#p291334

To summarize what we've learned there, the total consumption of a Raspberry Pi is probably not more than:

4 W * 24 h = 96 Wh (I guess that's 346 kJ) (note this is an energy value, not a power)

and almost certainly more than 10% of that if you can get the power down to 0.4 W.

The high usage figure is reasonable for a Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, or an original Raspberry Pi model B. The model A+ and Pi Zero consume the least power.

Even at relatively high electricity prices you are looking at < $0.02 per day of running the box.

Note, power consumption has been changing (for the better) with improvements in the software, because it's possible for the OS to power down some blocks of the machine when they are idle or perhaps if explicitly turned off.

Updated following the release of the model B+, A+, Pi 2 Model B, and Pi Zero. According to measurements by Alex Eames [1][2][3][4]

B  with keyboard                              = 1.89 W -> daily 45   Wh
B+ with keyboard                              = 1.21 W -> daily 29   Wh  
B+ with LAN/USB chip off (no i/o except GPIO) = 0.76 W -> daily 18.2 Wh  
B+ shut down                                  = 0.26 W -> daily 6.2  Wh  
A  idle                                       = 0.7  W -> daily 17   Wh 
A+ idle                                       = 0.52 W -> daily 12.5 Wh 
Pi2 B at idle                                 = 1.15 W -> daily 28   Wh
Pi Zero at idle                               = 0.51 W -> daily 12.2 Wh

The Zero, A+ and B+ really offer huge improvements in the power circuitry. Wow!

Note that the Pi 2 Model B is a 4-core machine with each core idling near 0 and maxing near 0.25 W power demand.

Also please realize that although it's very little power, if you are buying a solar panel, battery, charge regulator, etc. just to run the pi, you are spending a lot more on power hardware than you are spending on computing.


[1] http://raspi.tv/2014/how-much-less-power-does-the-raspberry-pi-b-use-than-the-old-model-b

[2] http://raspi.tv/2014/raspberry-pi-a-how-much-power-does-it-need

[3] http://raspi.tv/2015/raspberry-pi2-power-and-performance-measurement

[4] http://raspi.tv/2015/raspberry-pi-zero-power-measurements

[5] For comparison, a reasonable battery bank with 5 V output, similar in size to a lipstick case, contains a little over 11 Wh (3.2 Ah * 3.7V) and a 12 V car battery stores a total energy, fully charged, of about 1000 Wh.

[6] echo 0x0 > /sys/devices/platform/bcm2708_usb/buspower

[7] /opt/vc/bin/tvservice -off

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Great answer. Thank you ! :) – Zero Stack Feb 20 '13 at 6:25
It would be nice to get this answer expanded for RB3b. – Masi Apr 10 at 12:06

I am running a Raspberry Pi2 with a 2TB WD element HDD mounted as root disk (and apm set to 254 - effectively disabling standby) via a Y-connector. Using a USB VA meter (see http://www.ebay.com/itm/371062446562?_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT ) I measure (with both the USB HDD and pi2) 5V and about 0.7 A. Measured separately the disk and Pi2 each uses about 50% of this power...but that measurement may not be accurate because of the common USB 5V source...

In any case this means 3.5W and running 24/7 it gives about 31 kWh of energy per year. The highest rate for electricity is about 15 cents per kWh. So the cost of running my Pi2 server + 2TB hdd is about $5 per year.

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