Watts Used by Industrial Machines

by Sean Grimsby; Updated September 26, 2017
Some industrial machines use hundreds of thousands of watts per hour.

The watt is an international unit of measurement of electrical power. A kilowatt is equal to 1,000 watts. The energy use of industrial machinery is commonly measured in kilowatts or kilowatts per hour. Kilowatts per hour, or KW/h, refers to the amount of kilowatts used to keep a machine running for one hour. This information will usually be listed on the machine’s nameplate as KW or KW/h.

500-Ton Centrifugal Liquid Chiller

Centrifugal liquid chillers are industrial HVAC units used to cool large commercial spaces. Conventional rule of thumb says that a nominal ton of air conditioning provides enough cooling for approximately 500 to 600 square feet of building space. Therefore a 500-ton centrifugal chiller would be used to cool a 250,000 to 300,000 square foot building. This machine is rated by the manufacturer at .48 KW or 480 watts per ton of cooling. This means that this chiller running at full capacity should use approximately 240 KW or 240,000 watts per hour.

Continuous Fusing Heat Press Machine

This machine is used for industrial heat transfer. It operates continuously with constant heat and a belt speed of 8.7 meters per minute and is able to fuse materials with a width of up to 600 millimeters. This machine has a heater (heaters are notorious power gluttons) that is rated at 4.2 KW or 4,200 watts. It also has a motor rated at .60 KW or 600 watts. Therefore, this machine under normal conditions will consume approximately 4,800 watts per hour or 4.8 KW/h. You need to make sure you’re considering the power usage of all the components of a machine when trying to find its watts usage.

Plastic Injection Molding Machine

This large machine is capable of injection molding both commodity plastics and engineering plastics, which are stronger and more thermal resistant. This machine has five heating zones with a combined rating of 66 KW and a powerful pump drive rated at 111 KW. Taken together, the total KW power rating for this industrial machine is 177 KW or 177,000 watts per hour.

400-kg Capacity Industrial Washing Machine

This machine is the type typically used in textile factories to pre-wash fabrics. It is driven by a powerful motor, rated at 11 KW or 11,000 watts per hour. Notice that there is no electrical heating element in this industrial washer. If electrical heating of any sort were incorporated into this machine, the watts usage would be substantially higher.

Important to Remember

The ratings of electrical power usage for these industrial machines are only an average baseline. There are many factors that affect the actual watts usage of machines. These factors include, but are not limited to, the percentage of capacity at which the machine is running and how often the machine is stopped and started back up in a given period.

About the Author

Sean Grimsby was first published in 1974, in "Humpty Dumpty Magazine." In recent years he has worked as a copywriter and ghost writer. Grimbsy is rigorously self-educated with specialization in: cultural anthropology, comparative religion, philosophy, musicology, and Chinese internal arts, in which he's a certified instructor and 25-year practitioner.

Photo Credits

  • An industrial background. Machine, mechanism. image by Andrey Kiselev from Fotolia.com