Jump to content


Photo
* * * * * 1 votes

Firing Costs In An Electric Kiln

Kilns Firing Costs Electric Kilns Skutt Electricity

  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 MikeSievers

MikeSievers

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 7 posts

Posted 03 February 2014 - 05:15 PM

Ever wonder how much it costs to fire your electric kiln? It is probably less expensive than you think. Check out the New Potter's Page on the Skutt website for a formula and "fudge factor" description. http://skutt.com/potter/faqs/

 



#2 Norm Stuart

Norm Stuart

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 639 posts

Posted 03 February 2014 - 09:40 PM

Slow-firing below 1,100 F (593 C) is generally not too costly.

 

Once your temperature is above that range, you start losing a lot of heat to the environment through 2.5 inch or 3 inch soft brick.  This becomes an even bigger problem above 2,000F (1,093 C). 

 

So once your temperature is hotter than 1,100 F (593 C) faster ramps speeds are less expensive firing.

 

We have a kiln with 10 kilowatts per cubic foot, which can ramp to 2,232 F (1,222 C) at 950 F per hour.   If your kiln has a lower wattage per square foot, there's a much lower absolute limit to how fast it can actually ramp at higher temperatures, even if you tell it to go faster. 



#3 ayjay

ayjay

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 378 posts
  • LocationHampshire, UK.

Posted 04 February 2014 - 07:55 AM

My controller tells me exactly how many KWh I've burned up in each firing. (insert smug smiley here)



#4 Mart

Mart

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 283 posts

Posted 04 February 2014 - 03:04 PM

We fire our small kiln to 1249C when glaze firing and it's not that expensive at all. We also have a meter for the kiln so we know exactly what it costs.

 

BTW, with our small kiln, the difference between fast or slower firing (lets say 2 h difference) about the same kWh of electricity is used. For some reason, I am absolutely convinced that fast firing will ware out the elements faster.



#5 neilestrick

neilestrick

    Neil Estrick

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4,043 posts
  • LocationGrayslake, IL

Posted 04 February 2014 - 03:58 PM

We fire our small kiln to 1249C when glaze firing and it's not that expensive at all. We also have a meter for the kiln so we know exactly what it costs.

 

BTW, with our small kiln, the difference between fast or slower firing (lets say 2 h difference) about the same kWh of electricity is used. For some reason, I am absolutely convinced that fast firing will ware out the elements faster.

 

Two things cause wear on elements- high temperature and cycling. I did an informal test a few years ago when I was firing cone 8. Instead of firing all the way to cone 8, I started firing to cone 6 and holding for 40 minutes to put down cone 8. My elements were cycling a lot more in order to hold temp, but they were never firing as hot. The result was that my elements lasted about 25% longer, possibly more (as I said it was an informal test). So higher temps seemed to negatively affect element life more than switching.

 

When firing fast, the elements spend more time 'on' than when firing slow, switching less. Because they run slightly hotter than the interior temperature of the kiln, they are, in essence, spending more time at a higher temperature than if you were firing slow. That could mean decreased element life. But even in a slow firing the elements spend a great deal of time 'on' when the kiln gets to the top half of a firing. If you had data logging capabilities you could test how often the elements cycle at the top half of the firing and compare slow to fast.


Neil Estrick
Kiln Repair Tech
L&L Kilns Distributor
Owner, Neil Estrick Gallery, LLC
www.neilestrickgallery.com

neil@neilestrickgallery.com


#6 two-fires

two-fires

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts

Posted 07 February 2014 - 04:25 PM

Great info here -- thanks ya'll.



#7 High Bridge Pottery

High Bridge Pottery

    Joel Edmondson

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,613 posts
  • LocationNewcastle Upon Tyne. England

Posted 07 February 2014 - 04:36 PM

Electricity is included in my studio rent  :wub:

 

My controller tells me exactly how many KWh I've burned up in each firing. (insert smug smiley here)


Community Challenge #5   :o  http://community.cer...ty-challenge-5/

Submit your community challenge ideas - http://community.cer...hallenge-ideas/



YouTube-logo-full_color.png?resize=50%2C fb_logo.png instahack.png?1



#8 Chilly

Chilly

    those who know, teach

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 691 posts
  • LocationLangdon Hills, Essex, UK

Posted 08 February 2014 - 03:35 AM

 

Electricity is included in my studio rent  :wub:

 

That's good, don't let on how much you use !


----------------------------------------------------------

Ann

http://www.readypeda...uk/pottery.html


#9 ashley

ashley

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts

Posted 08 November 2015 - 08:35 PM

I have a super small 120v, 20 amp kiln and am looking to get the exact electricity reading.  I have been looking at metors and stuff like that but the ones that are for a 120v only do 15 amp.  This does not make since to me.  Does any one know of a good metor that will tell me the total kw over a set amount of time?



#10 Mark C.

Mark C.

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,079 posts
  • LocationNear Arcata Ca-redwood rain forest

Posted 08 November 2015 - 08:56 PM

The one on the side of the house will work for this.

Mark


Mark Cortright
www.liscomhillpottery.com

#11 Babs

Babs

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,848 posts

Posted 09 November 2015 - 04:47 AM

 

Electricity is included in my studio rent  :wub:

 

My controller tells me exactly how many KWh I've burned up in each firing. (insert smug smiley here)

 

Now you need to duct he hot air around kiln to heat your house....



#12 Amy Eberhardt

Amy Eberhardt

    Just muddling my way through

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 184 posts
  • Location30 miles west of Spokane, Washington

Posted 09 November 2015 - 09:13 AM

Ashley, try calling your electric company. Tell them that you're trying to get an idea of what it will cost per firing. The front desk should be able to connect you to their technical guy and he can do a run down on cost for you. I did that with our local power company (I love Inland Power and Light! :wub: ) and they were VERY helpful.

 

Granted, we live in an area with abundant, renewable hydroelectric power generation and our rates are much lower than the national average. But such a low amperage kiln shouldn't cost much to run.

 

You could also take a reading of your meter just before you start your kiln. Then, take a reading after she shuts off. That will give you just a rough ballpark figure on which to base your cost estimates. Additionally, you could take a reading for a 24 hour usage rate the day before your firing. This will give you an average of your normal daily consumption of electricity. Compare that to the reading you get on the days that you fire and you'll have an even more accurate picture of how much electricity it takes to run your kiln. ...... Just a little food for thought.............. ;)



#13 jolieo

jolieo

    Beginner

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 193 posts
  • LocationSaint Augustine Florida

Posted 09 November 2015 - 11:48 AM

Hi Ashley, your electric company might have an hourly break down of power usage. FPL does , probably because the want to control shut off of some appliances. It is in w my account info.



#14 OldUberGoober

OldUberGoober

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 22 posts
  • LocationMissouri City, Texas

Posted 09 November 2015 - 12:48 PM

A smart meter will give you a very good idea.  I get a weekly email from the power company that includes a graph of that week's usage with about 1 hour resolution.  When I fire (computer controlled) you see a ramp up to the max temp, and the peak is several times my normal high hour for the week, even for bisque (cone 06).  For glaze firings you can watch it hit peak, then drop while my kiln gyrates for the crystalline schedule.  Great fun.  All that being said, it looks like it costs on the order of $10-15 to do a cone 6 crystalline firing.  Your mileage will vary.

Attached Files







0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users