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Firing Costs In An Electric Kiln

Kilns Firing Costs Electric Kilns Skutt Electricity

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#1 MikeSievers

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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
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Owner, Neil Estrick Gallery, LLC
www.neilestrickgallery.com

neil@neilestrickgallery.com

#6 two-fires

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 04:25 PM

Great info here -- thanks ya'll.



#7 High Bridge Pottery

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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)


                                                                                                                 1384226_215924051918490_1181728069_n.jpg


#8 Chilly

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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 !


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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Kilns, Firing Costs, Electric Kilns, Skutt, Electricity

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