This is probably least talked about topic in this industry - actual power consumption of laser cutters. Everyone talks settings, but not powering requirements, wiring, fuses, etc.
Yesterday i had an anomaly/malfunction during cutting, loud crack and thrown 16A breaker in the house (not the whole house, just workshop circuit). Switched everything off, reset breakers, prayed a bit to angry pixies for machinery to be ok and restarted cutting without problems. But paranoia lingers still. What cracked/why cracked.
So it made me wonder if i’m overloading something. I just moved my machine from industrial setting to home setting, wiring/fusing looks on par for the 16A at current location.
Machine in question is a voiern produced 900x600 yellow/gray round front with RDC6442S and CDWG T7 tube (80/100W), HV psu MYJG100W. Machine run on 240V (UK). As per usual no power ratings on machine, no plates stating power use/requirements. Water bucket with submersible pump, air pump. Extractor is a small bouncy castle blower.
So, got a hold of a plug-in meter and started checking power draw of things attached to laser and laser itself. Results are as follows (240V):
- Water pump - 28W
- Air pump - 18W
- Extraction - 284W
- Laser idle (HW psu off) - 25W
- Laser idle (HW psu on, not firing) - 75W
- Laser firing @22mA - 581W
All added totals 911W, just under 1kW out of the wall, way under 16A.
Now, about the tripping of the 16A breaker. I heard a crack and all went dark. After resetting everything i could continue cutting, but very paranoid now. There was no smell of angry pixies/magic smoke escaping. This morning took off panels to look for any signs of arcing - couldnt find any marks around hot end of tube or around psu. I put additional insulation on HW cable running from psu to tube end in form of split silicone tube. Checked all the plug fuses - none blew. Machine plug fuse is 5A.
At this point no idea what arced or why breakers tripped. UK mains properly wired with third prong for earthing. Next week electrician somes to check that just in case, but i thought ask here of your thoughts.