Lorenzo Becchi

Cluster energy consumption

Created: July 28, 2023
Last update: August 6, 2023

Promoting the use of computers with low energy consumption is a step towards creating a more sustainable and environmentally friendly approach to computing, benefiting both individuals and society as a whole.

The nominal consumption of the OrangePi 5 is:

The cluster has 5 units bringing the ideal values to:

I wanted to measure it, just to be sure.


The idle value I’ve measured is 11.3 Watts

Making it an average of 2.6 Watts per unit.

Full load

I made a script that uses the simple “stress” command to activate all the 40 Cores at the same time.

stress --cpu $SLURM_CPUS_ON_NODE --timeout 2m

The value that comes under stress is higher than expected: 45.7 Watts

The value per unit is: 9.14 Watts

This is the CPU activity report from Grafana/Prometheus:

Finally ‘htop’ confirms that all CPU are in use during the test:

Year cost

The year consumption of keeping the HPC in idle for the whole year is calculated by multiplying the minimum consumption by the number of hours per year.

11.3 x 8760 = 98988 Watts/year

The average price of electricity for 2023 in my country is “0.11835” euro/kWh.

98988 /1000 x 0.11835 = 11.71 Euros/year

if we want to calculate the maximum consumption:

45.7 x 8760 / 1000 x 0.11835 = 47.37 Euros/year

In conclusion we can say that the maintenance cost of this unit will vary between 11.71 and 47.37 Euros per year.