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As always, sorry if this has already been covered....

Does anyone know the approximate costs for the electricity consumed by an organ....the one I am thinking of is a small two manual in my local church - around 14 stops, detatched EP action console. It is used for perhaps 3 hours per week. Tuning and maintanance costs are easy to add up, but this is not so easy!

Any help or comments much appreciated

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At most, something like 15p an hour. Quite probably half that. If you want to know more precisely, you'll need 2 pieces of information.

 

1. The price your church is paying per unit (kWh) of electricity.

2. The electrical power of the blower in kW.

 

Electricity is somewhere around 10p a unit. If so, then a 1kW (1000W) blower would cost 10p per hour to run.

 

The exact power your blower uses is probably probably printed (or stamped) onto a metal plate fixed to the far side of the blower and long since hidden by a thick layer of dust. If you find it, it might only give a figure in Amps, in which case the conversion figure is 250W for each Amp.

 

If it says 3 phase supply...PM me...

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In fact, your blower for a 14 stop organ is more likely to be less than 500 watts, so around 5 pence an hour would be closer to correct. It really isn't significant. In winter the cost of lighting (and certainly any heating) is likely to be much more than the electricity for the blower.

 

John Pike Mander

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The exact power your blower uses is probably probably printed (or stamped) onto a metal plate fixed to the far side of the blower and long since hidden by a thick layer of dust. If you find it, it might only give a figure in Amps, in which case the conversion figure is 250W for each Amp.

 

If it says 3 phase supply...PM me...

 

Ah! Good - been hoping to come across someone who knows what they're talking about. How do horsepower fit into this conundrum?

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At most, something like 15p an hour. Quite probably half that. If you want to know more precisely, you'll need 2 pieces of information.

 

1. The price your church is paying per unit (kWh) of electricity.

2. The electrical power of the blower in kW.

 

Electricity is somewhere around 10p a unit. If so, then a 1kW (1000W) blower would cost 10p per hour to run.

 

The exact power your blower uses is probably probably printed (or stamped) onto a metal plate fixed to the far side of the blower and long since hidden by a thick layer of dust. If you find it, it might only give a figure in Amps, in which case the conversion figure is 250W for each Amp.

 

If it says 3 phase supply...PM me...

 

Hi

 

Or if the blower motor is rated in horsepower, then, IIRC, 1hp = 746w (750 is close enough) - but of course, the blower won't be consuming full power all the time!

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

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Guest Barry Williams
Hi

 

Or if the blower motor is rated in horsepower, then, IIRC, 1hp = 746w (750 is close enough) - but of course, the blower won't be consuming full power all the time!

 

Every Blessing

 

Tony

 

 

In 1978 one church wished to charge £5 per hour for the use of a very ordinary and quite small organ for practise. One wonders how this figure was computed. Even taking into account depreciation and maintenance this must have been difficult to justify against the figures now quoted above.

 

Barry Williams

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In fact, your blower for a 14 stop organ is more likely to be less than 500 watts, so around 5 pence an hour would be closer to correct. It really isn't significant. In winter the cost of lighting (and certainly any heating) is likely to be much more than the electricity for the blower.

 

John Pike Mander

 

 

=================================

 

 

You mean, that my entire efforts for the year amount to no more than £15 and a few grams of CO2?

 

That's just scuppered my efforts to produce the world's first-ever wind-driven wind-blower.

 

Huh!

 

MM

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oh goody you've hit on one of my pet hates...in my case it was 1988 and £1 an hour, and I still thought that extortionate. You'd have to play a lot before you started adding to the wear and tear on the instrument*, so the practice fees are pure profit to the Church, and fall upon those who can least afford them. If you're a normal suburban teenager the practical barriers (transport, time, keys, delights of wading through p****d up locals on your way out in the dark) to doing the sort of amounts of practice that most musicians would take for granted are bad enough, without being charged for the privilege.

 

 

 

*correct me if I'm wrong, but I've heard it said several times that organs last longer and in better condition if played more than for a few hymns every Sunday

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Guest Lee Blick
In 1978 one church wished to charge £5 per hour for the use of a very ordinary and quite small organ for practise. One wonders how this figure was computed.

 

£1.50 Vicar's Holiday Fund

£1.50 Nude Organist's Bi-Monthly

£2.00 Vergers Sunday Sermon Slot pint

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=================================

You mean, that my entire efforts for the year amount to no more than £15 and a few grams of CO2?

 

That's just scuppered my efforts to produce the world's first-ever wind-driven wind-blower.

 

Huh!

 

MM

What a shame MM, I thought, with the earlier references to horsepower, that you were going to propose a horse powered blower! Mind you, it would be worth a visit to the betting shop if you could find one to keep running right through the Reubke.

 

JC

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In 1978 one church wished to charge £5 per hour for the use of a very ordinary and quite small organ for practise. One wonders how this figure was computed. Even taking into account depreciation and maintenance this must have been difficult to justify against the figures now quoted above.

 

Barry Williams

 

My local church attempted to charge me a fiver an hour to play a particularly wretched two-manual instrument in an unheated church. They seem to be about to chuck it in the skip and go electronic: this can only be an improvement.

 

Halifax PC on the other hand charges only £3 an hour for practice on the four-manual Harrison, which is kept in pretty reasonable condition, and the church is heated, too - overheated according to the organbuilder. Even this is reduced if you join the Friends of Music, and there's a further reductions for anyone prepared to actually attend services on a regular basis!

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Guest Barry Williams

Many years ago I asked permission to practise on a particular organ as it was similar to the instrument used for an examination. At the end of the three months I called on the vicar, The Reverend Frederick Hazell and returned the keys with a tally on a piece of paper of the hours I had used the organ. I asked how much I owed for the use of the organ. He took the keys and returned the paper stating that it was the church's contribution to my musical education.

 

Many years later, when he was The Venerable Hazell, he asked me to give the opening recital on a transplanted instrument. At the post-recital party he approached me with the church's cheque book, enquiring about my fee. It was a delight to return the piece of paper to him and say that there was no fee for the recital. As a Vicar he always treated his organists as colleagues and encouraged students to play the organ. Needless to say he was never short of an organist.

 

Regettably, this is not always the approach of churches to organists.

 

Barry Williams

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My local church attempted to charge me a fiver an hour to play a particularly wretched two-manual instrument in an unheated church. They seem to be about to chuck it in the skip and go electronic: this can only be an improvement.

 

Halifax PC on the other hand charges only £3 an hour for practice on the four-manual Harrison, which is kept in pretty reasonable condition, and the church is heated, too - overheated according to the organbuilder. Even this is reduced if you join the Friends of Music, and there's a further reductions for anyone prepared to actually attend services on a regular basis!

 

 

========================

 

Indeed Nick, I know the one from bitter memory, when I played for my cousin's wedding.

 

I always refer to it as MacDonald's organ, because the noises it makes are more normally associated with the farmyard.

 

How anyone kept a straight face with the Oboe fanfare at the start of the Wedding March, I shall never know.

 

Quacket-Quack....Quackety Quack etc

 

This was followed by a strange collection of noises rather than music, which sounded for all the world like a cacophony of Bulls, Sheep, Ducks and hissing Geese engaged in mortal combat.

 

I wouldn't care so much, but the vicar at the time claimed to be an organist!

 

You'd think he might have done something about it, if only to buy and old harmonium or something, which would have been a vast improvement musically.

 

I think they would have to pay me £15 an hour just to carry the petrol can and matches.

 

The old organ at Cullingworth PC wasn't much better, and had zillions of octave and sub-octave couplers. For reasons which totally escape me, when most of the couplers were drawn, the whole organ (not just bits of it) would start to vibrate violently, like there was a big diesel engine inside, working overtime. Just above the organist were a number of very substantial, largely lead diapason basses, which would rattle furiously. I always considered a hard-hat a vital piece of protection, but the organ never actually killed or maimed anyone so far as I am aware, but there were more comfortable benches on the corporation buses.

 

The only thing that ever happened, was when the young organist at the time (something of a virtuoso, age 16) drew out all the couplers and most of the stops for "We plough the fields and scatter," oblivious to the fact that some chump had decorated the organ-case with flowers, fruit and various harvest loaves, all hanging on strings. Well, the organ began to vibrate, as it did, and when our spotty-faced virtuoso struck up with the hymn, the strings let go. Fortunately, the pumpkin missed his head and smashed into pieces on the choir-stalls; spraying the choir with sticky juice, pips and chunks of mulch. The bananas and loaves quickly coalesced into a suitable pudding beneath the organist's feet, and small grapes ran around the chancel. Being something of a virtuoso, our boy at the helm managed to play in spite of the daffodils on the keys, and he even found time to gather a few of them into a bunch with his left hand, whilst continuing to accompany the hymn.

 

I bet you all think I'm making this up, don't you?

 

Believe it or not, IT DID ACTUALLY HAPPEN AS DESCRIBED.

 

 

:P

 

MM

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Guest Lee Blick

When I was an organ student I was told not to keep turning the organ on and off at one church I used to play because it uses up a lot of electricity. Is this true or an organ myth?

 

MM, that sounds something like out of the Vicar of Dibley. I would love to have been filming that.

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When I was an organ student I was told not to keep turning the organ on and off at one church I used to play because it uses up a lot of electricity. Is this true or an organ myth?

 

MM, that sounds something like out of the Vicar of Dibley. I would love to have been filming that.

 

 

When I was an organ student I was told not to keep turning the organ on and off at one church I used to play because it uses up a lot of electricity. Is this true or an organ myth?

 

 

Quite true. Electric motors use more current when starting than when running.

 

H (apologies for pressing wrong button previously)

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When I was an organ student I was told not to keep turning the organ on and off at one church I used to play because it uses up a lot of electricity. Is this true or an organ myth?

 

Largely a myth.

 

It is true that the motor will draw more current until the reservoirs are full, but that's only for, say, 10-20 seconds. In that time it might perhaps use as much juice as leaving it running for a couple of minutes would have done. Unless you are going to turn it back on within a couple of minutes it is definitely going to save electricity to turn it off.

 

People say the same rubbish about heating systems. A huge amount of CO2 is needlessly liberated on the basis of this fallacy, not least by the boilers at Halifax PC.

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Largely a myth.

 

It is true that the motor will draw more current until the reservoirs are full, but that's only for, say, 10-20 seconds. In that time it might perhaps use as much juice as leaving it running for a couple of minutes would have done. Unless you are going to turn it back on within a couple of minutes it is definitely going to save electricity to turn it off.

 

 

It's certainly VERY true of the bigger blowers. They are usually fitted with surge-protected fuses (can't remember what they're actually called, but they allow a huge current to be drawn for a very short period) and take a lot of juice to actually get up to speed, even discounting the amount of wind they have to initially produce to 'fill' the organ.

 

Before we removed a large 3 phase, four stage Discus from a church, a friend and I metered the feed on startup. For a couple of seconds it drew over 100 amps!

 

I also know of one public building where the starting of the blower unfortunately coincided with lots of lighting being used and an arc-lamp striking. The resulting load on the incoming mains caused the seasonal maximum demand meter to reach a new high, and increased the cost of electricity to the building for the whole of the next quarter.

 

Once these big machines are running, especially if they're not drawing much wind, they are extrememly cheap to run - so it's far cheaper to leave them idling between pieces than to switch them off and re-start.

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a large 3 phase, four stage Discus from a church...for a couple of seconds it drew over 100 amps

...ok... a 3 phase motor uses about 70% as much current for a given power rating as does a 1 phase (on which my earlier calculations were based, Theophilus), so 100A 3 phase @ 240V equates to about 36kW, which would cost £3.60 to run for an hour, or 0.2p for the couple of seconds....

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...ok... a 3 phase motor uses about 70% as much current for a given power rating as does a 1 phase (on which my earlier calculations were based, Theophilus), so 100A 3 phase @ 240V equates to about 36kW, which would cost £3.60 to run for an hour, or 0.2p for the couple of seconds....

 

 

========================

 

 

Really? And there was me worrying about the cost of plugging in the fan-heater at the side of the 4-manual I used to practise on.

 

I guess the windmill idea is back in business after all. I'm just completing the viability study of medieval towers and spires.

 

MM

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I've just had another thought. £3.60 per hour is about two gallons of red-diesel!

 

A 40 hp small marine diesel would operate about 6 hours on that much fuel, and if you used that recipe using cooking-oil, I bet you could blow a large organ for about 20pence per hour.

 

Drag in a big 520hp Volvo unit, and you could heat whole church at the same time.....even in summer!

 

:unsure:

 

 

MM

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