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Are you supposed to place a Kill A Watt meter between the PSU and UPS like so:

PSU--Kill A Watt--UPS--Wall Outlet?

or are you supposed to place a Kill A Watt meter after the UPS like so:

PSU--UPS--Kill a Watt--Wall Outlet?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

It depends on what you want to measure with the meter...

  • If measuring the total power consumed, then place it between the wall and the UPS (which will also cover everything plugged into the UPS).

  • If measuring only the power consumed by your computer, then place it between the UPS and your computer (the device you're measuring).

A note about measuring power consumption (or anything, for that matter) -- the longer duration you can measure for (assuming your meter generates an overall average since it was connected), the more accurate your results can be.

You may also find it interesting to measure separately after the UPS has been un-plugged for a while (to simulate a power outage) as well to learn how much power is consumed by the UPS charging the battery.

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Thanks Randolf. I really like your last point about observing how much power the UPS consumes when it's being charged. – user784637 Nov 7 '11 at 5:02
You're welcome! I'm so pleased to know that. I suggest you also test a regular lamp that has one light bulb with your meter so you can have a practical reference point that most people will understand (then you can say things like "my computer uses the equivilant of X number of 60 Watt lights"). Have fun with your meter! – Randolf Richardson Nov 7 '11 at 5:06

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