[hackerspaces] Good morning from Alabama & some finance questions

hadez hadez.hso at nrrd.de
Mon Oct 7 01:36:49 CEST 2013

This is tricky and for us (shackspace) this was (and is) an issue, too.
We tackled this with constant and real-time monitoring so we know
right away if there's something going wrong (broken device like a
runaway vending machine or fridge, more than the usual number of
devices running for days and days, etc).

We took some steps to keep power consumption in check like upgrading
some of the often used lights to LED (check at what time you hit ROI
first before replacing blindly) and only having around 1000 to 1500 W
of designated always-on hardware in our data center. Plus a fridge and
vending machine but the latter pays for itself multiple times over.

We're still eating through a whopping 30 MWh per year and it's
probably safe to say that this number will be rising.
It's simply one of the things that happen when you're open ~6+ hours
on weekdays and 24/3 during the weekend and having ~ 10 to 20 folks
around on average with laptops, soldering irons, industrial robots,
machines and especially a kitchen (full-on cooking action eats 10 kW

Plan conservatively. Add a well measured safety margin. Monitor
constantly. Have an exit strategy in your drawer.
A 5 year plan is tricky. When we started we had a 3 month sliding
window for rent and a "we have to have N members within 6 months or
we'll shut the project down" deadline. We made it to 3.5 years and
counting. Still going strong :)

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