EM 1.05 Understanding Your Machine’s Rating Plate

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We asked electrical engineer, Bruce Whetton to help us get a better understanding of how the rating plate on espresso machine can be interpreted for safety and istallation purposes, as well as to work out  You will usually find the rating plate on the side or at the rear of the machine, often pop-riveted on. This plate holds quite a lot of useful information, such as the amount of voltage the machine requires. In the UK the electricity supply will either be single-phase 220 volts or three-phase 415 volts. For example, on a La Marzocco Linea designed for the UK, the voltage will be displayed as ‘V  220’ or ‘V  415’. The wattage will be displayed as ‘W  4400’  and  the ampage as ‘A  20’. From this information, the electrical installation engineer can work out the size of circuit the machine requires to run safely.  


Estimating the Running Cost of Your Machine

You can also work out how much the machine will cost in electricity to run per hour. To do this, you need to know how much you are paying per unit of electricity. This information is usually printed on the bill from your electricity supplier.  Just imagine the rating plate on your machine looks like this: 

Let’s say, for example, you are paying 20 pence (US 28 cents) per unit (and 1 unit of electricity is 1000 watts for 1 hour). As the rating plate above indicates, this machine pulls 4400 watts (W), or 4.4 units, per hour when heating up, as stated on the rating plate: ‘W 4400’.

20 pence x 4.4 units/hour = 88 pence/hour 

So, for every hour this machine is heating up, it will cost 88 pence (US$1.22). Of course, once the machine is heated up, it will require less energy to maintain a steady temperature compared with the initial heating phase. But in a very busy cafe environment over a 10 hour work day, it is reasonable to expect you machine will add in the region of £8.80 ($12.22). 

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