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I am NOT an electrical professional. The site rules say to go to a DIY forum, but I am NOT a DIY electrical guy either.

I am considering starting a small business (minor business legally) out of my house running computer servers.

Right now I live in an older house with a 100 amp panel, and aluminum wiring throughout the house.

IF I decide to proceed with this project, I will hire an insured electrician to do the work. What I am trying to do now is calculate pricing so I can build a business plan. I have already contacted my city electrical permit department, and left messages. They do not seem to be very inclined to get back to me.

What I want to do is set up the extra bedrooms in my house with outlets to run hands off servers 24/7. A server uses 1650 watts, my house has 120V power (each server will then draw ~13.75 amps), so really each server needs a dedicated 20amp line (as far as I can tell).

Questions -

1. if I make changes to my house electrical, do I have to redo ALL of the wiring (because it is aluminum) or can I just have the old wiring attached to a new panel?

2. What is the biggest panel I can put in a residence? I see lots of houses with 200 and 225amp panels, and I have heard of 400amp panels. Can I put in a 600amp panel? How do I tell what the upper limit is? I would like to be able to run my normal house stuff (~100 amps) + up to 25 to 40 servers (25 servers to start is the price breakpoint where you can negotiate discounts) (40 servers eventually plus my household stuff would be stressing a 600amp panel, and if I can get that big, I would look at renting a commercial facility).

3. Do I need to price enough 12gauge wire for every line to go from the breaker panel to the server room, or can a heavier line be run to the server room and then split 15 to 20 ways (2 server rooms, so I would do this twice)?

4. I need to price permits, labor, a big panel, wire, 20amp receptacles, and breakers. Anything else I am missing for the electrical side? Yes, I am already having my insurance company do an estimate for fire/flood/theft insurance, I am not including that in the electrical quote (they told me I need to have the work done by a Master electrician and then inspected to get insurance).

5. Those servers create a lot of heat. In the winter I can open a window, in the summer I'm not sure that fans moving air through will be enough cooling. If I have to add AC that would up power requirements severely. How would I calculate the amount of AC BTUs needed so I could calculate the cost of the AC unit plus the extra power needed to run such a unit?

6. Am I missing anything else in general? I can get power for a constant amount of 9 cents kw/h, so I can write that into the plan.
 

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1. if I make changes to my house electrical, do I have to redo ALL of the wiring (because it is aluminum) or can I just have the old wiring attached to a new panel?
You will be doing extensive renovations, why not.

What is the biggest panel I can put in a residence? I see lots of houses with 200 and 225amp panels, and I have heard of 400amp panels. Can I put in a 600amp panel? How do I tell what the upper limit is? I would like to be able to run my normal house stuff (~100 amps) + up to 25 to 40 servers (25 servers to start is the price breakpoint where you can negotiate discounts) (40 servers eventually plus my household stuff would be stressing a 600amp panel, and if I can get that big, I would look at renting a commercial facility).
Ive seen entire apartment complexes that see 800A total, with a 120/208V service. The biggest 120/208V was 2400A.

You can call epcor, but you would be hard pressed to get more then a 200A service at a residence.

. Do I need to price enough 12gauge wire for every line to go from the breaker panel to the server room, or can a heavier line be run to the server room and then split 15 to 20 ways (2 server rooms, so I would do this twice)?
This is the least of your concerns.

I need to price permits, labor, a big panel, wire, 20amp receptacles, and breakers. Anything else I am missing for the electrical side? Yes, I am already having my insurance company do an estimate for fire/flood/theft insurance, I am not including that in the electrical quote (they told me I need to have the work done by a Master electrician and then inspected to get insurance).
Call an electrical contractor and get a quote.

Those servers create a lot of heat. In the winter I can open a window, in the summer I'm not sure that fans moving air through will be enough cooling. If I have to add AC that would up power requirements severely. How would I calculate the amount of AC BTUs needed so I could calculate the cost of the AC unit plus the extra power needed to run such a unit?
Or just run an exhaust fan with a reverse acting t stat.

Am I missing anything else in general? I can get power for a constant amount of 9 cents kw/h, so I can write that into the plan.
I think you are missing a few things. A 900W power supply doesn't necessarily draw 900W all the time. Some power supplies can be run at a higher voltage, which could be an option.

With that much equipment, you would probably want to install some type of TVSS.

Im unsure if this would even be possible or legal to do in a residence.

My guess is that the cost to do this type of work could be upwards of $10, 000+.
 

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Most computers have a 100-240v power supply, so if yours do you should think about running them on 240v so you can get more of them on a single circuit. A 120v 20A circuit on #12 wire can be loaded up to 1920w while a 240v 20A circuit using those same #12s can be loaded to a maximum of 3840w.
 

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You are in Edmonton. Me too. You are getting 100 amps from EPCOR.

Go rent a space for you business.

Call me. EPCOR is giving you nothing.

The way it is in Edmonton. Trust me.
 

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