Starlink Power Consumption: Here’s How Much Energy It Uses

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Written By Viktor

Product manager by day, Starlink enthusiast by night.

Electricity prices in the United States surged by more than 14 percent in 2022 alone, which is almost twice as high as the country’s overall inflation rate.

Meanwhile, being cognizant of your power consumption has always been a topic of importance for those on the road and people living in less accessible locations.

In this article, we will detail how much power each of the dishes Starlink has released draws as well as highlight strategies on how to mitigate consumption.

Standard Dish (First Gen)

The first-gen dish, which came in a rounded form and isn’t sold anymore, draws between 60 to 110 watts of power on average.

However, some users on Reddit mentioned that power consumption could be as high as 160 watts during cold weather conditions.

Meanwhile, idle usage normally draws around 30 to 45 watts on average. It uses up to 5 amps while running off of the standard 100-240V AC power at 50-60Hz.

Standard Actuated Dish (Second Gen)

Starlink states on its website that the second-gen rectangular dishy, introduced in November 2021, uses anywhere between 50 to 75 watts.

That figure also entails its associated products, namely the cables, router, and power plug, on top of the dishy.

Furthermore, Starlink utilizes the standard 100-240V AC power at 50-60Hz while it draws up to 2 amps. Power supply via DC is currently not available.

Power consumption drops to around 20 to 30 watts when your Starlink rests idle and is not actively being used.

Standard Dish (Third Gen)

Back in November 2023, Starlink revealed its newest antenna Standard antenna, which has been rolled out alongside the new router.

Its power consumption is on par with the rounded first gen option, consuming 75 to 100 watts on average.

Similarly, it comes with an AC power cable and a power supply (that is plugged into the router). The setup uses 100-240V at 50 – 60Hz.

(Flat) High Performance Dish

The regular and flat High Performance dishes both use 110 to 150 watts on average. Again, the figure entails all of the items delivered in the kit.

When unused, the power consumption of both dishes hovers around 40 to 50 watts. Furthermore, the High Performance dish also uses 100-240V AC power at 50-60Hz.

Lastly, the High Performance version draws up to 4.5 amps, more than twice as high as the Standard dishy.

Contributing Factors to Starlink’s Power Consumption

Each electronic device, whether it’s your phone, laptop, or in this case Starlink, consumes varying levels of power depending on how the hardware is being used.

For example, the performance of your Starlink dish can be negatively affected by poor weather conditions such as extensive rains or snowing (as satellite radio frequencies have to pass through the water molecules in the air).

More precisely, rain likely requires the dishy to raise its signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), which is a measure of how good a given signal is compared to how much noise there is in it.

Reddit user godch01 essentially confirmed that sentiment and tested the dishy’s power consumption during a heavy rain pouring.

starlink power consumption rain

As you can see from the above picture, power usage rises from below 50 watts to around 75 watts. Interestingly, the image also shows another reason that may affect consumption.

The 175 watts spike shown around 06:45 am was a result of plugging in the device and turning on the system. Booting up any hardware device will normally cause a short spike in power consumption (just think about the sound your laptop or PC makes when you start it).

But back to the weather for now. Apart from the rain, snow may also be a contributing factor. Starlink offers a built-in heating function, which can be accessed within your settings.

starlink heating
Starlink App

The feature is turned on by default and helps to melt down any snow that has amassed itself on the dishy, which obviously leads to an uptick in consumption.

Another aspect to consider is the obstructions Starlink’s hardware could possibly face. If your signal drops, then the dishy has to reconnect to the satellite and ground stations once again.

Related: how to fix the No Signal error

Lastly, data consumption itself also requires more power. That’s the reason why consumption drops by 20 to 50 percent when you’re not using up any bandwidth.

How to Minimize Your Power Consumption

There are a variety of ways in which you can minimize the power consumption of your Starlink hardware.

In late January, Starlink introduced a new feature called Sleep Schedule, which essentially allows you to put your dishy into sleep mode. I mostly put mine to sleep at nighttime.

Users on Facebook and Reddit reported that power consumption during sleep mode drops to about 25 watts.

Before the feature was introduced, the most commonly used method, especially for those traveling, was simply to unplug the hardware during times of inactivity.

If you’re technical and experimental enough, then you can also purchase a DC PoE (Power Over Ethernet) injector for your dishy like this one here.  

Converting from AC to DC should allow you to cut your power consumption in half. However, you will be stripped of your warranty if you modify the hardware according to Starlink’s Terms of Service.

I would personally and strongly advise against doing that, simply because voltages at the above-mentioned levels can be lethal.

With that being said, leaving your dishy in sleep mode during nighttime and simply being cognizant of your usage should already help in reducing power consumption enough.

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