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Can Air Canada's 787-9 power plugs accept my laptop that draws 180W?

Can Air Canada's 787-9 power plugs accept my laptop that draws 180W?

Old Jul 7, 19, 3:30 pm
  #1  
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Can Air Canada's 787-9 power plugs accept my laptop that draws 180W?

I have an international flight from Vancouver to Seoul on a 787-9 and need to use my beast of a laptop.
The Dell laptop AC power brick draws 180W (19.5V, 9.23A).
Is this too much for even the latest gen aircraft and power plug basically wouldn't work at all?

Last edited by superbobbay; Jul 8, 19 at 7:30 am
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Old Jul 7, 19, 3:44 pm
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Originally Posted by superbobbay View Post
I have an international flight from Vancouver to Seoul on a 787-9 and need to use my beast of a laptop.
The Dell laptop AC power brick draws 180W (19.5V, 9.23A).
I heard this might be too much for the aircraft and power plug basically wouldn't work at all.
Is that true?
AC's website has this listed for the business class cabin on the 788/9s

https://www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/...-features.html


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Old Jul 7, 19, 3:47 pm
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Originally Posted by superbobbay View Post
I have an international flight from Vancouver to Seoul on a 787-9 and need to use my beast of a laptop.
The Dell laptop AC power brick draws 180W (19.5V, 9.23A).
I heard this might be too much for the aircraft and power plug basically wouldn't work at all.
Is that true?
I've run some pretty power hungry stuff through the 110V outlet on these things. But my laptop tops out at 61W, so dunno if you are going to have issues.

As a side note, the USB outlets onboard occasionally don't like my iPad.

Last edited by Bohemian1; Jul 7, 19 at 4:12 pm
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Old Jul 7, 19, 3:53 pm
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A similar question was asked in the AS forum. The answer over there was definitely not but you could get away with 90w. That guy also had a Dell. Different airline I know but I imagine the available power in airline outlets wouldn’t differ by that much. Anyway, if you want to take a look:
Seat power max amps?
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Old Jul 7, 19, 4:04 pm
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Originally Posted by Finkface View Post
A similar question was asked in the AS forum. The answer over there was definitely not but you could get away with 90w. That guy also had a Dell. Different airline I know but I imagine the available power in airline outlets wouldn’t differ by that much. Anyway, if you want to take a look:
Seat power max amps?
Thanks for this link.

From the AS site, a link to another thread high power laptop & in flight power
where a number of posters details their experiences and one poster actually complied a list of airlines and aircraft types. He had AC(QK) on his list. See post 59

high power laptop & in flight power

Does AC have this info anywhere on their website, other than the very minimal info I found?
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Old Jul 7, 19, 4:50 pm
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Originally Posted by 24left View Post
Thanks for this link.

From the AS site, a link to another thread high power laptop & in flight power
where a number of posters details their experiences and one poster actually complied a list of airlines and aircraft types. He had AC(QK) on his list. See post 59

high power laptop & in flight power

Does AC have this info anywhere on their website, other than the very minimal info I found?
I can't speak for the 787 series, but the benchmark thrown around is 90w which I believe is accurate. At least on the 777, 767 and A320s I have been on various airlines. The fuse trips immediately when I use a 135 or 180w. When I bring my 90w box, no issues.
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Old Jul 7, 19, 6:30 pm
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Originally Posted by 24left View Post
Thanks for this link.

From the AS site, a link to another thread high power laptop & in flight power
where a number of posters details their experiences and one poster actually complied a list of airlines and aircraft types. He had AC(QK) on his list. See post 59

high power laptop & in flight power

Does AC have this info anywhere on their website, other than the very minimal info I found?
Wow thanks for this link!! Post #50 by Jackal has a great workaround. Although could this be somewhat dangerous for the aircraft? Hmm....I don't want to be the cause of any electrical issues.

"So I think I've figured the secret out.

After forgetting my smaller adapters on my most recent trip, all I had to use was my 180W adapter.

Since it's the high-capacity capacitor that seems to trip the socket's circuit as soon as you plug it in, the secret seems to be that you need to let the capacitor in the charger charge up. Once it's full, the actual draw is usually less than 100W, so it's not enough to trip the circuit.

The way to do that is to repeatedly plug and unplug the charger into the socket (without a computer attached to the other end) until the light stays solid. Once the light is on solid, then you can plug your computer into the charger and proceed as normal.

First up was a VX A321. I plugged the adapter in and it went out, but the light on my adapter lit up a bit and stayed glowing. I plugged it in again and voila: all was well.

Next was an AS 738. This one was a little more difficult and required me to plug and unplug the power adapter about five or six times before it charged the capacitor enough to stay on. Once that happened, everything was smooth sailing.

Of course, if you are running right on the edge of the circuit's capacity such that a power spike in your laptop triggers the circuit to knock out, try putting the computer in sleep mode and charging the battery. Once the battery is full, then use the computer. That should reduce the power consumption enough to keep it below the circuit's max.

Edit: the AS 739 I flew last night took a good 10 or so plug-in-unplug cycles before it worked, but after that, no troubles at all."
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Old Jul 7, 19, 7:29 pm
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A power supply labelled as 180 W will likely draw significantly less than full rated load during normal use. 180 W might represent the load with the CPU and GPU both pegged at maximum which few applications actually do besides benchmark suites.

As far as the post above about capacitor inrush charging current being the limiting element, that really depends on the specific power supply and time-current characteristic of the circuit breaker protecting the power outlet. There are a number of different circuit topologies used in computer power supplies and they won't necessarily all have a single large capacitor. The technique described doesn't sound dangerous but it won't necessarily work for everyone.

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Old Jul 7, 19, 8:53 pm
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180W ??

Do you notice the tray table covering is scorched and bubbling after you use the laptop?. Have you tried holding it on your lap for any length of time?. When they serve you a cocktail after takeoff do you often get hot nuts?
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Old Jul 7, 19, 8:59 pm
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180 will definitely shut down the power outlet on AC aircraft.

As others have posted, I believe the maximum is 85 or 90.
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Old Jul 7, 19, 9:09 pm
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Additionally, make sure your laptop is fully charged before boarding. Running it takes less power than running + charging at the same time. This is also why some systems that take > 90 watts will work with a 90w adapter, but they won't charge - only power.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 6:57 am
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remove the laptop battery (may be a nod to former times) which will save 50-60 watts

set the GPU to internal/onboard which will save 50-60 watts

see if the mfr sells a smaller AC adapter, sometimes with a caveat that it slow charges, only charges while system is off, or was intended/sold for the laptop model without dedicated video card.

also--don't sit near me, because at 180 watt maximum draw, that is more of a space heater than a laptop
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Old Jul 8, 19, 5:55 pm
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I'm currently on my flight right now at 35,000 feet.
I plugged in my 180W power supply to the outlet and voila!
My laptop is purrring like a kitty. Display brighten and battery is charging at same rate as at home.
No breaker tripped.
I'm in business class so maybe that's why?
Anyway 787 rocks!
Oh and the overhead ac is pumping in very cool air, so no space heater for my neighbors.
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Old Jul 9, 19, 6:57 am
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Originally Posted by superbobbay View Post
I'm currently on my flight right now at 35,000 feet.
I plugged in my 180W power supply to the outlet and voila!
My laptop is purrring like a kitty. Display brighten and battery is charging at same rate as at home.
No breaker tripped.
I'm in business class so maybe that's why?
Anyway 787 rocks!
Oh and the overhead ac is pumping in very cool air, so no space heater for my neighbors.
If that is the case, that's great news. CoC should not be a factor. Hopefully this will spread. Can always use the extra horsepower when trying to resolve a puzzle along the way.
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Old Jul 9, 19, 9:35 am
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I used to have a beast of a thinkpad with similar power needs. I recall the comment above about being able to run it but not charge it being accurate
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