We have witnessed the same problem and it hits completely randomly.
Our diagnosis lead us to Activity Monitor, where upon checking the CPU use we found that kernel_task was using well in excess of 100%. Unusual.
- Headphone jack could be the issue - FALSE
- Disabling Bluetooth will correct the problem - FALSE, but did work for a while
- Google Chrome is the problem - FALSE, even after starting with a fresh browser it made no difference
- VLC Media player could be the issue - Untested, we use Movist. Highly recommended and better than VLC. Get it!
- Do a clean install - Untested, but lots of reports that this does not work.
None of these have worked for us, and people are still suffering.
So What is the answer you ask?
Well there is one. But.. we don't recommend it.
It seems version 10.9.1 is the affected OS that is causing the problem. The solution. 10.9.2. It's currently in Beta testing. It works, testers have reported that it has solved the problem and it can for you too.
But we don't recommend you install beta software as it is beta for a reason.
So what's the answer?
Unfortunately, for the time being you will have to either wait until Apple officially release the 10.9.2 update.
Or if you are really desperate to get your battery life and stability back on your laptop, your not a developer and you just can't wait, then you will have to search for OSXUpdCombo10.9.2.pkg
We will not share direct links to unreleased or untested Apple software here.
Here is a useful link: https://swscan.apple.com/content/catalogs/others/index-10.9seed-10.9-mountainlion-lion-snowleopard-leopard.merged-1.sucatalog.gz
WARNING: We cannot guarantee what affect beta software will have on your system as it is currently in testing from Apple. Please beware that you download and install any beta software updates at your own risk to your system. We cannot be held liable for any updates that you apply to your system not officially released by Apple for public use.