Question on Powersave 1200

Just saw a commercial for the Powersave 1200, which will save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in energy bills. It is targeted and designed
specifically for residential customers.
The commercial appeared on the Sci Fi channel, which is well known for advertisements from reputable companies. yeah
So it hooks to your breaker box, reduces the power factor of all your appliances (including, according to the commercial, TV's, heaters, ovens, stoves, dishwashers, microwaves, water heaters, toasters, air conditioners, and coffee makers (implies your coffee will taste better as well). It also filters and recycles the excess electricity in your power lines.
It also cools down TV's, because they, like your other appliances, are receiving too much power. This device only supplies the power your appliances require, so there will be no heat in anything not designed to actually heat something. So throw away those fans on your computer!
Fascinating stuff. It's UL tested and listed, and has been "recognized by the Department of Energy". They even have a report on their web site. It sure looks like it's from the DOE. Oh, it was a "Program of the DOE", but the actual report was written by the Motor Challenge Information Clearinghouse, with a website www.motor.doe.gov that, while having an .gov on the end, does not seem to exist. Or the US government's computers are all down. (they aren't)
Anyway, there's also a "university study" of this device. Except that it's two "PHD's" in the electrical engineering department of Santa Clara University. One is a part timer, the other is a study-for-hire type. It's a 10 page report, by two PHD's, from a university, but there's no notes, biblio, or anything to show that it wasn't cobbled together in 20 minutes off the cuff. And it doesn't even mention this device by name. But hey, it's a study.
It's only $300. Plus shipping and handling.
http://www.power-save.com/product.html
http://www.power-save1200.com /
Funny thing about the FAQ's. They know how much the unit costs, they know how long it'll take to pay for itself (6 to 12 months), but when asked how much money folks can save every month, a long list follows "it depends on".
I'm not a huge math guy, but it can't be that tough. Maybe they can tap one of those PHD's to figure it out.
My question is this;
Is this bullshit, baloney, flim flam, or snake oil?
No doubt it must do something. Heck, it might just do some of the stuff it claims. But while they commercial claims power plants "can" charge for low power factors, they forget to mention that this applies almost exclusively to the industrial and commercial sectors. Residential customers rarely, if ever, generate a low enough power factor to be noticed by power plants.
I expect a certain amount of dumbing down in commercials when dealing with technical stuff, but this seems to be a collection of outright lies.
Anyway, I was wondering if this was just a grossly overpriced capacitor, and if it can significantly alter a sine wave.
CS
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says...

Save you "thousands"? What if you don't pay "thousands"?

Nobody ever lies on TV, right? The commercial is on the SciFi network, assume it is also SciFi. ;-)

Well, you don't want your coffee to taste of stale electricity, do you?

Ah, the laws of thermodynamics has been repealed, at last!

UL doesn't certify efficacy. If the certification is real (doubt this) it only means that it shouldn't catch fire or electrocute someone while being used as designed.

THey find doctors to say that diet pills work too. Well, if that's all you eat...

Crap! Demand free S&H! These charges are always bogus! ;-)

Nor what you pay for electricity... Hmm, sounds like a constant dollar source. I wonder if the Fed knows about this?

Maybe they better buy off a guy from the math department at that great educational institution too.

Yes, yes, yes, and most certainly.

It'll heat the room. Contrary to what they say, thermodynamics is alive and well.

Residential customers are *not* charged for PF, at least in the US. The only claim they could weasel around is the heating of your internal home wiring due to reactive current.

Lies in a commercial, what a concept!

Don't forget the pilot light, telling you that it's on the job, saving you *thousands*. ...and for "only" $300...
--
Keith

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On 7/7/07 4:55 PM, in article
wrote:

I tried mining Their faq to find out how the device works. I could not.
It is true, we get charged for actual energy consumed on our side of the meter. That includes extra heating of the conductors outside the appliance. It is not clear to me how this device knows how much correction is required for the various devices under various loads. I also agree, that if there is extra current flow in the appliance, it is difficult to understand how that waste energy can be reduced by this device.
I also have to include that this is a scam.
Bill -- Support the troops. Impeach Bush. Oh, I forgot about Cheney.
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Salmon Egg wrote:

Correcting power factor on industrial is a good idea, as BillB alludes to, because industrial users pay a big penalty for reactive power. I agree with Bill above - US residential users do not - no advantage.
Low power factor increases the current which increases the I2R losses in wires. The only wires corrected are from the meter to the correction point - the panel (and the service neutral?). Negligible distance, negligible saving.
It would be rather hard to improve the power factor of water heaters, heaters, coffee makers, toasters.
In the patent application, the power factor correction is set with switches (fixed). The reactive load cycles, so some of the time there is over correction increasing the I2R losses.
Do they claim the metered power will go down when the current goes down (confusing power and VA)? I don't remember but I wouldn't be surprised.

I agree.
-- bud--
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These types of systems have been used in industry in the UK for many years successfully. This is the first system I have seen aimed at the domestic market, these types of system work well, particularly where you have a large inductive load (electric motors). Electric motors used in washers, fans, air-condition units etc all operate with a low power factor when running with a low load, by using an automatic power factor correction system, you improve the power factor and thus reduce the amps drawn from the supply. A great idea.
BillB
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says...

Who cares? Most motors run close to rated load (where PF is close to unity). ...not that it matters because PF simply isn't an issue for the homeowner.

I suppose someone has to think SCAMS are great ideas. They wouldn't exist otherwise.
--
Keith

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From a "scam" view, this gadget (and its relatives) have taken in a lot of folks.
Over 30 years ago, Exxon (the big US oil company) started to buy a small company that had "invented" such an energy saver. It was the same basic idea: reduce the voltage to reduce the "reactive" current. A "chip" monitored things so that the voltage would continually seek the optimum point of minimum current. The hype was the same: it would make a giant difference in energy consumption. The reality to most EEs that if it worked it might save "a little."
Anyway, Exxon was willing to buy the company. The critics of Exxon claimed that Exxon wasn't making an investment but was trying to keep energy saving stuff off the market (like the 100 mpg carburetor!). Obviously, the BIG OIL critics got just as carried away as the managers at Exxon.
I think I have seen it on display at some hardware stores once or twice in the years between then and now.
The "scam" part is the excessive claims. The basic idea works but only saves some I^2*R loses in slightly loaded induction motors.
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says...

Yep, my brother was one. He invested his life savings in a company selling these things. He should have known better. He was a an EE and power company exec. No one in the family listened to me, a lowly EE student at the time.

Yep, again. The above happened in the early '70s.

;-)
Yes, and I've seen some rigged demos when they show up too.

How many lightly loaded induction motors are there out there and how much energy are they using? Remember, they're lightly loaded. ;-)
--
Keith

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THIS IS A FRAUD ON THE CONSUMERS!!!
These black boxes contain capacitors to improve the power factors. But the one who benefit from it is ONLY the power co. that supply the electric power. The total electric power consumed in a home is made of two components; the real power and the reactive power. In the USA the consumers pay ONLY for the real power portion. Now, for industrial/commercial users, it is different. To the electric Co. that generate the electric power, the reactive power cost less then 5% of the real power . . . . .
20-30 years ago, when these scams started, I was interviewed on TV on the subject and, as a result, one of those company had to close down and filed for bankruptcy . . . .
The power factor is less then perfect (or one), only on loads that have a motor, like a washing machine, etc . . . and the overall load on a residential house is not bad to begin with . . . . but still the electric co. are greedy and happy to see the public fooled!!

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I was going to post something similar regarding a different company which sells such a product. Was searching this newsgroup when I ran across this thread.
First of all, I understand the skepticism. There is far too much nonsense out there.But I am surprised at the outright dismissals made without more thorough investigation.
Let me provide a few places people can go to do further research:
instructional videos http://www.electricpowersave.com/KVAR_Videos.html
manufacturer's website, which includes a number of testimonials, a bio of the inventor, some educational material on electricity and how these devices work, and so on http://www.kvarnrg.com/homepage.html http://kvarenergysavings.com/testimonals.htm http://kvarenergysavings.com/understanding_power.htm http://kvarenergysavings.com/certifications.htm
Electric bills from users of the Power-Save 1200 or similar model device: http://www.powersavemi.com/kleebauer_page.html
Although the documents are not in public areas of any of the links I have given, I AM in possession of studies from the US Department of Energy, University of Santa Clara, NASA, and Honeywell.. Contact me via the contact form at http://www.electricpowersave.com/Contact.html and I will arrange to e-mail copies to you.
Are there scams out there? Absolutely
Is this worth further research, if it really can promise electric bill reductions of 10-20% That's for you to decide
Is this for everyone? No.... it only makes economic sense if your bill is over $150 per month, maybe more.
Just saw a commercial for the Powersave 1200, which will save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in energy bills. It is targeted and designed specifically for residential customers.
The commercial appeared on the Sci Fi channel, which is well known for advertisements from reputable companies. yeah
So it hooks to your breaker box, reduces the power factor of all your appliances (including, according to the commercial, TV's, heaters, ovens, stoves, dishwashers, microwaves, water heaters, toasters, air conditioners, and coffee makers (implies your coffee will taste better as well). It also filters and recycles the excess electricity in your power lines.
It also cools down TV's, because they, like your other appliances, are receiving too much power. This device only supplies the power your appliances require, so there will be no heat in anything not designed to actually heat something. So throw away those fans on your computer!
Fascinating stuff. It's UL tested and listed, and has been "recognized by the Department of Energy". They even have a report on their web site. It sure looks like it's from the DOE. Oh, it was a "Program of the DOE", but the actual report was written by the Motor Challenge Information Clearinghouse, with a website www.motor.doe.gov that, while having an .gov on the end, does not seem to exist. Or the US government's computers are all down. (they aren't)
Anyway, there's also a "university study" of this device. Except that it's two "PHD's" in the electrical engineering department of Santa Clara University. One is a part timer, the other is a study-for-hire type. It's a 10 page report, by two PHD's, from a university, but there's no notes, biblio, or anything to show that it wasn't cobbled together in 20 minutes off the cuff. And it doesn't even mention this device by name. But hey, it's a study.
It's only $300. Plus shipping and handling.
http://www.power-save.com/product.html
http://www.power-save1200.com /
Funny thing about the FAQ's. They know how much the unit costs, they know how long it'll take to pay for itself (6 to 12 months), but when asked how much money folks can save every month, a long list follows "it depends on".
I'm not a huge math guy, but it can't be that tough. Maybe they can tap one of those PHD's to figure it out.
My question is this;
Is this bullshit, baloney, flim flam, or snake oil?
No doubt it must do something. Heck, it might just do some of the stuff it claims. But while they commercial claims power plants "can" charge for low power factors, they forget to mention that this applies almost exclusively to the industrial and commercial sectors. Residential customers rarely, if ever, generate a low enough power factor to be noticed by power plants.
I expect a certain amount of dumbing down in commercials when dealing with technical stuff, but this seems to be a collection of outright lies.
Anyway, I was wondering if this was just a grossly overpriced capacitor, and if it can significantly alter a sine wave.
CS
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So you sell a capacitor for power factor correction on residential services. If you weren't a scam, you would simply state that rather than talk about the mysterious heat that is damaging appliances, lol.
As more and more devices become electronic in a home, the displacement power factor, all your capacitor can correct, will move closer to unity. At some point, a capacitor at the service entrance will actually cause increased energy as the displacement power factor moves leading. Just wait until all of the motors in your home are power by adjustable speed drives. Unity power factor (displacement).
It will be nice to see the resonance issues crop up that industrial customers have been fighting for decades.
Charles Perry P.E.
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heat DOES damage motor, and electronic circuit boards, etc. duh! why do you think there are fans in computer power supplies? why do you think mainframes were kept in environmentally controlled rooms? duh! why does your car have a radiator? duh!

the point about electronic circuit boards is well taken. and an interesting one.
consider, though, the legacy. all thoise HVAC units, all those washers and dryers and refridgeration and freezer units and compressors out there that are several years old, running just fine, and will not be replaced any time soon? Are they 100 % energy efficient?

there is a simple answer to your skepticism. It is called science. It is called empiricism. It is called experimentation.
How about I place one of these units in your home, 90 day, free? how about I pay for the installation? how about after ninety days we review your electric bills and see what if any savings you experience?
Wait a minute... I can think of a couple of ways in which you could assure that this experiment would fail. Then you could come back to everyone and say "see - I told you it was a scam" - that after having moved over to a friend's place and running all your lights and all your HVAC and all your appliances 24/7 to dramatically increase your usage?
You see - trust works two ways. You are a skeptic. Fine. I might be willing to use you as a test case. Skeptics are the best for that. But I would have no reason to trust that you would give an honest effort nor an honest report, given your vested interest in maintaining your position as a know it all..
It occurs to me that there is something else you could do. Design an experiment that would demonstrate to your satisfaction that the test and the results are honest, and then approach Power-Save or KVAR yourself and run the experiment in conditions you yourself have dictated. with witnesses. so no one side could make claims that were not documented.
Of course, why would anyone believe what your experiments showed, given that you have stated you wonder at what's going on in the demos you have seen.
Offer on the table. Any takers?
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1On 9/16/07 6:58 AM, in article 5LmdnWrrPN3_q3DbnZ2dnUVZ snipped-for-privacy@comcast.com, "Politically Incorrect"

Unloaded motors do not heat up much.
DUH DUH -- Fermez le Bush--less than 18 months to go.
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wrote:> heat DOES damage motor, and electronic circuit boards, etc. duh! why do

Offer's on the table - you know where to contact me to negotiate the specific terms. Take a chance ;)
-- Fermez le Bush--less than 18 months to go.
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snipped-for-privacy@tastelessjokes.org says...

Why do business with a scammer? *ANY* business.
--
Keith

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Heat beyond its design capability damages a motor. Think about that a bit.
Electronic circuit boards? Hahaha. Most DC power supplies are power factor corrected now. Adding your capacitors to the input will NOT reduce the heating. It will move the displacement power factor off of unity, increasing the losses in the power system supplying the equipment.
As for designing tests, I have facilities that can do a much better job testing your device than installing it on someones house and asking them to use less electricity to prove your device works. I can simulate all of the loads for a residential customer in a thermal chamber located inside of another thermal chamber. In this way I don't have to worry about changes in climate from month to month, I control the climate in the outside chamber and then a typical residential hvac system located in this space will run to keep the inside space at a constant temp.
I don't work for free however.
Charles Perry P.E.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com says...

The ones that aren't PF corrected won't be helped by capacitors. Displacement current is hardly the issue with such supplies, or in fact anything in the home.
Will a dumb capacitor help as much as potentially hurt? Leading current is just as bad as lagging. ...not that either matter to the home owner.

Why would a scammer want what you have to offer?

Nor for thieves, I bet.
--
Keith

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<snip>

The "testing" they present on the website is quite humurous. Basically they compare a month's energy usage with the device to the same month the year prior. The problem is that they make no correction for HDD or CDD (heating degree days and cooling degree days). These two numbers can vary widely from year to year for a given month.
Here are example HDD and CDD numbers for Santa Barbara, CA for a 4 year period: All readings from July year, hdd, cdd 2004, 41, 25 2005, 43, 39 2006, 6, 125 2007, 11, 46
As is obvious from this data, you cannot simply compare energy usage from July in one year with the usage in July of another year. This is why controlled, laboratory experiments are required for these types of devices.
Charles Perry P.E.
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----------------------------

Actually this device appears to be nothing more than a capacitor in a box. It will reduce VAR's drawn from the supply by a motor. It will not reduce the vars drawn by the motor itself and will not reduce heating in the motor. It will, however, reduce line losses incurred on the source side of the device but not "downstream" of it (and the cost of these losses is a small part of the total cost of energy unless one has a very inadequate supply) and tend to hold load voltages a bit higher which helps (again with inadequate supply).
By the way such capacitive compensation has been in use for approximately 100 years. Whether it is economic or not depends on a number of factors-including billing that includes a KVAR charge which is not generally used for residential customers. Also such compensation does nothing for lighting and resistive heating loads.
It is being marketed on the basis of customer ignorance (the "theory" given is dumbed down and the claim that it sends the unused "power" back to the utility is extremely misleading -to put it politely). Mind you, testimonials are always much more glowing than actual lab tests.
--

Don Kelly snipped-for-privacy@shawcross.ca
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The funny thing is if you look at power factor correction on their website, there is one webpage that does a decent job of explaining it and its benefits. It talks about the savings from not carrying the reactive current on the facility wiring and talks of putting the cap as near the load as possible for this reason. Then you look at the residential pages and they install the dang think a foot from the revenue meter! It saves you some losses in a foot of wire! lol.
Charles Perry P.E.
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