36 posts / 0 new
Last post
ms0660
Does "Power-Save" really work?

I saw a commercial for a product called "Power-Save". It is basically a capacitor that you can install yourself on your main breaker box that is "supposed to" save you energy by storing electricity to help start motors such as Air conditioner compressors, refrigerators etc. Can you tell me if it is worth the investment of almost $300.00? It seems to me that your Microwave and your A/C compressors already come with its own capacitor. So Howcan this really help?....Is this a scam do you think?
Michael

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Does "Power-Save" really work?

I got some liturature on it. It's not a scam but it looks to me like the savings is going to be bsed on how many induction motors you have. I don't think it will have any effect with such ithem as microwaves or stoves. Just in impression I got from the discription of how it works.
Jack

keith3267
Re: Does "Power-Save" really work?

It looks good on the surface, but unless you are an electrical engineer with a power factor bridge, its probably going to do more harm than good. You get the most efficiency when the power factor is one. Both inductive loads and capacitive loads throw the power factor off.

Resistive loads, which make up the majority of the loads in your house, do not change the power factor. Most of the motors (inductive loads) have a capacitor already. The few that don't are pretty small inductive loads and so they don't change the power factor a measurable amount.

If you install a large capacitor, you will probably throw the power factor off and cause a larger energy drain, not a smaller one.

The power companies maintain banks of capacitors to keep the power lines clean.

POWER WALT
Re: Does "Power-Save" really work?

The Power-save device can save you money depending on how you are billed for electrical energy usage. If you are billed using an electro mechanical devise typically identified by a spinning disc then the Power-save device can save you money. In these cases you are told that you are billed by the watthour but in fact the electro mechanical watthour meter does not actually measure watthour but instead measures VA. The meter manufactuer builds in a compensation factor for the difference in VA and watt. Businesses are often billed in VA and then without a doubt the device does save on the power bill. Some electrical utility companies are switching to electronic watthour meters and in those cases you would not save. In all cases the electrical utility company saves on the transmission of electrical energy whenever the Power-save device is used. I think this is good from an overall perspective of energy conservation.
Side note: with the usage of CFL lamps look for the electrical power companies to switch all billing to kvahr (kilo volt amp hour)in stead of Kwhr as is mostly now the case. Reason being is that CFL lighting runs at about .52 power factor. This means that the electrical power company must provide an abnormally high amount of electrical current than would typically be used for incadesent lighting. This cost them considerally more money and thus billing using kvahr can pass that cost on to the consumer. Another fact about CFL's are that can contribute more greenhouse gases than are produced when using existing transmission facilities. Also CFL lamps can be a fire hazord when used with dimmers.

djohns
Re: Does "Power-Save" really work?

Don't waste your money .

Blue RidgeParkway
Re: Does "Power-Save" really work?
ms0660 wrote:

I saw a commercial for a product called "Power-Save". It is basically a capacitor that you can install yourself on your main breaker box that is "supposed to" save you energy by storing electricity to help start motors such as Air conditioner compressors, refrigerators etc. Can you tell me if it is worth the investment of almost $300.00? It seems to me that your Microwave and your A/C compressors already come with its own capacitor. So Howcan this really help?....Is this a scam do you think?
Michael

Yes, I think a total scam, no I don't think it can help do anything other than lighten your wallet.

Reminds me far to much about the "energy smart" Power Planner sold at big boxes years ago, not only a bunch of hype and hooey, ruined some appliances, the darn things caused some fires and were a major shock hazard (took that for the government to act - too embarassed over the whole NASA-Nola debacle).

Here's a link to the CPSC recall, then enjoy searching the web and read all about this whole conditioned power hooey. You're not on 3-phase and running a bunch single phase transformers and motors, or planning on building your own space capsule and are ready to launch it, it can only cost you money.

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml02/02146.html

Here's a link to the old CSA recall:
http://www.esasafe.com/pdf/Recall_Notices/RCL02-09.pdf

Coast Energy Management disappeared less than 3 years after the recall (2005) guess some other front is trying to unload them again or worse. These companies come and go with any money long gone or poof overseas.

Who was it who said "there's one born every minute" about "suckers"? Don't waste your money on any of these "(Frank) Nola-type" Power Factor Controllers. Just remember "lipstick on a pig".

Inductive currents effecting PF minimal and will do nothing correcting harmonic current - and the effects on your usage measured through the meter - aren't going to help you one smidge. That's my opinion. Now if you have a lot of motors to start up at the same time and are on a demand meter.....soft starters might be worth considering.

Here is a link to a very well written and politically correct article published by PG&E, easy to understand by the average consumer "Before you Buy a Black Box": http://www.pge.com/includes/docs/pdfs/about/news/outagestatus/powerquality/black_box.pdf

Power Walt please explain that other post...when is a Watt not equal to a Volt-Amp? otherwise what-the-heck, huh? Voltage x Amperage = watts at that instant doesn't it? What difference is your black box device installed after the meter, going to make on what the power company's meter indicates.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Does "Power-Save" really work?
Blue RidgeParkway wrote:

Someone please explain that other post...when is a Watt not equal to a Volt-Amp? otherwise what-the-heck, huh?

OK, although Watt an VA have been commonly used interchangeably (1watt=1VA) by many there is a slight difference. A Watt is a measure of work or power. If you have noticed most power tools and motors now come with the label stating their voltage and their VA rather than Watts. The reason being that Watts can be converted directly to HP while VA can not. VA takes in to account the voltage and the amperage draw which is affected by resistance, impedance, capacitance, inductance, and even friction of the bearings. All of which affect the power output of the motor. If it was listed as Watts, as it use to be, You should be able to do a direct calculation of the HP of the motor.
For instance you might find a motor that is labeled as HP and a voltage of 120 VAX and an amp draw of 12.5 amps. That motor would be rated @ 1500 VA but only 1491.4 watts. Not a great amount but still different. Could even be difference with Chinese motors.:D

However I agree with the rest of your post. It just looks like a lot of goobaldy goop used in a sales pitch.
Jack

Blue RidgeParkway
Re: Does "Power-Save" really work?

Actually I think it has more to do with Inductive current, Harmonic current, and reactive power, Jack. I wanted Power Walt to support his claims, since the average residental consumer is billed in KwH, does not get a demand charge, and is not penalized for PF.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Does "Power-Save" really work?
Blue RidgeParkway wrote:

Actually I think it has more to do with Inductive current, Harmonic current, and reactive power, Jack. I wanted Power Walt to support his claims, since the average residental consumer is billed in KwH, does not get a demand charge, and is not penalized for PF.

Although "Inductive current, Harmonic current, and reactive power" are fancy words they are pretty well covered by "resistance, impedance, capacitance, inductance, and even friction of the bearings", BRP.
Jack

Blue RidgeParkway
Re: Does "Power-Save" really work?

Your post didn't read that way at 8:17 pm Jack, but not really.

Statements like:

POWER WALT wrote:

In all cases the electrical utility company saves on the transmission of electrical energy whenever the Power-save device is used.

make one wonder why if true the POCO wouldn't demand it be installed :D

POWER WALT wrote:

Another fact about CFL's are that can contribute more greenhouse gases than are produced when using existing transmission facilities.

make me scratch my head :confused: huh? fact? what? that statement makes no sense at all!
and

POWER WALT wrote:

Also CFL lamps can be a fire hazord when used with dimmers.

Not an unqualified fact, No. Not if they are dimmable, but then again what is a hazOrd?

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Does "Power-Save" really work?
Blue RidgeParkway wrote:

Your post didn't read that way at 8:17 pm Jack.

??????, All my posts were well before 8:17 pm and the only one edited was the one at 7:09 pm to add "However I agree with the rest of your post. It just looks like a lot of goobaldy goop used in a sales pitch."

Jack

Pages

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.