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Power-Save 1200: Recapture Your Electricity Line Loss?

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My friend received a flyer in the mail the other day from Hawkins Electric Service, Inc. about a product that could save him “up to 25% on [his] electricity bill without changing [his] lifestyle.” Apparently, all American homes poorly handle inductive loads and thus lose much of it without even using it. Inductive load is required on anything that runs on a motor and those motors require an amount of non-working reactive power to create an electromagnetic field to operate. Your electric company delivers this reactive power to your home without much knowledge of how much you’ll need and then your motor-equipped appliances draws on what it needs to operate. The excess is sent back to your box and is lost as heat, this loss is called I2R loss or line loss. The idea is that you’re paying for this I2R/line loss when you could’ve installed the Power-Save 1200 (the product that can save you up to 25%) and have it capture this power for later use.

My friend and I are both skeptical about the $300 product because neither one of us really buys the fact that we lose that much electricity in the form of line loss (I would agree that some loss occurs, but 25% of my electricity disappears as heat? I’m not sure). In a pretty exhaustive search online, I couldn’t really find much information discussing the recapture of unused load (there was a lot of other information about recapturing energy, but nothing on electricity in the home).

Phantom power drain: One interesting thing I did find was that a study by the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley and the Energy Analysis Department at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory showed that in a study of ten California homes (yes, it’s a small data set, but what can you do), the total standby power used by each home ranged from 14W to 169W, the average being 67W. This corresponds to 5-26% of a home’s annual energy use. This power use is generally called phantom power drain and seems like an easier target for a savings of “up to 25%” than a $300 unit attached to your power box.

Lastly, somewhat related to this topic is the idea of energy saver systems for the induction motors themselves, because as they operate they lose a bit of the energy as heat depending on their efficiency. I discovered this extremely technical analysis on energy saver systems for induction motors that covers the marketing idea of making a particular induction motor driven item more efficient. Ultimately I believe the article is saying that they’re not worth it.

Anyone do any research on this idea of recapturing unused electrical load?

{ 179 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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179 Responses to “Power-Save 1200: Recapture Your Electricity Line Loss?”

  1. Chip2 says:

    here are my KWH results since installation. My savings are at the high end (close to 40% last month).

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v203/mcennis3/Cleco-Comparison.jpg

    As expected, savings are greater during the summer with AC running.
    House is 2375sf with poor insulation/old appliances (windows, doors, freezer, frig, central A/C, wall/attic insulation, etc.).
    It would easily cost around $20,000 to upgrade so $300 (plus $60 installation) for the PowerSave1200 was a no brainer (with money back guarantee). The higher the cost per KwH, the bigger the savings.
    A few points…KwH $ varies so I speak in Kwh terms vs. dollars when comparing previous year. Looks like approx. 7500 KwH will be
    saved the first year. Electrical bill is now similar to friends’ energy efficient homes in neighborhood.
    If you have great insulation/energy star appliances/triple pane windows, etc. don’t expect to see such savings.

    Someone posted that they saved KwH (but not money) over same month last year so they didn’t think PS1200 worked.
    I would guess the price per KwH changed over previous billing.

    Others have mentioned that the PS1200 “stores” energy to be used later. Don’t confuse this with batteries.

    “Capacitor is a device that STORES energy in the electric field established between a pair of
    conductors on which equal but opposite electric charges have been induced.”

    check links at bottom of this site.
    http://www.iaqdirect.com/Main/Products/Power_Save/ps_faq.htm.

    It is absolutely useless to try and time a few cycles with a stopwatch and extrapolate it over a month (yes, I tried too!).
    You can check it at the same time daily but even then there can be a huge difference (electric water heater, running dishwasher, etc.)

    Other benefits…

    With a 40″ HDTV, 2 computers, 3 monitors running at the same time my small office would get very hot.
    Now, no noticable difference between office and other rooms.

    The central A/C use to sound like a shotgun going off when starting and ran very loud. Since PS1200 I can barely hear it, starts with a purr.

    Built in home surge protection.

    Hope this helped

    Bad Spellers…UNTIE!

    • Robert says:

      You say:
      “It is absolutely useless to try and time a few cycles with a stopwatch and extrapolate it over a month (yes, I tried too!).”
      Does this mean you timed your electric meter and it did not slow down? Just curious.

      • Chip2 says:

        120 seconds out of 2,592,000 for the month just isn’t a large enough sample (and appliances don’t consistently run at the same time or speed). I did notice a change but soon realized I got a better idea of what was happening when reading meter at the same time every morning before coffee. I can predict the total wattage with just a couple of readings a month now. You might try something like a Kill A Watt meter on individual appliances (not sure if they work on freezers, etc.).

        I received some radiant barrier foil today (from ebay)and hopefully will save another 10%. 1000ft roll sells for $125 but you can get 10-20 dollars off using Bing Cashback plus 30% from the government (tax credit). I wish I would have known it was that cheap at the beginning of the summer. I thought I could lay it over existing insulation but I’ve found one link that doesn’t recommend that method for warm climates. If anyone has any experience with radiant barrier foil I’d appreciate any tips.

        • Robert says:

          I agree that appliances come on different times of the day, and stay on different amounts of time, but I do not understand what you mean when you say they run at different speeds. I realize that some appliances have different settings that can cause loads to change, for example, a dishwasher that could include heat for drying. This is why I suggest a controlled setting for testing.
          You have said that summer months with AC on is when you are seeing the greatest savings. Are you suggesting that the AC load varies? Does your AC stay on 2,590,000 seconds? I know that it most likely does not. I was only calculating averages, and was not trying to suggest that the average load is what should be expected when doing a test. I was only showing the dramatic results that should be observed when any test is being done.
          AC loads remain very constant, and is where the most savings could be expected. So, if anyone does a test in a controlled setting testing only the AC, 10 revolutions or more, 60 seconds or more will give concluding results.
          Let me suggest that you turn off everything. Verify that the meter has stopped. Turn on your AC only. Then time your meter and observe that the meter speed is very constant. Your might want to even read amps at this time. Once you see the consistency of the meter’s speed, time about 10 revolutions. “Less amps means less power bill” is what some have said. So, next, turn on the power saving device and observe the amp reduction (or increase, or no change). Now, time the same amount of revolutions as before.
          Did the meter slow down?
          Did the meter get faster?
          Is the meter speed the same?
          If you see a change in amps, but not a change in the meter speed, please report this. If this is what happens, I think I can explain why. I am not an Electrical Engineer, but I have studied this subject and I am very interested in your results.

          • Chip2 says:

            I did the AC on/off stopwatch before. Does it visually slow down?…yes. It just wasn’t enough to tell how much I would save over a billing cycle. I understand where you are coming from because that was what I was wondering when I first installed it. I think I checked everything in the house! I had also taken daily readings the week before installation and I seem to remember it was 49kWh each day and dropped to 36kWh a day after installation with no change in habits or weather. KWh dropped to mid 20′s on some days during the winter.

            Radiant Barrier Foil…Looks like this is one of those projects that would take 8-10 hours for 2 workers and 40 hours by myself. I decided to hang it from the rafters vs. laying on top of insulation because that method was actually taking more time because of the cuts around framing and pipes.

  2. Tony Monaco says:

    If someone had one of these there would be no guess work if the Power saver really worked.

    http://www.theenergydetective.com/ted-1000-overview.html

  3. TIm says:

    In the power save 1200 information I have received. It tells you this product is not for everyone. If you have no motors in your house or if your appliances are energy star rated then no your not going to see any savings. But if you have one or more central air uints, swiming pool, a hot tube and a well pump the savings might added up. And they tell you this right on their web site.

  4. RonS says:

    I work in Power Engineering and can say that this smells of what I call ‘pop science’ scam. The basic science behind it sounds valid, but the context is not. PFC correction devices are good for heavy inductive loads like commercial motors, which is why large manufacturing and industrial sites have capacitor banks to do this. But the key is these have to be tuned to the specific inductive loads. Having a unit installed outside your home to apply to ‘all’ inductive loads (washer, dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator etc.) does not help in the least.

    So, regardless of the shill ‘testimonials’ on this board or intentionally vague claims that the DOE has “endorsed” the technology (did you notice how it says “technology” and not the product?)I can assure you that this will not reduce your bill.

  5. TomShams says:

    Have to agree with RonS. I am not an Electrical Engineer but work for a large Power Utility company in TX. Utility companies charge you for KWHr used not KVA; what that means is you are not billed for “wasted” energy such as those from inductive loads like motors.

    I can’t help noticing there are numerous posts from one specific person who seems to have done a lot of fancy looking but ‘mis-directional’ math to prove his point. I wonder if there is a vested interest here?

    Here’s an article from a unbiased source (Energy Star): http://energystar.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/energystar.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=4941&p_created=1204908170

    • Robert says:

      Thank you for the unbiased source (Energy Star). For me, it is the most credible and worthy testimony I have seen thus far. I would like to repeat the website for emphasis:

      http://energystar.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/energystar.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=4941&p_created=1204908170

      I apologize for having so many posts, but I will always want to defend myself. I have one original post on 5/23, and the rest are replies. Just as the others, please allow me to defend myself again.

      When you ask, “I wonder if there is a vested interest here?”, if you mean, “Do you sell these devices?”- -the answer is NO, I do not sell nor do I promote these devices in any way. I do not have anything to sell. I am only interested in the truth. I tested one of these “power saving devices” and found no positive results. (Refer to my post on 5/23). If I could ever see for myself the evidence that these things work, I’ll buy one. A testimony here or there comparing one month to another, or one day to another does not convince me. I have given the setting for an accurate test that would convince me, with examples of how to do the math.

      When you say that I have given a “lot of fancy looking but ‘mis-directional’ math” to prove my point, what point do you think I was trying to prove?

      If you think I was trying to prove that these devices work, and my math proves they work, then you did not read close enough. My point that I am trying to prove is that anyone should be able to test and see for themselves if they work or not. They don’t even have to know how to do the math! They only have to compare before and after speeds of the meter in a controlled setting. But for those who must see the math, it is there for them as well.

      How could my math be “mis-directional”? The formula I use to calculate any load based upon the speed of the electric meter comes from the Pocket Guide to Watthour Meters, Second Edition, p. 18, and is published by Alexander Publications in Newport Beach, California. The utility you work for may already have a copy. I took that formula and applied it to the testing of these devices. I have admitted to and corrected my mistakes before, and I will be glad to correct them again.

  6. Chip2 says:

    I’m very happy with my savings. I am curious what some might say about Furman power conditioners. I used to own one for my recording studio and wasn’t cheap for 8 inputs.

    Furman and Power Factor Technology
    http://www.furmansound.com/page.php?div=01&id=FAQ_PowerFactorCE

    “Q. How Does It Work? (Click for answer)

    A. Power Factor Technology utilizes a proprietary parallel reactance circuit which “stores a reservoir of energy” while lowering high frequency AC impedance during transient peak operating conditions. This circuit acts like a massive “fuel tank” for your power amplifiers power supply, providing increased performance and stability with over 45 amps peak current reserve in the Elite-15 PF i, and up to 80 amps peak current from the IT-Reference 20i! This transient power factor correction technology is the same concept that is already used in many large industrial applications and in large professional power amplification systems that can not tolerate compromised performance.”

    http://www.furmansound.com/pdf/pdfdata/FurmanSMPPlusWhitePaper.pdf

    video (you might need to click Multimedia tab)

    http://www.furmansound.com/product.php?div=01&id=PL-PLUSC

  7. Chet says:

    It sounds to me like we have alot of people who are skeptical of this product. I installed one and have used it for two months. The proof is in my electric bill. $50.00 less per month over the past two months. I have tracked my energy consumption over the past 10 years and I clearly realize how much energy I use and what in my home uses the energy. The Powersave 1200 works. All of you who “think” they know how this product works are making an assumption. Use the product for a few months and compare your energy usage to previous years. Don’t be foolish and compare to the previous month. Common sense will tell you that the season and average temperature outside will affect your monthly energy consumption.

  8. Bill says:

    I was at a trade show today where they had one of these gadgets with a bunch of metering. I am an electrical engineer and understand power. Their demo was a motor with a capacitor (Their energy saving device) that could be connected or disconnected. They used this to show how the amps dropped in half when the capacitor was connected. I was able to take control of their measuring equipment for a short period of time. One of the meters was capable of measuring watts, so I connected it and measured 112 watts with the capacitor disconnected and 111 watts when the capacitor was connected. The amps were around 5.5 with the capacitor disconnected and about 2.8 with the capacitor connected. Electrical theory says that these devices do not work. My measurements with a watt meter confirmed what I thought.

    • Rick says:

      As an electrical engineer you must understand I2R line loss. Since a drop in amps causes a raise in pf, mathematically these figures offset each other (Watts = volts x amps x pf) when tested directly on top of the unit. Distance and wire resistance is where the savings are. If you test the watt savings at the point of installation at the load you will see very little savings. You must test the watt consumption at the meter where you have a distance from the unit and the load. I have conducted tests as these using a Fluke 39 meter. Testing a ¼ HP motor, I used distances of 29′, 139′, and 249′ and tested without and with. At 29″ the savings was 1% at 139′ the savings was 4.8% and at 249′ the savings were 5.5%. I also used a Westinghouse watt/hour meter and a stop watch, the results were as follows after 2 revolution of the disc. without 1 – 17 – 84 with unit 1 – 23 – 19. This indicates a 6.4% savings. This is why electric companies use capacitors to reduce their line loss, and boost their power.

  9. Dan Rider says:

    Mike Landon,

    Thank your for your question several weeks ago. I am sorry I am taking so long but, rather than shoot from the hip, I am being careful to research this one. I still need to get some rabbits down a hole before I answer your question so will be a while longer. At this point, though, I need to know if the $99 special plugs into a 110 VAC outlet or goes across 220 VAC at the breaker box.

    On this blog there are atleast two entries that have no ‘reply’ button at the end. Your last comment is one such, so am writing at the very bottom of the blog. I hope that gets fixed by the time I am ready to post an answer.

    Dan Rider

  10. mick says:

    Hi I am Mick in Ohio, I installed the power save 1200 in my home (all electric)and saved 30 percent the first month. I tested this in my own home because I am a home builder and wanted to see if it works, if so, I would put in my new builds to meet and exceed the energy star requirements. Take my word it works.
    The power save tend to do a better job in older homes (like mine) that do not have energy star appliances, furnaces, a/c units ect. Many energy star products already have built in devices to do the same as power save. Therefore some people will not realize the same results. also electric company due use capacitors to save electric, you see them but you just don’t know what they are. Electric companies also have tried to sell to the public but theirs is installed outside and benefits them, not the customer. Power to the house only goes one way thru the meter (unless you have a special meter installed), this keeps the electric company from electrocution when power goes out from people running small generators.
    If you really want more facts go to the power save site, they have plenty of testimonials, fact sheets, government testing on power factor ect.
    this product has worked in every home I have installed them in including all my families homes and everyone has save, all different but all saved with the lowest being a 18 month payoff for the product. It’s a win win either way, I have check the notify box to any comments and would be willing to talk direct, just leave e-mail in posting.

    • Robert says:

      Hello Mick,
      Thanks for your post. I have a few questions.

      1. How can you be sure that all of the reduction of your power bill (30%) is attributed to the “Power Saver”?

      2. Have you read the ENERGY STAR web page TomShams on Friday 9/18/09 refers to? That web page says,

      “We have not seen any data that proves these types of products for residential use accomplish what they claim. Power factor correction devices improve power quality but do not generally improve energy efficiency (meaning they won’t reduce your energy bill).”

      That same web page also says,

      “ENERGY STAR does not qualify any Power Factor Correction Devices. Please send us an email at logomisuse@energystar.gov if you see one that claims to be ENERGY STAR certified.”

      Since many are still claiming as you are that they are saving energy with these devices, I would like to ask one more question:

      3. Would you be willing to do some “before and after” tests with your power saver and post the results? So far, all who have tested as I requested and commented here on this web site have either found no change, or perhaps so little of a change that they are unwilling to share the results. I have tested this device myself, with no positive results. I am waiting for someone who is reporting savings to give this device what I call a “true test,” and then report the results here.
      All I want is for someone to test and report as follows:

      Speed in seconds for ? revolutions of electric meter disc WITHOUT power saver = ?
      Speed in seconds for ? revolutions of electric meter disc WITH power saver = ?

      Use a stopwatch if available, and let each test last for more than 60 seconds for accuracy. Please report what appliances were on during each test, and make sure nothing can turn off or on during the test. Please be aware that some appliances can change speeds or modes while in use. Also please report the kh rating posted on the front of the electric meter. A very popular number is 7.2.

      I look forward to seeing your response. I too, as you have said, would be willing to correspond direct with anyone through e-mail.

      Thanks,
      Robert

  11. mechdad says:

    i saw where someone asked what components are in the ps1200 unit but ever saw an answer from what saw it appears that it might work

    • Dan Rider says:

      Mechdad,

      I contains just capacitors, no electronics. Theories as to why it works and why it cannot work are no substitute for trying one out for 60 days. It depends on the house. If if does not lower your bill, you get your money back. That’s the only way to know if it lower your electric bill. What it will do for certain is protect your whole house from surge and spike damage (2000 joules). That is because capacitors will do that–regardless of the house.

      Dan Rider

    • Rick says:

      The following is from the power-save.com website for PS 1200:
      # Surge Suppression – 2000 Joules
      # Typical Protection For : Electrical Storms, Lightning Activity and Power Utility
      Spikes
      # Let Through Voltage – 150V line-to-neutral
      # Load Rating – 20A
      # 240 Volt AC application
      # Withstands surges to 480 VAC
      # 50/60 Hertz
      # Self-healing metallized capacitors
      # Low losses, 0.5 watt per kVAR
      # UL Recognized Pressure Sensitive Interrupter
      # Interrupter for maximum 10,000 amp fault currents
      # Discharge system to reduce voltage to 50 volts or less within 1 minute of deenergization
      . Case rupture protection: Internal pressure sensitive devices
      incorporated to activate at end of life or misapplication.
      # Operating temperature range of -40° C to +90° C
      # Flashpoint: + 182 degree C to + 200 degree C
      # UL 810 Listed File Number# E247765, CE and CSA certified
      # Values +/- 2% of rating
      # Hermetically sealed aluminum case with turn plate steel cover

  12. Don says:

    Dan Rider is absolutely right. And all the above talk is just that — talk. I have one of these and know that it works and why, and I work in heavy industry where we use the same techology ona larger scale for phase lag/phase angle correction all the time.

    60-day money back guarantees are not offered by people trying to pull a fast one. This is a reputable company with easily testable technology. Are you so strapped for cash you can’t try one out yourself?

    All this other theoretical crap and requests for further data are meaningless — YOU buy one and YOU play around with it. Why should we do your homework for you (Robert)? You’d just question the data, and blah blah blah some more.

    So try one for yourself, or STFU, blowhards.

  13. NH Sceptic says:

    Chip2 – Thank you for the post on your usage.
    That is what is really needed to tell if it works – compare each month with the exact same month 1 year ago. (And compare KWH not cost since rates change – and believe it or not some go down)

    Your track record shows real savings on a constant basis.

    Since along with all the regulars (washer – dryer – refridge…) We also have some others energy consumers here – 2 pond pumps (running 24hrs day 8 months) Large Jacuzzi – 3 pumps 12 months, 2 pellet stoves all winter, Household well pump, I can’t believe that it would take all that much time to save a few hundred dollars.

    Again thanks

  14. Eli says:

    Well i never comment on these forums but i just had to add to this list. It appears at the beginning there were alot of nay sayers but none that actually tried one, then when the people that have tried almost all of them noticed results, then doubters again but then more people with results. at the end of the day i have to respect that the company has to keep intelectual property a secret to some degree so that way they hve an edge in busines. so all i can say is i cant argue with results and thank you all for posting your real results and trying ahead of me. cause i have decided to get one. i guess im the next sucker. but ill let you know. if it saves money thats all im concerned with.

  15. Larry Meehan says:

    I am a believer, After one full month my electric bill dropped $15 a month. The important thing to know is, if your home has many motors it is a win for you. With that said the above article is incorrect.
    The electric companies bills on peak usage/average. Every time a motor turns on it spikes the meter raising your electric bill.
    The powersaver 1200 blocks the power surge/spike the meter sees when an electric motor turns on, this is where the savings come from.
    There is no recouping lost electric power.

    This product is legal and the concept has been used in industry for many years.

    Thanks for reading!!!!!

  16. Bobco says:

    I have a two 5 ton geothermal units in my home used for space heating and cooling. The compressors have start up surge currents of 118 Amps but run currents closer to 25 amps. The geothermal manufacturer sells something called Intellistart that cuts the startup surge by about 70%, from 118amps to 41 amps. I want to have a generator backup to my all electric home so I have a choice to add the Intellistarts to each compressor at a combined cost of $1800 or the power-save device at a cost of $300. Not clear if the powersave device would lower the surge like the Intellistart. Using something to lower the surge lets me use a smaller generator. Any ideas from the power engineers would be appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Bobco

  17. Dan Rider says:

    Mike Landon,

    I apologize for taking so long to answer. I have not had time to write for months. Why pay $299 when you can pay $99 for something similar sold on Ebay? I don’t know anything about the $99 model, but will give you some information regarding the PS1200. The PS1200 was originally called ABET 2200 and received UL approval under that name. (Power Save later decided to adopt a nomenclature for both single and three-phase units that started with “PS” followed by the phase and the amperage. So their three-phase units are “PS3200 and “PS3400”.) Does the $99 have UL approval as a UNIT (not just contain UL-approved parts)? Power Save gave me the URL to see the UL listing for the ABET 2200. If the $99 item says it is UL approved but cannot give you the URL where you can see that listing, they are fibbing. Something that is not UL approved can void your fire insurance. UL approval costs money (which contributes to the cost of the PS1200). Also, since the $99 item has a plastic case, would the fire insurance inspector be impressed to see a device connected to your breaker box that melted or burned? (The PS1200 has an aluminum case with a steel turn plate cover and phenolic insulating bushings.) If you buy the $99 item and void your fire insurance, how much money have you saved? Here are some other features of the PS1200 to help you compare it to the $99 item. Ask yourself if the same is true of the $99 item.

    The manufacturer gives a 60-day money-back trial period, and a 5-year warranty on the unit, and it has a 20-year design life. An 1800 joules Eaton whole-house surge protector costs about $160 and does not correct power factor. The PS1200 gives 2000 joules of whole-house surge protection up to 480 volts through capacitors and metal oxide varistors. It will handle 240 VAC, 200 amp service and a 20 amp inductive load. Both contain capacitors, but all capacitors are not created equal. Capacitors vary in size (capacitance), and therefore in capacity to store power. The more power a capacitor can store, the more it can alternately absorb from inductive loads and then give it back. I have heard 88 mf in connection with the PS1200. What is the capacitance of the ‘blue light special’? If the $99 item does not offer a free trial period, I suspect its capacitors are not as big as the PS1200. The PS1200 uses low-loss (.5 per kVAR), self-healing metalized capacitors that suppress harmonics (line noise that can mess up electronic equipment). (What is the loss of the $99 item?) It has a UL-recognized pressure sensitive interrupter for maximum of 10,000 amp fault currents (part of surge suppression) that can function as many times as needed (not one-shot). It has a system that discharges the capacitors to 50 volts or less within one minute after turning power off (to prevent dangerous voltage when working on house wiring or an appliance with power turned off). It has case rupture protection: internal pressure-sensitive devices activate at end of life or misapplication. Flashpoint: 182-200 degrees C, operating temperature -40 to +90 C. UL 810 listed file number E347765, CE & CSA certified, hermetically sealed aluminum case with turn plate steel cover; operating life 60,000 hours with 95% survival; general enclosure: NEMA 3R indoor/outdoor; wire rating: 600 Volts, THHN, or MTW or THWN or AWM, gasoline and oil resistant 11. This is what you get for $299. What do you get for $99?
    Dan Rider

    • Mike Landon says:

      Thanks for all the good information. It is the KVAR PU1200 that I saw for $99 and the PU1200 Plus for $125. One picture of a PS1200 I saw had only 2 capacitors and a power light in the metal enclosure (no power surge circuit / varister). I don’t know if it had been modified? The picture of a PU1200 Plus did have a surge circuit pictured with the 2 capacitors. Varistors / surge circuits have a history of short life spans (maybe 5 years but 20 years would be a long time). One of the readers here could tell us what size capacitor is used in their unit since they are required to be labeled.

  18. Josh says:

    I installed a ps1200 in august 2008 and my bill then was $153 on a monthly basis. My bill dropped to $141 the next month and then it dropped to $134 in december of 2008 and just this past december 2009 my bill dropped to $113. My family has never changed any of its habits, meaning I have no CFL bulbs or LED bulbs. So to all of you who say it wont save you any money, explain this. Id would be more then happy to show you my APS bills to prove it. It has done all of this is ARIZONA.

  19. JeffRoe says:

    I first learned about “power-factor correction” in college years ago in an electrical engineering curriculim. I investigated these devices at that time but residential units were not available and I forgot about it. Now they are.

    Sorry, but this theory is not a scam. IF the device is designed properly AND it corrects the power factor it WILL save you money. The only question is – it this device designed properly. I just purchased the PS1200 and installed it today. The proof will be in the monthly bills that are yet to come.

    It will only save you money, and hence only worth the investment, if you are currently using multiple appliances in your home that have motors in them (refrigerators, washer, dryer, fuel-oil burner, furnace fan motor, heat pump, air conditioners, dishwashers, water pumps, etc). The more of these you NORMALLY use, the higher your savings will be.

    Good luck with all of that.

  20. BillF says:

    I am also an electrical engineer working in the power field for many years.
    These devices are really nothing more than a capacitor. It is true that if you install a capacitor near a motor with a poor power factor, you will reduce the current supplying the motor / capacitor combination. The disagreement comes with the amount of energy that will be saved. If the wire between the incoming power meter and the motor / capacitor is a VERY LONG run or the wire is UNDERSIZED, there will be a reasonable energy savings of probably 5% or so.
    The units for your house is installed at your breaker box which is typically installed a few feet away from your utility meter with very large gauge wire. In this setup, the current going to the motor from the breaker box does not change regardless of whether the capacitor is online or offline which means that there is no power loss reduction going to the motor. The only current that changes is the current coming from the utility, which means that the only I2R loss that you are recovering is the loss between the utility meter and your breaker box ( where the capacitor is connected) which is over that large gauge wire which will result in virtually no energy savings.
    If you understand power and can picture my description above, you will agree with me. The interesting thing is that people say they are saving energy. Human nature is an interesting thing. If you want something to happen, it will!
    On another note, my average utility bill is about $60 per month for a 2,000 sq ft house. That equates to about 350 KWH per month. In the summer, it peaks up to about $100 per month with the A/C running. I have achieved this by installing efficient appliances, lighting, etc. along with a lot of insulation, good windows and doors and most of all turning things off and only running appliances (washers, dryers, etc.) when they are full. If you change your behavior, you can save significant energy.

  21. Den says:

    to reply to the sceptics, this this does work and I have the electric bills to prove it, I installed mine last february and have seen an average cut in usage about 200kwh per month, This past summer was the big savings almost up to 40% off my past yrs electic bill, plus I have noticed my appliance seem to run much more quiet. So if you do or don’t believe I guess the proof is when you save. I am happy I got mine .

  22. Robert says:

    Someone suggested that I should do my own homework. The truth is, I have tested two units in two different settings, and tried to figure out how to help anyone find out for themselves the truth concerning “in home power factor correction.” I suggested timing the disc of the utility meter, and even though my math could be overwhelming, it involved simple algebra and math. Even if someone could not do the math, if they could count and time the turns of the meter they could do before-and-after comparisons. So far, about 9 months later, I have yet to witness anyone post absolute positive results using my suggestion.

    I realize that everyone will not be convinced one way or the other. The explanation as to why residential power factor correction is not economical can be very complicated for anyone that is a novice in electricity. This is why the Energy Star website mentioned earlier and the following should be weighed heavily:

    http://www.nist.gov/cgi-bin//get_pdf.cgi.pub_id=903669

    The title of the document is, “Regarding Electric Energy Savings, Power Factors,
    and Carbon Footprints: A Primer” and is from the United States Department of Commerce, specifically, the Electronics and Electrical Engineering Laboratory / National Institute of Standards and Technology.
    This document is only 9 pages long, approaches the subject from a technical standpoint, but at the end has a discussion in terms anyone can understand.

    Good luck to all in your search for the truth.

    Robert

    • Anonymous says:

      I typed the address incorrectly. Let me try again.

      http://www.nist.gov/cgi-bin//get_pdf.cgi?pub_id=903669

      I hope this one is accurate.
      Robert

    • Rick says:

      As an electrical engineer you must understand I2R line loss. Since a drop in amps causes a raise in pf, mathematically these figures offset each other (Watts = volts x amps x pf) when tested directly on top of the unit. Distance and wire resistance is where the savings are. If you test the watt savings at the point of installation at the load you will see very little savings. You must test the watt consumption at the meter where you have a distance from the unit and the load. I have conducted tests as these using a Fluke 39 meter. Testing a ¼ HP motor, I used distances of 29′, 139′, and 249′ and tested without and with. At 29″ the savings was 1% at 139′ the savings was 4.8% and at 249′ the savings were 5.5%. I also used a Westinghouse watt/hour meter and a stop watch, the results were as follows after 2 revolution of the disc. without 1 – 17 – 84 with unit 1 – 23 – 19. This indicates a 6.4% savings. This is why electric companies use capacitors to reduce their line loss, and boost their power.

  23. BillF says:

    Rick, people are going to read your last post and interpret that if they install one of these devices in their home, that they will save a large percentage of their electric bill.

    These devices for your home are mounted at your breaker box with is typically a few feet away from your utility meter and is typically connected to the utility meter with very large wire. Wouldn’t you agree that there is practically no I2R loss between the breaker box and the utility meter, assuming it is a few feet away?
    Wouldn’t you agree that installing the device at your breaker box will yield almost no savings on your electric bill?

  24. Rick says:

    Not necessarily so. There are many different variables that enter into the equation. The test results that I listed are shown with the distance from the load and unit to the meter. As you stated many people mount the unit at the circuit breaker box, needless to say there is less I2R to be reduced, but there are other factors to be considered. Many of the units I have tested contain more than just capacitors. Some of the various components are line noise filters and surge suppressors along with capacitors. I also use another meter a Power Sight that will show just about all important facets of power consumption. i.e… Harmonics (THD volts and amps), surges, start-up, volts, amps, pf, watts, KVA, and KVAR. Using this information along with age of the electrical equipment can give you a better perspective as to the possibilities of a particular electrical system. So to say there can not be any meaningful savings at the breaker box is not entirely correct. I do feel that the larger savings will be realized if the units are mounted at the load rather than at the breaker box. i.e… ref A/C, water pumps, any AC motor driven devices etc. One thing to be noted by many of the YouTube video of energy saving devices is you do not pay for amps you pay for watts. Power factor correction alone will not necessarily save any watts. Remember Watts = Volts x amps x pf. A rise in pf is offset by a drop in amps. Most generally net change very little.

  25. Mike Morris says:

    I bit and bought one. I have noticeable inductive loads from a onsite well pump, external heat pump, and furnace. I don’t have any facts on savings to date. Will get back to you.


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