(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: power saver magic??

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    9,001

    Default power saver magic??

    There used to be a device...might have been called a "green plug" or something, that you plugged an appliance like an air conditioner or refrigerator, and by supposedly clipping the sine wave, you got the same performance at lower watts.


    Now, I mostly heard that this was smoke and mirrors, and in fact may damage a motor. I would not use it. But I am now being asked to find such a device for the wall A/C in a hotel ( 240VAC, 20 amp units.)

    My question is this: does anyone have a reference to a good technical article debunking the devices, or...???

  2. #2

    Default

    Don't need any articles to tell you this is bunk. The power available in a sine wave is based on the shape of the waveform. The moment you start clipping the wave is the moment that you start losing power. Some things wouldn't care much - a light bulb for example. It just wouldn't be as bright. But other electronics, and yes motors, aren't going to be very happy. You can't get something for nothing. BTW, clipping creates terrible harmonics that can fry electronics.

  3. #3
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,376

    Default

    Power factor adjusting things can confuse the power meter some and maybe help a little. Way back, Popular Science had an article on one and the schematic of how to build one. Normally, only used for big power users.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  4. #4
    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    South of Boston, MA
    Posts
    885

    Default

    Green site I visit has one person who installed one & claims 10% savings:

    http://forums.treehugger.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6271
    DIY Handyman (not 4 hire)
    I have enough to do to my own house

  5. #5
    Licensed Electrician hcbflash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    3

    Default I'm doubtfull

    I used to take money from a guy that sold them ("energy saving" transient clipping do-dads) to folks he sold them to. I still feel bad about it, but I went back and installed more at one site where the "customer" said that it worked well and saved energy and the connected equipment.

    I'll be dog-goned if I can remember the name of the device or its manufacturer. The guy I dealt with is probably dead, as I haven't seen him in 20 yrs, and he was an old man then.

    If it could work, it could only by a couple "games", that can shunt a voltage spike to ground without the utility meter being able to detect the power flow. Since I'm no expert on the operation or electronics of utility power meters I don't know how it could be done. I do know that whatever is shunted to ground at the device would simply be "grounded" in essence through the load otherwise and both conditions are metered.

    Another very, very slight possibility is that a users power supply has so much "noise" imposed on it by a local source, that motors suffer additional electrical heating in their windings, and that heating is enough to do damage to those windings, resulting in the use of the power required to destroy the motor fully or trip the protective devices. Of course the new unit might offer higher efficiency......

    What I'd like to find out is how the inventor explains it!

  6. #6
    Licensed Electrician hcbflash's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    3

    Default power factor

    I should have also mentioned that "surge suppressors", "noise filters" and "power factor" are all very different things. In fact, the single thing that they may have most in common is that none of them effect a residential electrical bill.


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •