Energy Smart Power Planner Beware

Discussion in 'Home Power and Microgeneration' started by Donald, Feb 18, 2004.

  1. Donald

    Donald Guest

    Beware of Energy Smart's Power Planner by Coast Energy Management
    www.energysmart.com

    The claims are not arrived at in a valid way. The power measurements must
    ALLWAYS be taken BEFORE the Power Planner and not AFTER. Power factor
    must be used to calculate the actual power measured at the meter.

    The "demo" units commonly found in Home Depot have an "optimized" unit. A
    unit from the shelf will not yeild the same savings.

    Expect a payback on a unit running 24 hours a day to be 18months to 5
    years not 6 to 14 months!

    Rules of thumb for any real savings:
    Must have full rated voltage as stated on the data plate.
    Must have stable power factor or the Power Planner will disengage.
    Must be running at less than 60% of the rated load of the motor.
    CAN work on more than one motor at a time but they must be under the same load.


    Watch out for the ground lug/bolts on the boxes. The powder coat does NOT
    conduct! Mounting the compensating capacitors to the ground lug/bolt
    isn't a great idea to begin with and if the lug isn't really grounded
    could make for a shocking experience! Using the ground as a current
    return is probably against most electrical codes as well.

    This guy is slick! If he pauses and squints a little, it's time to leave.

    Bottom line: they work but not like they say they do at EnergySmart.
     
    Donald, Feb 18, 2004
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Donald

    m Ransley Guest

    What actualy does that unit do and can it harm apliances
     
    m Ransley, Feb 18, 2004
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Donald

    daestrom Guest

    "m Ransley" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > What actualy does that unit do and can it harm apliances
    >


    The devices monitor the amount of load on a motor and change the amount of
    applied voltage to optimize the performance.

    Induction motors suffer from poor power factor when operated at less than
    their fully designed load. When they operate at low power factors, their
    overall efficiency drops. A larger percentage of the input energy is wasted
    than when the motor operates under design conditions.

    If a fully loaded motor is operated at reduced voltage, it can be damaged by
    excessive currents and overheating. But a lightly-loaded motor can be
    operated at reduced voltage, and it's poor power factor will actually
    improve. This device (and others like it) sense when the motor is fully
    loaded or lightly loaded and adjust the applied voltage automatically to
    optimize motor efficiency.

    The savings depend on how much time the motor is running with less than full
    load, and how poorly the motor efficiency drops under those conditions.
    Many home appliances do *not* operate under light load for very long.
    Refrigerator & A/C compressors are usually sized to be 'just right' and not
    oversized. When cooling is not needed, they shut off, not operate the motor
    'unloaded'. Blower motors on furnaces *may* be lightly-loaded depending on
    the exact adjustments of speed/flow.

    Machine shop tools and compressors that run 'unloaded'/'loaded' instead of
    shutting off/restarting are typical situations where some savings can be
    found using this type of controller. But most home users just shut their
    power saw when not using it :)

    It isn't really new, the idea/technology has been around for years. But you
    only realize some *real* savings in very special applications, not your
    average home refrigerator.

    daestrom
     
    daestrom, Feb 19, 2004
    #3
  4. Donald

    Donald Guest

    Daestrom is correct but I'll add my 2 cents to the thread....

    The Power Planners work by leaving an SCR turned off until the programmed
    processor tells it to turn on. This is done with a pot on the PCB. The
    idea is that an induction motor doesn't need all of the energy it consumes
    when it's not running at its full rated load. There are a great number of
    engineering articles on this subject, some go one way and some go the
    other way about energy used in induction motors at various loads. IF you
    have full voltage available and IF you have a non-high efficiency motor
    and IF it's not running at near the full rated load and IF the Power
    Planner is adjusted correctly then you have good savings and reduced motor
    temps. With these conditions the Power Planner would maintain the voltage
    but just limit the amount of AC cycle exposed to the motor. The motor
    doesn't go into an under-voltage/over-current condition and the work and
    RPMs are maintained and the whole setup uses less energy and the motor
    temp is reduced so your motor lasts longer. Everyone is happy!

    The Power Planners have 2 pots, one is for the engage delay and the other
    is for adjusting the amount of cut in the SCRs. The Power Planner IIs
    have just one SCR on the high leg, there is one version that had 2
    parallel SCRs with no load equalizing circuit. Power Planner IIIs use 3
    SCRs. An additional caution on the Power Planner IIIs: The PCB uses one
    of the legs as a psuedo reference and picks a little voltage off another
    leg to run the circuit. In other words the PCB is at or near the line
    voltage! Back to the pots, if you have what you believe is a good
    candidate for a Power Planner then the you can try messing with the pots
    and potentially get more a savings than the factory setting. I've heard
    of results where breakers on generators that used to trip no longer trip
    with the Power Planner but I've also heard of cases where the wiring did
    not allow for sufficient line voltage or a stable power factor and the
    Power Planner just would not produce a savings or would fail outright.
    The Power Planner I and II and fluorescent all use the same PCB, the Power
    Planner Is and IIs use the same programmed chip. The fluorescent model
    uses a different chip altogether and I believe is adjusted with a photo
    meter to brightness with regular ballasts, not sure if they claim it works
    on electronic ballasts.

    The chance of harming a motor depends on the set up. Trying to use a soft
    start on a motor that suddenly has a much greater load than it did when it
    was set up would probably lock up the motor and fail the smoke test. Soft
    start on the Power Planner III is one of the jumpers on the PCB that
    changes the delay pot to the current limit pot so it technically isn't a
    soft start just a blind current limited start. Loosing an SCR on a three
    phase unit can cause issues with motors although the Power Planner will
    shut down sometimes if there is a lost leg. Electronics integrated into
    motor appliances like the new refrigerators can have issues and unusual
    operation with a Power Planner. Coast Energy Managements attempts to wire
    houses with a single phase Power Planner II with a 100-250amp SCR was a
    very bad idea and causes line filters to hum and speed controlled motors
    to act up although I'm not aware of any equipment damage/failures from the
    adventure.


    In article <energy-1802040945250001@192.168.1.33>,
    (Donald) wrote:

    > Beware of Energy Smart's Power Planner by Coast Energy Management
    > www.energysmart.com
    >
    > The claims are not arrived at in a valid way. The power measurements must
    > ALLWAYS be taken BEFORE the Power Planner and not AFTER. Power factor
    > must be used to calculate the actual power measured at the meter.
    >
    > The "demo" units commonly found in Home Depot have an "optimized" unit. A
    > unit from the shelf will not yeild the same savings.
    >
    > Expect a payback on a unit running 24 hours a day to be 18months to 5
    > years not 6 to 14 months!
    >
    > Rules of thumb for any real savings:
    > Must have full rated voltage as stated on the data plate.
    > Must have stable power factor or the Power Planner will disengage.
    > Must be running at less than 60% of the rated load of the motor.
    > CAN work on more than one motor at a time but they must be under the

    same load.
    >
    >
    > Watch out for the ground lug/bolts on the boxes. The powder coat does NOT
    > conduct! Mounting the compensating capacitors to the ground lug/bolt
    > isn't a great idea to begin with and if the lug isn't really grounded
    > could make for a shocking experience! Using the ground as a current
    > return is probably against most electrical codes as well.
    >
    > This guy is slick! If he pauses and squints a little, it's time to leave.
    >
    > Bottom line: they work but not like they say they do at EnergySmart.
     
    Donald, Feb 19, 2004
    #4
  5. Donald

    Donald Guest

    Those are some cool pics of the mod you did to use the Power Planner in
    that application.

    I'm afraid I was originally mistaken when I said the Power Planner I and
    Power Planner II use the same board/circuit. I reviewed my notes and
    drawings to find they are different but they do use the same chip I
    believe. The Power Planner III is altogether different.

    http://www.ezend.com/ppi.tif 85K
    http://www.ezend.com/ppii.tif 97K
    http://www.ezend.com/ppiii.tif 550K
    LZW compression so you may need to download or recover from the cache
    folder to view with a graphics viewer depending on the browser and OS and
    all that stuff.

    Happy Hacking,
    Don



    In article <403ab298$>, "James Parish"
    <> wrote:

    > I have taken them apart and wired in a SSR to increase the current so I
    > could run my 240v 1.5hp well pump. It drops the current from 8a to 6a and
    > yes, I tweaked the pots. I bought them on holiday special for $29 each,
    > take a look:
    >
    > http://www.j-com.net/PFC_bare.JPG
    >
    > http://www.j-com.net/PFC_closeup.JPG
    >
    > http://www.j-com.net/PFC_BOX.JPG
    >
    >
    > "Donald" <> wrote in message
    > news:energy-1902040743390001@192.168.1.33...
    > > Daestrom is correct but I'll add my 2 cents to the thread....
    > >
    > > The Power Planners work by leaving an SCR turned off until the programmed
    > > processor tells it to turn on. This is done with a pot on the PCB. The
    > > idea is that an induction motor doesn't need all of the energy it consumes
    > > when it's not running at its full rated load. There are a great number of
    > > engineering articles on this subject, some go one way and some go the
    > > other way about energy used in induction motors at various loads. IF you
    > > have full voltage available and IF you have a non-high efficiency motor
    > > and IF it's not running at near the full rated load and IF the Power
    > > Planner is adjusted correctly then you have good savings and reduced motor
    > > temps. With these conditions the Power Planner would maintain the voltage
    > > but just limit the amount of AC cycle exposed to the motor. The motor
    > > doesn't go into an under-voltage/over-current condition and the work and
    > > RPMs are maintained and the whole setup uses less energy and the motor
    > > temp is reduced so your motor lasts longer. Everyone is happy!
    > >
    > > The Power Planners have 2 pots, one is for the engage delay and the other
    > > is for adjusting the amount of cut in the SCRs. The Power Planner IIs
    > > have just one SCR on the high leg, there is one version that had 2
    > > parallel SCRs with no load equalizing circuit. Power Planner IIIs use 3
    > > SCRs. An additional caution on the Power Planner IIIs: The PCB uses one
    > > of the legs as a psuedo reference and picks a little voltage off another
    > > leg to run the circuit. In other words the PCB is at or near the line
    > > voltage! Back to the pots, if you have what you believe is a good
    > > candidate for a Power Planner then the you can try messing with the pots
    > > and potentially get more a savings than the factory setting. I've heard
    > > of results where breakers on generators that used to trip no longer trip
    > > with the Power Planner but I've also heard of cases where the wiring did
    > > not allow for sufficient line voltage or a stable power factor and the
    > > Power Planner just would not produce a savings or would fail outright.
    > > The Power Planner I and II and fluorescent all use the same PCB, the Power
    > > Planner Is and IIs use the same programmed chip. The fluorescent model
    > > uses a different chip altogether and I believe is adjusted with a photo
    > > meter to brightness with regular ballasts, not sure if they claim it works
    > > on electronic ballasts.
    > >
    > > The chance of harming a motor depends on the set up. Trying to use a soft
    > > start on a motor that suddenly has a much greater load than it did when it
    > > was set up would probably lock up the motor and fail the smoke test. Soft
    > > start on the Power Planner III is one of the jumpers on the PCB that
    > > changes the delay pot to the current limit pot so it technically isn't a
    > > soft start just a blind current limited start. Loosing an SCR on a three
    > > phase unit can cause issues with motors although the Power Planner will
    > > shut down sometimes if there is a lost leg. Electronics integrated into
    > > motor appliances like the new refrigerators can have issues and unusual
    > > operation with a Power Planner. Coast Energy Managements attempts to wire
    > > houses with a single phase Power Planner II with a 100-250amp SCR was a
    > > very bad idea and causes line filters to hum and speed controlled motors
    > > to act up although I'm not aware of any equipment damage/failures from the
    > > adventure.
    > >
    > >
    > > In article <energy-1802040945250001@192.168.1.33>,
    > > (Donald) wrote:
    > >
    > > > Beware of Energy Smart's Power Planner by Coast Energy Management
    > > > www.energysmart.com
    > > >
    > > > The claims are not arrived at in a valid way. The power measurements

    > must
    > > > ALLWAYS be taken BEFORE the Power Planner and not AFTER. Power factor
    > > > must be used to calculate the actual power measured at the meter.
    > > >
    > > > The "demo" units commonly found in Home Depot have an "optimized" unit.

    > A
    > > > unit from the shelf will not yeild the same savings.
    > > >
    > > > Expect a payback on a unit running 24 hours a day to be 18months to 5
    > > > years not 6 to 14 months!
    > > >
    > > > Rules of thumb for any real savings:
    > > > Must have full rated voltage as stated on the data plate.
    > > > Must have stable power factor or the Power Planner will disengage.
    > > > Must be running at less than 60% of the rated load of the motor.
    > > > CAN work on more than one motor at a time but they must be under the

    > > same load.
    > > >
    > > >
    > > > Watch out for the ground lug/bolts on the boxes. The powder coat does

    > NOT
    > > > conduct! Mounting the compensating capacitors to the ground lug/bolt
    > > > isn't a great idea to begin with and if the lug isn't really grounded
    > > > could make for a shocking experience! Using the ground as a current
    > > > return is probably against most electrical codes as well.
    > > >
    > > > This guy is slick! If he pauses and squints a little, it's time to

    > leave.
    > > >
    > > > Bottom line: they work but not like they say they do at EnergySmart.

    >
    >
    >
    >
    > -----= Posted via Newsfeeds.Com, Uncensored Usenet News =-----
    > http://www.newsfeeds.com - The #1 Newsgroup Service in the World!
    > -----== Over 100,000 Newsgroups - 19 Different Servers! =-----
     
    Donald, Mar 3, 2004
    #5
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