05-08-2008, 04:20 PM
This company has a few interesting products and they drop ship right to the consumer. They are also publicly traded. I think I'm interested in their PowerSave 1200 which they sale for 300$ and say you can save up to 25% on your electric. It does some power conditioning, increases your "power factor" and decreases the amperage you draw off the grid.
Link to the website: http://www.power-save.com/1200.html
Anyone have any idea whether or not this would actually work as described and a better description of what it actually might be doing? There doesn't appear to be much technical detail on the site.
05-09-2008, 10:04 AM
Looks to me like this box decreases your power factor. Residential power meters only measure resistive (in phase) power. Using this box might be illegal.
05-09-2008, 12:28 PM
Reading the specs, it looks like a big capacitor to me. Large industrial accounts sometimes put on power-factor-correcting capacitors if they have some huge inductive loads, like motors or electro-magnets. Utilities frequently penalize industrial customers with power factors below 0.85.
For the uninitiated, "power factor" refers to the amount that the current gets out of phase with the voltage in an alternating current circuit. Big coils of wire (like in motors) create magnetic fields that first delay current flow, then collapse and kick in some current. This causes the current wave to get a little behind the voltage wave. This creates a "lagging" power factor.
Capacitors first push out some current, then as the peak of the voltage wave passes, they suck up some current. This is called a "leading" power factor.
None of the leading or lagging current (called reactive current) shows up on your utility meter, so you don't pay a dime extra bacause of it. In large doses, it wreaks havoc with the utility's generators and possibly the power quality going to your neighbors. That's why the utilities have limits of what you can do before you have to "correct" a power factor. As noted above, you correct a "lagging" power factor by adding something that creates "leading" power factor.
However, putting on a capacitor that over-corrects is just as bad as not having one on at all. It takes a really sharp electrician with some fancy metering to figure out if you have a power factor problem and then figure out how much capacitor you need to fix it. Not something to order online.
Usually, the largest "lagging" power factor device you have at a home is the air conditioning compressor. Refrigerator compressors, etc. are not worth worrying about.
My hunch - this device will probably just lighten one load - that load of cash in your wallet.