Energy Savings with black box devices

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dmiller321

New member
Voltage Control Guard VCG is making some pretty wild claims on energy reductions with their new black box device and all data or test I have seen are a joke. I would like to get some input from this forum on this specific device and its physics and how you could even calculate any energy reductions from it.
 

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
DM, welcome to the forum! :)

We have seen a plethora of magic boxes that purport to save money on electric bills. Most are PF-correction devices, but, since residences are not penalizedd for poor PF, they cannot have any effect on the bill.

Plus, low-PF equipment must have correction sized to the load, so a single, one-size-fits-all device cannot have the required capacity to correct every installation. So, you won't find much support in this forum.
 

charlie b

Moderator
Staff member
This particular device claims not to have any capacitors. So they are not playing the pf correction game. Their web site makes the following claim:
This energy is returned with proper phase and polarity on the neutral side thus decreasing overall demand.
If you are asking for a physics-based explanation of their device, I can't give you one. For that phrase makes no sense to me at all.


In fact, at the surface it appears to contradict basic physics. It claims to be returning energy, which of necessity means that there is an available source of energy. But it has no internal energy source, so there can be no energy to return. IMHO, it is a scam. A new and different sort of scam perhaps, but a scam nontheless.
 

charlie b

Moderator
Staff member
If that last phrase from their web site was not entertaining enough, here is another:
The Voltage Control Guard (VCG1) is different. The VCG1 is electrically installed in parallel to the neutral bus in an electric panel. The device immediately begins working. The VCG1 reduces daily KWH consumption by inductively capturing noise or unusable current on the neutral line and restores it to phase and polarity so the broad band frequency noises are not dragged back into the consuming loads each time the AC power cycles (60 times per second in the U.S.). There are no lights, switches, capacitors, resistors, circuit boards, or other electronic components ? it does not require or draw power.
:roll:
 

K8MHZ

Senior Member
If that last phrase from their web site was not entertaining enough, here is another:
:roll:
It's got two coils in it. Here is a drawing of the circuit



From this site that looked into the device.

The UL listings are hysterical. They are, from my (possibly flawed) research: Listings that affirm this device is "safe" when installed as intended. Of course, you could get the same listing on the average rock, as long as you didn't throw it at anyone. The device is certainly safe, as it performs no function whatsoever.
Now, correct me if I am wrong, but if the coils see a frequency they are resonant at, would they not present the MOST impedance and actually increase the portion of current flowing through the neutral bar?

Also, the coils are fixed value coils, meaning they can only have one resonant frequency. Any thing outside that limited range will just see the coils as some copper wire.
 
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Jraef

Moderator
Staff member
Now, correct me if I am wrong, but if the coils see a frequency they are resonant at, would they not present the MOST impedance and actually increase the portion of current flowing through the neutral bar?

Also, the coils are fixed value coils, meaning they can only have one resonant frequency. Any thing outside that limited range will just see the coils as some copper wire.
Look at the drawing. There is nothing flowing THROUGH anything. It's a total joke, an affront to the sensibilities of any decent engineer. Their apparent goal here is to separate the ignorant from their hard earned money. Mind you ignorance is not a derogatory term, it's just a statement assessing the likely exposure someone has to a concept. Most people have little or no exposure to the inner workings of electrical power, so they are easily led astray. These guys are taking advantage of that. But for every one like you who looks at it and says "That can't be right!", there are probably hundreds or even thousands of people who look at it and say "Wow... I'll buy that".

In some other forum I participated in we discussed this exact product and someone even cut one open to see what it was inside. Wire coiled up in epoxy.

For future reference, here is another good website that is trying to collect data on all the different energy scam products springing up out there. They are a little less harsh in their criticism than I would be, but they are selling advertising and therefore have revenue, so I guess they have to be a little more careful about being sued.

http://open4energy.com/forum/home/scam/energy_saving_scams
 

BJ Conner

Senior Member
One born every minute ( more like 10 or 12 these days).

One born every minute ( more like 10 or 12 these days).

The device works exactly as designed. It seperates gullible from their money ;)
 

dbuckley

Senior Member
Look at the drawing. There is nothing flowing THROUGH anything.
Come on Jraef - you know better than that - electricity takes all possible paths, and that busbar has a non-zero impedance. So some current must flow through those coils. Not likely to be very much, I grant you :)

Doesn't alter the fact this box is a practical implimentation of the old adage "a fool and their money are soon parted".
 

Jraef

Moderator
Staff member
Come on Jraef - you know better than that - electricity takes all possible paths, and that busbar has a non-zero impedance. So some current must flow through those coils. Not likely to be very much, I grant you :)

Doesn't alter the fact this box is a practical implimentation of the old adage "a fool and their money are soon parted".
Are you thinking that the solid neutral bus bar is going to have less resistance / impedance between two points along its length than a wired device containing coils going through terminals of the same bus at the same points? ;)
 

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
Are you thinking that the solid neutral bus bar is going to have less resistance / impedance between two points along its length than a wired device containing coils going through terminals of the same bus at the same points? ;)
I would hope so.
 

dbuckley

Senior Member
Are you thinking that the solid neutral bus bar is going to have less resistance / impedance between two points along its length than a wired device containing coils going through terminals of the same bus at the same points? ;)
I've not actually measured it, y'know, but I think its a reasonable possibility. Unless those super-thin wires to the coilly thing are made of some really cool material with properties far different (indeed better) than copper. Nano-somethings or others, or something out of the cold fusion lab.

But lets assume the wires really are copper; so then what puzzles me is why that bar is there? Shirley (usual joke applies) the device would work better if the (presumably UL blessed) instruction said something about removing the neutral bar...?

I think someone has missed a trick on this one :)
 

Jraef

Moderator
Staff member
I've not actually measured it, y'know, but I think its a reasonable possibility. Unless those super-thin wires to the coilly thing are made of some really cool material with properties far different (indeed better) than copper. Nano-somethings or others, or something out of the cold fusion lab.

But lets assume the wires really are copper; so then what puzzles me is why that bar is there? Shirley (usual joke applies) the device would work better if the (presumably UL blessed) instruction said something about removing the neutral bar...?

I think someone has missed a trick on this one :)
I don't think they really want current to flow through that device, it would increase the likelihood of it actually doing something, which might cause a fire, risking their UL listing...
 

dbuckley

Senior Member
I don't think they really want current to flow through that device, it would increase the likelihood of it actually doing something, which might cause a fire, risking their UL listing...
But just think though - if this thing were in circuit without the neutral bar, and this thing burns out (with or without a fire) - it'll then open the circuit, and that'll reduce the power consumption.

Perhaps this thing does work after all.......
 

LarryFine

Master Electrician Electric Contractor Richmond VA
But just think though - if this thing were in circuit without the neutral bar, and this thing burns out (with or without a fire) - it'll then open the circuit, and that'll reduce the power consumption.

Perhaps this thing does work after all.......
Then, when the line-to-neutral loads burn out from the voltage imbalance, the power consumption will drop even more.
 
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