scam or real deal

Dom99

Member
Regarding residential, I believe if you clamp an amp meter on it you'll find it continually draws amps with nothing running. That means your watt hour house meter is registering and charging you for it. Not to mention you PF is pretty close to one as is.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Regarding residential, I believe if you clamp an amp meter on it you'll find it continually draws amps with nothing running. That means your watt hour house meter is registering and charging you for it. Not to mention you PF is pretty close to one as is.
Have you verified that the watt-hour meter is registering this current? It is simply capacitive reactive current which is opposing or canceling to inductive reactive current. The watt-hour meter is not supposed to register the inductive reactive current so why would it register the capacitive current? The only benefit is the canceling of inductive current - if it is of similar magintude as the reactive current. Will lower total volt amps but will not change total watts.
 

gar

Senior Member
110606-2342 EDT

Dom99:

You need to precisely define what you are talking about. I do not understand your description.

Do you have one of these devices?

If you disconnect the power saver device and turn off all the breakers, then does your KWH meter rotate? It should be absolutely still.

Now under these same conditions, everything off, and you connect the power saver is there any rotation of the meter?

The power saver should produce a current reading, but the KWH meter should not rotate?
If it does rotate, then the rotation should be very slow.
If it rotates fast like a 25 to 100 W bulb would cause, then the power saver has extremely poor quality capacitors or your KWH meter has a problem.
If the power saver causes a very slow rotation of the KWH meter, then I would expect that to occur from the losses in the power saver capacitors.

.
 

Dom99

Member
I had bought one on Ebay a few years ago. The first one was defective so another one was sent. I did not shut all breakers in the panel but no motors were running that I was aware of.

I seem to recall sending an email stating that if the power saver doesn't use any electric why is my fluke showing 5.4 amps with nothing running. He sent a response saying something to the effect that capacitors don't use any power and what I was measuring was the "back and forth of the 60 HZ".

That was when I disconnected it. I figured if amps are being drawn then I'm being billed for it.
 
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Sierrasparky

Senior Member
I still don't think in the long run in a normal household you will see much savings. I think you can save way more power by using other means.
 

Besoeker

Senior Member
I am a master electrician but definately not an engineer. Any professional input or first hand experience would be greatly appreciated.
Well, I'm a professional engineer. I don't routinely do consultancy and it isn't business I go looking for. But, now and again I get a request to do so. There was one I got about 18 months ago to evaluate one such product. Given that I was being paid for this, I did look at it in some detail. I recorded and downloaded waveforms of current and voltage with and without the kit connected and included these in the report. It was a dozen pages long but maybe my last one last line at the end of conclusions was enough:

My own measurements indicate no energy savings.
 

kwired

Electron manager
I had bought one on Ebay a few years ago. The first one was defective so another one was sent. I did not shut all breakers in the panel but no motors were running that I was aware of.

I seem to recall sending an email stating that if the power saver doesn't use any electric why is my fluke showing 5.4 amps with nothing running. He sent a response saying something to the effect that capacitors don't use any power and what I was measuring was the "back and forth of the 60 HZ".

That was when I disconnected it. I figured if amps are being drawn then I'm being billed for it.
Believe it or not it was causing 5.4 amps of current to flow. The current is metered forward during charge portion of cycle and metered in reverse during discharge portion of cycle resulting in a net of zero (disregarding any inefficiencies which will be much less than the total current). It was not saving any watt-hours therefore your energy bill would not be effected.
 

weressl

Esteemed Member
Well, I'm a professional engineer. I don't routinely do consultancy and it isn't business I go looking for. But, now and again I get a request to do so. There was one I got about 18 months ago to evaluate one such product. Given that I was being paid for this, I did look at it in some detail. I recorded and downloaded waveforms of current and voltage with and without the kit connected and included these in the report. It was a dozen pages long but maybe my last one last line at the end of conclusions was enough:
I could've done the same for half the price;)
 

weressl

Esteemed Member
Personally I do not need any male enhancement products, but if they don't work, why is smilin' Bob smiling?
Because the money he gets for appearing in the ad will overcome any disenchantment from any interested ladyfriend.:roll:
 

weressl

Esteemed Member
Report to who? They are selling a product that some will claim is totally useless but others will say is wonderful. We already have other products like that being sold all the time. How about Weight loss pills, male enhancement products, hair growth products just to name a few.
Report to the Consumer Protection Agency. Many of these were succesfully taken to Court.
 

gar

Senior Member
110608-0912 EDT

The reference in post #8 is very poorly written and really does not give a good picture of why power factor correction devices are not effective in reducing the residential customer's cost. The the residential power (energy) meter does not measure amps, or VA, or power factor. Thus, the description given does not describe what is really taking place.

Other posts discussed current and what it is doing. Again not the real issue. If you really believe that the power meter on the side of your house measures current, then you deserve to be scammed.

The KWH meter on a home measures the instantaneous product (multiplication) of the instantaneous voltage and current at the point of entry to the house (instantaneous power), and this instantaneous product is integrated (a mathematical term for accumulating) to register on the dials your accumulated energy usage modulo something like 100,000 KWH. My meter rolls over about every 6 years.

There is a slight assumption made in these meters for single phase 120-0-120 applications. There is only one voltage coil used in combination with two current coils. Also there are adjustments for calibration to improve the dynamic range of the instrument.

In theory the meter works for non-sinusoidal waveforms. But for an easy way, without using integral calculus, to see what the meter does make the assumption of sine waves.

If you assume the voltage is a sine wave and the current is also a sine wave (many residential loads are ones that have a sine wave current waveform from a voltage sine wave source --- such as linear loads of resistance, capacitance, and inductance), the instantaneous power is

p = K * sin t * sin (t + A)
The integrated value of p with respect to time is what the KWH meter reads.

This can be broken into two parts
p-real = K1 * sin t * sin t
p-reactive = K2 * sin t * cos t

If you look up trig identities you find that
sin t * cos t = sin 2t / 2
If you average this over an integer number of cycles the result is exactly 0.
If you integrate this over an arbitrary starting point and arbitrary ending point, but include many in between cycles, then the starting and ending errors are small compared to the total.

So the reactive component flowing thru the KWH meter produces a 0 effect on the meter reading, and changing the power factor of the house as seen by the meter has no influence on the bill.

What you are billed for is the in-phase component and it produces

sin t * sin t = (1/2) * ( 1 - cos (2t) )
This averages to 1/2. When you integrate this with respect to time the result continuously increases with time.

The simplest thing to say is that the power company meter reads the cumulative amount of real energy used. Real energy is energy that does work for you. Typical power factor correction devices only have an effect on reactive current (or reactive energy) and do not affect the power meter reading, and therefore do not affect your cost. Simply measuring current is not how you measure power or energy. Thus, use of an ammeter to show a current change between when a power factor correction device is connected or disconnected is plain outright fraud.

.
 

Dom99

Member
Definintely not being a math guy, would I be corrrect in summing up your post that
when current and voltage waveforms are in sync the meter is registering, out of sync(reactive) it's not because only waveforms in sync equal real power?
 

gar

Senior Member
110608-1929 EDT

Dom99:

That is correct. And it is important to understand that a sine wave current waveform that is at any arbitrary phase shift from the voltage waveform can be replaced by two sine waves one in phase with the voltage and one at 90 degrees to the voltage. The angle will determine the relative magnitudes.

.
 

Dom99

Member
Gar:

You got me thinking here. If true power is Watts = E x I x PF and a residential meter was measuring only one 120v motor with a PF of 0.6

1-Would that mean only 60 percent of the wattage is being registered on the meter? And.
2-Since PF is a measurement of how far the current waveform is out of phase with the voltage waveform would it still be considered true power as long as they are both going in the same direction?

Thanks for you input. / Dom
 

gar

Senior Member
110609-2145 EDT

Dom99:

The power consumed by the motor, and what you are billed, is based on 0.6 times the measured VA. Volts time Amperes is not Watts except for a resistive load and then they have to be a special kind of V and A. V * A is Volt-amperes, not necessarily watts.

Only under certain special conditions does the PF provide a measure of the phase shift of the current relative to the voltage. This is for a sine wave voltage source and linear loads.

.
 

Electric-Light

Senior Member
Anyone else notice that the thread starter joined on the very same day he posted this post and the only post, visited back two days later and never to be seen again?

I have some suspicion that he's a stakeholder to that website and its a subtle advertising attempt to drop link to bring traffic to his website.

Perhaps the post should be edited to replace the URL with the phrase "capacitors in tin can type power factor correcting device"
 
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Electric-Light

Senior Member
UL listed means nothing other than its passed safety criteria, not the efficacy of the product.

State of California Air Resource Board exempts Tornado Fuel Saver from prohibited modification, but this just means that it doesn't interfere with emissions system.
http://arb.ca.gov/msprog/aftermkt/devices/eo/D-581-2.pdf

Consumer Reports found fuel saving motor vehicle snake oil products are useless.

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/tires-auto-parts/car-maintenance/gassaving-devices-904/overview/index.htm

Their "factory" aka someone's home garage tour video has comments disabled on YouTube and its just a bunch of propaganda against foreign made products, in favor of domestically made garbage.

Many things are Made in the USA. Criminals, methamphetamine, garbage, pollution, scammers, etc.
 

Jraef

Moderator
Staff member
I have railed on about theses scams for years and have even been threatened with lawsuits by the scammers on two occasions. I now tend to temper my responses only because I had to spend money on a lawyer to officially respond to one (they shut up after that though). The next time I just sent them a copy of the first letter, they shut up too.

In essence the nature of the scam is their knowledge that 99.99% of consumers are ignorant of how their utilities charge them for the electricity they use. In most cases the scammer manufacturers first come out screaming about incredible energy savings, mainly with the goal of signing up a bunch of poor unsuspecting people as "exclusive distributors" (although they seem to have a VERY loose definition of exclusive) and selling them expensive "Distribution Packages" of inventory and demo units (with one of them, the demo unit cost $4000 and consisted of maybe $200 worth of parts).

Then when the FTC starts taking notice, the mfr dials back on the wild claims and leaves the distributors twisting in the wind. They know the FTC is too busy to pursue every mom and pop distributor and besides, by then most of them have lost everything when they discover that customers rarely buy twice (because they see the folly) and the scammer mfr refuses to accept the inventory return. I've seen that scenario play out so many times it's not even funny.
 
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Electric-Light

Senior Member
These devices can actually cause harm if power line signaling devices (PLC) are in use, such as remote phone jack or X-13 home automation system.

Capacitors and reactors have impedance that's frequency dependent and these properties are widely used in electronic circuit design.

Reactors are used to block high frequency harmonics from getting into power line. Capacitors are usually connected in series with tweeter in a two-speaker speaker to keep out low-frequency from getting into tweeter. It works, because capacitor becomes more conductive at higher frequency.

So, capacitors across the line will actually shunt out and attenuates the signals used by power line signaling devices. Telephones usually have enough capacitance to disrupt DSL signal. So the little fob you must insert in series between the jack and anything but the DSL modem is actually a set of reactors that prevents the DSL signal from becoming attenuated by phones.
 
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Electric-Light

Senior Member
Putting all technicalities aside, this is all you need to know. These days, we use higher fuel pressure to raise the boiling point, but earlier fuel injection system commonly looped fuel around in a circle so that fuel doesn't boil and cause a vapor lock in the fuel rail from engine's heat.



A-B = fuel consumed by engine, this is what you put in your gas tank and what you pay for.

A=fuel flowing to rail.

B=fuel returning to tank.

You could say that power factor is comparable to (A-B)/A

Say you have a power factor of 0.5. When you consume 10 gallons of gas, the fuel filter and fuel pump will have to handle 20 gallons of gas. If you have a power factor of 0, the gas is just going around in a circle but none is consumed.

The A line can only carry so much.
Say that the fuel pump and filter belong to the power company. If you have a poor power factor, you're charged a penalty for wasting power company's resource by using excess amount of "A" path's capacity IF AND ONLY IF YOUR BILLING SCHEDULE IS STRUCTURED AS SUCH. Residential customers are not on that schedule.

If you put a recirculation pump and a radiator between A and B right by the fuel rail, the amount of gas going back to the tank will become zero, but the amount of gas you'll have to buy won't change. This is beneficial if you're surcharged for the amount of fuel that flows through the filter. If you're not, its useless.
 
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