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has anyone tested a KVAR unit?

August 20, 2007

the theory is a little beyond me, but from my limited search, these seem real. does anyone have any experience with them?

google or look here for some info http://www.saveenergyllc.com/

Comments (151)

  • zl700

    It's simple, they market it as a surge supressor and their claims are valid

  • bus_driver

    "It's simple, they market it as a surge supressor(sic) and their claims are valid"
    Who is "they"? Was this response intended for a different thread?

  • zl700

    "Amperage surge protection for all your home equipment'

    All of them hype it, KEC for one

    There is some proven validity to their advertisements

  • bus_driver

    For several months, zl700 has posted on several forums answers that are helpful and serious. But this claim that KVAR units and surge protectors are the same thing does not match any technical data with which I am familiar. Obviously, a device could include both functions. But most of them do not, in their hype, claim to perform both functions. And the post of Mon, Sep 22, 08 at 14:59: "--their claims are valid" and the post of Tue, Sep 23, 08 at 10:01: "There is some proven validity to their advertisements".
    Surge protectors are available from legitimate suppliers, SquareD and Woods, for example, for far less than the $349.00 than one purveyor asks for his device.
    The fact remains that utilities do not measure, nor bill for, power factor for residential customers. And the YouTube demonstrations of the power factor of electric motors are not realistic. The motor they show has no load, is doing no work. Motors that are loaded have better power factors and are at their best when fully loaded. No one deliberately runs a motor in their home without a load for more than a few moments. Refrigeration devices such as air conditioners, heat pumps, refrigerators, and freezers are designed and built to have the motors fully loaded. That results in maximum efficiency and lower manufacturing cost. Oversized motors cost more.
    One KVAR marketer even contends that their unit lowers the cost of operating an electric water heater. The water heater has a power factor of 1, perfection. No device can improve on that. The hype is baloney.

  • bus_driver

    Let's suppose for a moment that the power billing at your residence did measure and bill based on power factor. These devices, as manufactured and installed at present, might increase your power bill. A perfect power factor is 1 (unity). A less-than perfect power factor is less than 1, expressed as a decimal, .85pf for example. Inductance (motors, computer loads, fluorescent lights) causes the current (amperage) to lag the voltage. Capacitance causes the current to lead the voltage, the opposite effect. These devices use capacitors and recommend installing so they they are online 24/7. If no offsetting and matching inductance loads are online, the capacitors alone cause as much problem for the power factor as do the inductive loads alone. The only improvement for power factor is when lagging and leading devices are matched and are online only at the same times.
    Interestingly, synchronous motors have the same effect on power factor as do capacitors, which is the opposite of induction motors. Other than for clocks, synchronous motors are nor practical for household use. But for industry where motors run for long hours without stopping, some of the machinery may use synchronous motors to both power that machinery and improve power factor.

  • pa_electric_man

    Once again, I have a unit installed on my panel.
    My electric usage patterns have increased last year, due to more A/C, laundry, dishwasher, well pump, all due to a second child.
    My BILL has gone DOWN since installing this unit. (Yes - even after adjusting for temperature variances from last year)
    SO - Explain again how "It doesn't work, etc.etc.etc.etc.."

    Try it youself, or SHUT THE PIE HOLE!!!


    Anyone who want's copies of my BILLS...JUST LET ME KNOW!!!

  • bus_driver

    Your command does not become my imperative. Your power bills do not concern me. The fleecing of gullible consumers does concern me. There is sufficient information on this thread and at the links provided to clarify the issue for those who honestly seek enlightenment.

  • wayne440

    My electric bill is less than it was last year too. I guess someone has covertly installed one of these units in my house, I had better go look for it...#128

  • zl700

    Busdriver the problem with posting is you can't read the delivery, I was poking fun.
    However, by theory a capacitor can absorb energy so is it a surge protector?
    :-) ;-) :-)

  • terribletom

    And, in review, a few choice quotes from the KVAR/GESPER borg...

    I know, we should use it to get you an education because I'm sure the roughest years three years [sic] of your life was [sic] the fifth grade.

    Hey bus driver - stick to driving buses - it's probably the only thing you are almost competent at!!!

    Your electrician buddy tiny tim is grouping all power factor improvement products together and this proves how shollow [sic] and short sided [sic] his views are.

    Bus driver, boy do you know how to optimize the stupid factor.

    Try it youself, [sic] or SHUT THE PIE HOLE!!!

    ...please don't post anymore oppinions [sic] because it's obvious you got your head up your ass!

    Go to you tube you boob.

    And the pity of it is that the borg seems clueless about why its arguments are gaining no traction here.

    Enough of these insulting, unjustified and childish personal attacks aimed at well-respected contributors to this forum who regularly give of their time to answer electrical wiring questions raised by DIYers in good faith. PLEASE!

  • vacman_20008

    Bus Driver I am asking a favor from you. Plase go to you tube and type in "Kvar energy savings unit" you will see the videos that Rob and I went out of our way record. The most important aspect of the videos is how open and honest we were while taping. When I first became aware of KVAR I was more skepticle then you. So before I ever considered selling these I had to be convinced myself. Now give me about 20 minutes and watch the videos. I want you to be fair and objective but I also want your honest opinion. How would uou explain what's happening here? Thanks, Rich.

  • hexus

    I went and watched some of your video... To be honest I didn't even make it through the first one that came up in my search when I typed in "Kvar energy savings unit.
    I suggest you guys at least get your terminology right while doing your little presentations.

  • brickeyee

    Without very defined control of the load you have NOTHING.
    My power bill, in kW-hr, was lower this year also.

    A lower A/C load this summer resulted in far fewer degree-cooling days.

    Engineering does not work on 'case studies' or any other BS of adjusting power factor to save kW-hr on te meter.

    A capacitor across the power lines will have a limited ability to reduce voltage surges.
    Compared to the typical POCO disturbance it is ineffective for any normal load.
    Search for 'CBEMA curve' and then figure out what capacitance would be required to produce any effective surge protection.
    You cannot afford it.

    Surges are dealt with by clamping the line voltage, most commonly with MOV (Meta Oxide Varistor) devices.
    They are a series of junctions set to break down above the normal operating voltage.
    The problem is that there is no current limit, and every time they break over they are damaged.
    Some portion of the junctions fuse, and no longer have any break over voltage.
    Eventually the break over voltage is so low that the device conducts at regular operating voltages and is quickly destroyed.

    While P. T. Barnum is often credited with "There's a sucker born every minute" you are trying to keep up with him.

  • hendricus

    # 134, sixteen to go. If the utility co. says they don,t measure that way for residentual, then why.....?

  • vacman_20008

    Hexus Thanks for your advice. Your right I should have been more specific go to "kvar energy saving unit" and go to any videos entered by vacman. (I'm the good looking guy) I would appreciate your comments as well. Brikeyee I know you'll want to get in on this so have fun.

  • hendricus

    #136 Guess I'm a slow poster.

  • terribletom

    #137 Is it really true that this thread will turn into a pumpkin when it hits 150? Oh, I hope so.

  • zl700


  • wayne440

    To answer the original post...yes

  • terribletom

    Is it exactly 150, or is it adjusted for power factor?


  • terribletom

    Yikes, Wayne, you snuck in there on me. So my last post should have been 140, right? And this one 141?

    This higher math is so confusing.

  • wayne440

    I have looked all over the house and cannot find a "KVAR unit", however my electric bill is lower. Could it be hidden in my wife's hairdryer?

  • zl700

    If you wire 143 KVAR's in parallel how much will you save?

  • terribletom

    If you wire 143 KVAR's in parallel how much will you save?

    Hmmm. I think the conservative projection is 143 x 12.5%, or 1785.5%--even more if you don't have an electric hot water heater or oven/range.

    The real question is this: How many wire nuts will it take? These need to be amortized and depreciated over the expected life of the KVAR.

    Wayne: Your wife still has hair? I really envy you, man, but I seriously doubt you have a KVAR.

    When I put in my KVAR, my wife's hair fell out within a few weeks. But the good news is that we've saved an average of 51.8% on our monthly shampoo bill.

  • zl700

    There is a KVAR Distributor in Florida with 145 units listed for sale, CHEAP

  • pa_electric_man

    Gee.....the technology & equipment is (ready here it comes) UL Listed & Tested, CSA Approved, CE Approved, NASA Tested, Cleaner & Greener Certified, ROHS Certified (Look it all up if you don't believe me - the Internet is a wonderful thing).....Do you really think the EU & Canada would allow these things to be sold & installed if they weren't tested & approved??? Nope - they don't!!!....here's a little light reading if you're so inclined......




    And there's plenty more out there too.....

    BTW - Still waiting for one of you bloviators to post the links to all those blogs out there from ACTUAL people that used the devices & had to get their money back......still waiting...........still.........waiting.........

    Theory is one thing....application is another one altogether......"He who can, does. He who can't, teaches"

    They work......try it.........they all have a money-back guarantee if they don't work......

    Wait a minute....cooler temps??? Are you saying that Al Gore is wrong & that global warming is nothing but a scam??? And I thought it was warmer this summer where I was.......

  • greg_h

    Have you read any of the links that bus driver posted?

    Here's another one. This guy has tested several devices that reader's have sent him and none of them worked. And he talked to a couple of different people at different utility companies that told him that they don't work for residential users.

    Is that good enough? It's exactly what you asked for.

    Here is a link that might be useful: KVAR units don't work

  • pa_electric_man

    No, it's actually not. He's onlt had the one you plug in at the receptacle. I agree that those are junk. I read this "expert's" blog, and he's obviously biased. He won't do any "impartial" testing unless he's sent one for free. Sorry, but if I gave one to every skeptic that wanted to "test" it, then I'd go broke. I have yet to have a customer ask for money back on this product.
    As I said before, I WAS a skeptic, until I purchased one for MY HOME, and it worked FOR ME!
    Has ANYONE on this thread ACTUALLY used one in their OWN RESIDENCE?
    Thought not.
    Like I said before...Theory & applications are two totally different things.
    All the "examples" left between bus stops read this way - "these things don't APPEAR to be feasible", "I THINK these are scams", theory says they SHOULDN'T work", etc.
    I have yet to see someone actually say they purchased the unit and had to get their money back.
    Do a search for (including quotes) "KVAR didn't work for me", "Power Saver didn't work for me" and see what you get.

  • terribletom

    Theory & applications are two totally different things.

    No, actually, they are not two totally different things.

    If you know anything at all about the scientific method, surely you must know that a theory is refuted if conflicting empirical results can be demonstrated under measurable and replicable conditions.

    What Brickeyee, Bus Driver and others have based their arguments upon are well-accepted scientific theories constituting testable models verified through empirical observation. They are not mere conjecture or hypotheses in the nature of personal opinions or beliefs. Nor are they mere ideals that have no relationship to actual fact.

    If you, by virtue of uncontrolled "experiments" in your garage, can demonstrate that any of these theories do not comport with your replicable empirical evidence, I'd say you have a Nobel Prize in your future.

    For more information on what is meant by a scientific theory, try the link below.

    149....Be my guest.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Primer on scientific theories

  • wayne440

    And here is 150.

  • zl700

    151 Beers on the wall, 151 beers........

  • brickeyee

    Will this bovine scatology never die?

  • vacman_20008

    Hey guys, I'm in shock. Not one person has written anything negative about my videos on YOU TUBE "kvar energy savings unit" Not one person has posted anything negative. It's lonely at the top. It would be nice if some of you guys would man-up and apologize. Bus driver I hope your not asleep at the wheel. Love,Rich the Vac-man

  • bus_driver

    Apparently this previous link post was ignored by these scammers. Why not demand an apology from the US Government?

    "About ENERGY STAR

    ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices."

    Do Power Factor Correction Devices (sometimes called Amp Reduction Units or KVAR) really save money? Can they earn the ENERGY STAR label?

    ENERGY STAR does not qualify any Power Factor Correction Devices. Please send us an email at logomisuse@energystar.gov if you see one that claims to be ENERGY STAR certified.

    Power Factor Correction Devices claim to reduce residential energy bills and to prolong the productive life cycles of motors and appliances by reducing the reactive power (kVAR) that is needed from the electric utility.

    We have not seen any data that proves these types of products for residential use accomplish what they claim. Power factor correction devices improve power quality but do not generally improve energy efficiency (meaning they won't reduce your energy bill). There are several reasons why their energy efficiency claims could be exaggerated. First, residential customers are not charged for KVA-hour usage, but by kilowatt-hour usage. This means that any savings in energy demand will not directly result in lowering a residential user's utility bill. Second, the only potential for real power savings would occur if the product were only put in the circuit while a reactive load (such as a motor) were running, and taken out of the circuit when the motor is not running. This is impractical, given that there are several motors in a typical home that can come on at any time (refrigerator, air conditioner, HVAC blower, vacuum cleaner, etc.), but the unit itself is intended for permanent, unattended connection near the house breaker panel."

    Here is a link that might be useful: Energy Star

  • joed

    UL Listed & Tested, CSA Approved,

    All that means is it has been tested as safe. It won't burn down your house or electrocute you. They don't test whether the unit actually does what it claims.

  • greg_h

    Darn, I guess this forum doesn't have the 150 post limit. I know other forums on GardenWeb do.

    I woke up this morning and drank a cup of tea that I have never tried before. Not long after that, an ambulance pulled up in front of my neighbours house and I found out that he had died of a heart attack at exactly the same time that I finished my cup of tea. I guess I should throw out the rest of those teabags, because I don't want to cause anyone else's death. There is no scientific proof that my drinking the tea caused his death, but according to pa_electric_man, anecdotal evidence trumps science. That's too bad because it was really tasty tea.

  • terribletom

    "Hey guys, I'm in shock. Not one person has written anything negative about my videos..."

    I'd be in shock if anyone here had written anything positive about your videos. Where are the rave reviews? Did I miss something?

    Maybe you guys should buy a couple of six-packs and a value carton of Cheetos and register another bogus newbie account so you can post a testimonial endorsing your videos. Oh yeah, and have fun giggling while you're making it up.

    Darn, I guess this forum doesn't have the 150 post limit.

    That theory has been disproven by actual evidence.

  • terribletom

    Since we're on the subject of Googling for the truth, I just Googled 'KVAR scam'. Guess what?

    The first hit I got was this thread.

    Did you really set out to Google-bomb yourselves, Rich and Rob? Heh, the more people who locate this thread and read it, the better, IMO.

    (I love the pairing of your names: Rich and Rob. What could better sum up your motivations as you continue to spam this forum?)

  • pa_electric_man

    Let's see.....I dug out some of my old books.....

    For example, a 1kW inductive load will try to do 1kW of work. That is, if the PF decreases, the current will increase in an attempt to maintain the required level of work (Ohms Law).

    If you have 1kw of work to be done, the meter will see 1 Kw if the power factor is 1. If the power factor is less than 1, then the meter will see more than 1 kw for 1 kw of work, due to the increase of current (amps).

    Power Factor is a unitless ratio of work (real power) / apparent power (volts * amps). For a resistive load the power factor is 1 and work = apparent power. Assuming work is a constant, and the power factor is less than 1, then the volts * amps must be greater than actual work. Since voltage is constant (assuming no voltage drop on feeders) the current increases. A single phase Kwh meter sees the volts * amps.

    The meter does not see the power factor of any load. All the meter sees is the increased current of a load with a power factor lower than 1 which means more watts. If you have a motor with a PF of .6 and replace it with a motor with a PF of 1.0 the meter will see less current and thus less power.
    Assuming a 5 amp draw on a continuous-run induction motor:
    120V * .6PF * 5A = Meter sees 360W
    Raise the power factor with a new motor:
    120V * 1.0PF * 3A = Meter sees 360W

    Assume the motor is the same motor (lousy PF), if you correct the power factor on the LINE side, the LOAD side remains the same, but the LINE side is reduced by 3 amps.
    Seems like pretty simple math to me.....but I'm just a lowly electrician that's seeing lower electric bills, not a high-falutin phd!!??!!


    As always: "Live Safe Electrically"

  • bus_driver

    Is that an electricians test meter or the POCO meter? Name the book, please, title and publisher.

  • bus_driver

    On one of the cited YouTube videos, the presenter shows a motor running drawing approx 8 amps. Then the claim is made that with the KVAR device switched on, the POCO supplies approx 5 amps and the KVAR supplies approx 3 amps. It is obvious that a real power saving would be to get a 3 amp motor and power it from the KVAR alone. Tell the POCO to take long walk off a short pier.
    In the post above "-- but the LINE side is reduced by 3 amps." This math may be simple, but it cannot be correct from the claimed meter readings above.

  • rupayne_ycsd_york_va_us

    I met the inventor at the World Energy Engineering Congress in Washington DC this month. I am not an electrician or an engineer. The inventor shared with me the actual patent and supporting documentation. Also he shared with me the NEC 2008 where is shows a similar device.

    Anyone have any un-insulting comments regarding a similar device shown in the NEC book?

  • ommpcaregiver_yahoo_com

    3 months ago, I seen an advertisement for this product on budbook.org

    Being that i use 11 - 1000 hps ballasts, 2 - 24k btu air conditioners, 3 dehumidifiers and multiple fans i thought that i could use this product!

    I Purchased the kvar unit and my electricity bill WENT DOWN! I averaged $1400 a month EVERY MONTH for the last 3 years! After purchasing this Kvar device, my electric bill for the for the last 2 months ended up being $1087 and $1062 respectively!

    I WOULD RECOMMEND THIS PRODUCT TO ALL INDOOR GROWERS! Not only has it saved me money, but it actually lowered the amperage reading on ALL of my equipment. Before the kvar installation, my 1000 watt 220 volt HPS ballast was drawing 5.4 amps. AFTER the installation of the kvar unit, the same ballast drew 2.8 amps! THAT IS HUGE! Now i am not scared of my breakers popping or of the electrical system overheating and causing fire!

    Not ony has the kvar unit paid for itself in its first month of use..... But, Just having the piece of mind knowing that the overall amperage load is reduced which means my breakers wont overload and either pop or cause a fire..... IS PRICELESS...

    Is this product be good for the average home owner PROBABLY NOT..... IS this product good for the average indoor grower? DEFINITELY!

  • bwiener+gardenweb_brandeis_edu

    I work in the Brandeis University High Energy Physics Lab. We did a study of the KVAR Energy Controller. Here are our results:

    Here is a link that might be useful: KVAR Energy Controller Study

  • edstandal_hotmail_com

    I live in MN. I had a unit installed on my AC condenser unit about 3 years ago. The unit is wired so it is only on when the AC runs. I had an Energy Switch unit that the Electric company installed to cycle on/off the AC to save energy during peak times. (For their ability to cycle my AC they gave me a 15% total energy bill savings per summer mounth.) After I had the KVAR unit installed, I had the Electric company remove their equipment and my monthly bills were consistently lower than the bill with the 15% discount. Based on that, I must say the unit works well and my AC stays on when I want it on! A happy customer.

  • rchalk_gmail_com

    OK, I've read the entire thread, and I cannot speak for the actual devices being discussed, but for the non-mathematical out there, let me try to explain...

    We are considering AC-Alternating Current- in which the voltage is constantly varying from a positive peak value to a negative peak value, and back again, in a smooth curve called a Sine wave. If the load is resistive, like a water heater or even a standard light bulb, the peak voltage and peak current occur at the same instant, so the (peak) power is the product of these two. VA=Watts, PF=1

    In an inductive load, the peak current occurs later than the voltage peak, so the current is lower when the voltage is max, and the voltage is lower when the current is max. Since voltmeters and ammeters do not know about each other, they will both read a value (the RMS value, which is similar to an "average) related to the peak of each parameter, but the actual product or real power at any given instant is less than the product of the two peak values since they do not peak at the same time.

    For a capacitive load, the current peak occurs before the voltage peak, but the result is the same, since the peak voltage and peak current do not occur at the same instant.

    The product of the two independent meter readings is Volts * Amps, or volt-amps. The actual product of all the instantaneous values is Watts. The power factor is the ratio of these two, and can never be greater than 1.

    I hope this is useful in helping understanding of AC power.

  • email_example_com

    This is a test of posting to a locked thread and just having an email address instead of a username as "Posted by".

  • email_example_com

    A final test of posting to a locked thread, with just an email address, using a different username.

  • Larry Kendrick

    Just as someone stated here, maybe someone will come up with a way to produce with water, GUESS what > someone has. If your on city water, use the pressure from your water line to turn a water turban generator and send the water thru pipes from the turbine up to a 500 gallon storage tank. If the tank is located 20 feet above your supply valve into the home, you could rig a generator to run off that water pressure to as it enters the home when ever you flush the white throne or take a shower. The DC power produced could be feed into a emphase solar inverter to convert to ac. The electricity from the emphase solar inverter will not be converting solar from solar panels, it will be converting from the water turbine and the emphase will be hooked directly to your breaker box feeding electricity into your home. It won't be a lot of power generater from the water pressure BUT you could get a couple hundred watts. If you designed the system well, you could get 30 or 40 years of free electricity from it after it pays for it's own self within about 5 or 6 years. Just a Idea for you :-)

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