eCube by Certified energy consultants?
I need help finding out if this is a sham or real euipment. Has any one heared about this t-stat retrofit e-cube. Please let me know what you think the sale people stop in the shop and have my boss thinking its the best thing since sliced bread. See attachments
It's yet another form of "snake oil" IMHO.
The eCube is nothing more than a hunk of wax that insulates the thermostat's sensor thereby simulating actual product temperature.
As I see it, the only benefit of using this device is it will decrease the system cycling...ie, compressor starts. This is fine your system is being controlled by cycling the compressor on air temperature. If you're using a low pressure control or if it's a parallel rack system, it won't work...Forget using eCube on those systems
It also won't work on most self-contained reach-in coolers because they typically have coil-sensing, constant cut-in temperature controls. Cross them off the potential installations list too.
Another point of concern is although the cycling maybe reduced, the air temperature swing is therefore increased dramatically both up and down. The resulting total run time and average evaporator temperature should remain about the same, so where's the energy savings coming from?
Claims of 30% energy savings, 50% mechanical savings (whatever that is) and 20% lower CO2 emissions (global warming) are truly a stretch. Let's toss in eradication of world hunger while we're at it.
Thanks Ice, just had a customer ask about these, of course he was going to buy them and have us install them, but still it sounded like snake oil to me.
Whatever happened to a vial with spirits in it.
You sure are cocky for a starving pilgrim.
Have you looked at Endocube. it is the exact same product made by Universal Master Products in the UK, and have another label for the product Endocube. except you buy it direct instead of through 3rd party vendors.
Originally Posted by Some Dude
Google endocube and find the website. they sell it for about $300 Less than anyone else.
300 less? i had no idea they even retailed for over $100. for a wax like substance in a cheap plastic box? ... I've installed a few of the ecube things they were already furnished I'm not sure of cost but that crap shouldn't be worth 30 bucks. ....
Originally Posted by Mechanicalman1
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Hvac Wiz We buy them for 100 bucks and this is through a wholesaler who obviously is putting wholesalers portions on as usual. But I could not believe some people are paying nearly $500 dollars. Yes I also see it as a box with wax, but it has been designed, patented, manufactured etc, and all these things come to a cost, that is why I pay over the top for tools and screws piping, etc. everything is over priced these days. But my clients happy and that is the main thing we are looking to achieve.
I think this product has show good results so far. No real hicups yet. what equipment are you installing on. We are mainly installing reach-ins for a Gas Station company we service there S.E stores.
We are getting a few other smaller installations but mainly convenience stores.
I've done something similar.
I took 1 5/8" copper, cut a 6" tube, welded caps on it (one end had a screw on cap) stuck a sensing element inside the tube, filled it with anti-freeze..and there ya go. You now have a product temperature sensing thermostat made on the cheap.
Yes we did something similar before, but we wasn't getting accurate temperatures. the Endocube was tested by the NSF to measure a small piece of fish. this is the most delicate item a cool. they also tested against, Beef, Lettuce, Sour cream, fresh orange, Cheese, etc. the endocube is measuring at 10mm below surface in line with what chefs need to do when probing.
ok, better yet.
Just shove the sensing bulb in a fish.
I stand by my initial impressions of this device. While it may work to some degree for certain applications such as a typical walk-in cooler controlled by a thermostat sensing the box temperature, there many system control configurations where it will not.
High on my list of systems where the Endocube cannot be directly applied as described would be anything with a coil sensing temperature control...ie, a constant cut-in thermostat. Nowhere in their literature is this discussed.
They do mention systems which are controlled by pressure (like those with low pressure controls to cycle the compressor or rack systems controlling evaporator pressure) must be reconfigured to utilize the cube. What about self-contained deli/meat/fish cases which require high RH and are typically controlled by a LP control?
Likely their primary energy savings selling point relates to dramatically reduced compressor cycling. Certainly reduced starts will lessen the wear and tear on a compressor, but claims of significant energy savings simply through the elimination of the high amps required for starts is really pushing it in my book. (The watts-hours consumed by 12 starting amps over a half second is equal to about the same as normal 4 running amps for about 1.5 seconds the last time I looked.)
Also, since the cube controls to a temperature the equivalent of the temperature of something akin to fish flesh, the refrigeration system still must work with the temperature of the air it's cooling. This is to say, while longer off-cycles will allow for higher evaporator temps during the first half of the next cycle (with a higher resulting operating efficiency), the second half of the cycle will require an nearly equal period of overcooling...thereby offsetting any efficiency gains...as I see it.
I'm skeptical about the effect of a widely fluctuating box air temperature, too. While the cube is designed to be a reasonable facsimile of the typical food product, what about those products which may be more sensitive to temperature swings, like leafy lettuces, flowers, etc?
Additionally, it's claimed that in many cases the need for heated defrosts are eliminated or drastically reduced and so, reducing both the input energy and that needed for recovery. This in itself may have some merit, but I think most systems with electric or hot gas defrost can be tweaked to reduce the frequency and duration of defrosts, but at what risk? There are a number of available controllers on the market which are designed to do this and do it well.
Much attention is given in the literature about the the need to eliminate pumpdown control in order to maximize the energy savings potential of the cube. Compressors must be controlled directly by the temperature as sensed by the cube. There's no mention of one of the main reasons we use pumpdown control...to prevent liquid migration and flooded starts.
Another claim is to drastically reduce noise pollution...of all things.
If you want to read all about it and form your own opinions, here's their technical info:
I come away thinking a simple concept and potentially useful product was
commandeered by a bunch of pirates, AKA...Salesmen.
Icemeister, point taken, but we asked the same question on leafy greens and citrus which we have clients who store everything in one cooler. apparently the company have a case study from a lettuce farmer who stores product before shipping, and thy claim to have two to three days extended life from fresh produce, and also from a Banana distributor in South Africa claims the same. think about it when the compressor kicks on, the food temperatures haven't usually raised that much in a short period. So over cooling actually kills more than stable cooling.
After speaking to the engineer in the UK who designed the product, he explained a lot and was able to answer question we had, and however we all want to prove something wrong, our client insisted we did a test, and we could not argue the data. We took ambient recording daily, and measure the air temperature as well as food temperatures, starts and stops Amp, and KwH.
The people we spoke too who manufacture the product even said it was originally designed as a food temperature monitoring device, and it was only after testing for this reason they stumbled across the energy savings.
We have found the endocube will make the coolers and freezers reach-ins etc run around 3F colder. and it is then when you adjust the set point up that these three degrees is where you get the savings.
We have even pushed out the defrosts now to 168 hours which is what we thought impossible on the medium tempo equipment. but because of the longer rest time, there is no need for a heat induced defrost at all.
The whole thing is weird. As it is so bloody simple and works which is annoying. Like so many say, if it is to good to be true it usually is. So for me and my boss the acceptance is and was difficult. This company is clever, as everyone agrees that we can stick a probe in a jar of glycol or in a tube of anti freeze, which everyone agrees works, but they have taken that concept and made a product and got it approved and tested and verified to market.
So we can all argue the fact and make our own assumptions, but they did a clever move as the FDA are launching a new regulation this summer for food temperature being monitored which I see as a plus for them, but a nightmare for all our clients. So customer were getting written up on air temperatures, and soon will be written up for food temperatures.
The whole worlds gone mad, and we have to live in it.
I like what you said about the cube being originally intended for temperature monitoring because that is what it can do well, without any questions...or hype.
Originally Posted by Mechanicalman1
Thanks for this reply BTW. I do tend to rant when I see sales promotion overshadowing the true technology of a product...and I still believe this to be a prime example. It's my point that we, as commercial refrigeration professionals, must challenge that which make no sense in real-world terms. It's our responsibility to our customer and our own reputations.
I'll hobble back to my cave now.