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Thread: Saver Switch

  1. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    5,304
    15 minute interval? gee, thats great for the comp!
    I agree!!! That's why took mine off! I don't want to shorten my compressor life..


    The came last Wed and remove the switch.. I came home that evening not knowing they came.. The house was warm! I am thinking oh great, what happen?

    I checked the t-stat, and it was showing cooling,, The fan was running but warm air.. I checked the fuse box, and fuse was ok.. Went out side, unit wasn't running.. Saw the saver switch was off. Turns out they did not turn the power back on the breaker outside! Oh well, it's now gone, and we'll be comfortable.

    I agree XYZ, not worth $3 credit a month to shorten my compressor life, and have a humid house when it's hot out.

  2. #15
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Sarasota. Fl
    Posts
    1,268
    I disconnect every one of those that I come across.

    Three dollars...Ten Dollars....Who cares?

    I want the T-stat controlling my customers system.

    Not FPL......(florida power and light)
    It is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners.

    ~Albert Camus

  3. #16
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    996
    lets see if i understand this stupid switch:

    the power company decides it wants to go hardcore and save $$$, so they watch the power usage and if it rises above a certain level, they have a swith to turn off the compressor.

    and it does this by the normally closed contacts on the saver switch in series with the comp contactor? i would just have some way of <relays, transformers etc...> rigging up a device to detect the activation and electrically bypass the switch. that way, my house would stay cool and i would get 5 bucks of my bill. that would pay for my bypass device in one summer!!! and i'm sure you could hide everything inside of the condenser!!!!!!

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    4H: Hot, Humid Houston H.O.
    Posts
    3,304

    That switch benefits the utility

    I used to work for the Houston area utility and it had a program using those switches. One thing to remember, it is a trade-off where the utility benefits most. It's up to you whether you want to be public spririted and/or whether the payment is enough to compensate you. The whole goal is to shave a few percent off the peak demand, when the power costs the most to the utility.

    I am sure the utility researched whether it saved energy to the homeowner or not, and justified its findings before the PUC. To the best of my knowledge the difference is trivial to the homeowner. I would be suspicious of a claim of savings, it's probably true but too little to count.

    It's a respectable program, just not in the homeowner's self interest if comfort is compromised. Our utility always advertised "you won't notice" the truncated AC run times, but damn I would surely notice a two degree rise.

    Hope this helps -- P.Student

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Tampa, Florida
    Posts
    1,634
    Originally posted by mr hvac41
    lets see if i understand this stupid switch:

    the power company decides it wants to go hardcore and save $$$, so they watch the power usage and if it rises above a certain level, they have a swith to turn off the compressor.

    and it does this by the normally closed contacts on the saver switch in series with the comp contactor? i would just have some way of <relays, transformers etc...> rigging up a device to detect the activation and electrically bypass the switch. that way, my house would stay cool and i would get 5 bucks of my bill. that would pay for my bypass device in one summer!!! and i'm sure you could hide everything inside of the condenser!!!!!!
    I've only seen a few of the FP&L ones, but they took the 240v going to the AHU, ran it to the FP&L box, then ran it back to the AHU, so not even a blower running when the switch cut out. Makes me wonder how many no cooling calls are made b/c people (especially old people) forget they have these energy saver switches installed.

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    5,304
    Our utility always advertised "you won't notice" the truncated AC run times, but damn I would surely notice a two degree rise.
    I noticed the humidty rise up tin the 50's with this switch cycyling my compressor, and a hot afternoon, the home did warm up 2 degrees avg..

    Now it has been gone, Home stays lower 40's, and no temp rise.


    I've thought about running the t-stat wire outside to the switch, that way it can kill the fan when they switch off the compressor to advoid putting the humidty back.. But too much hassel.. and shorten the compressor.

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    3,910
    Originally posted by mr hvac41
    15 minute interval? gee, thats great for the comp!
    And that's not all. It takes some units 10 minutes just to equalize their pressure to a point where they are working efficiently.

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    340
    Originally posted by tpa-fl
    I've only seen a few of the FP&L ones, but they took the 240v going to the AHU, ran it to the FP&L box, then ran it back to the AHU, so not even a blower running when the switch cut out.
    Progress Energy uses double pole low voltage controls and interrupts power to the condenser (contactor) and to the air handler blower and heat strip relay. They usually mount their two relays in the air handler near the thermostat wiring using double-sticky tape. Surprisingly, the relays usually stay mounted right where they are put. I didn't know that sticky tape was that good.

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    GA
    Posts
    395

    Talking Re: Thermal Storage

    Originally posted by czechkate
    I have not heard of those "saver" switches before (i.e. homeowner) but at one time worked for a company that sold thermal storage units. Basically you heat water at night during low peak demand times and power company would give you a special rate. Only A/C option was ice storage which had problems. Just wondering if there have been any new "Peak Shaving" type technologies for A/C where you use the power to cool in low demand times (night) but not run in high demand times (noon)? Thanks,
    off peak + thermal storage is a way cool topic. I've considered buiding a home brew system using PLC control and researching phase change materials.

    md

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    St Paul, Minnesota
    Posts
    3,468
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by tpa-fl
    [B]
    Originally posted by mr hvac41
    lets see if i understand this stupid switch:

    the power company decides it wants to go hardcore and save $$$, so they watch the power usage and if it rises above a certain level, they have a swith to turn off the compressor.


    Makes me wonder how many no cooling calls are made b/c people (especially old people) forget they have these energy saver switches installed.

    Not only do they sometimes forget what it is, they say the power company put something on but they don't know what it does or why it's there.

    So, at peak times in the day when the humidity is high and so is the temperature, and the house isn't cooling cause the HO turned on the unit about 2pm or 4pm when they got home (ain't gonna run the A/C if no one is home), you get a low cool call and find that all is well with the system, even a clean filter in place. The pressures are right and the unit is putting out a good temp split and now you have to explain to them just what a 'Saver Switch' is and what it does, then ask for the $100 service call fee. There goes that 15% savings in one big swoosh.

    BTW, while you are getting the guage readings, suddenly the fan and compressor shut off. Or maybe you are charging with gas. Now, you open the elec panel if you haven't yet done this, and think....should I push in the contactor right away?...Should I wait a few minutes? You might even wonder...why the hell did the unit quit?? but, a look at the window in the saver switch will show lights if they are cycling. Still...immediately restart the compressor??? What do you do?

  11. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rochester, MN
    Posts
    5,304
    My aunt is one of these people who tries to save every penny she can.. Even thou my uncle was loaded w/ money..

    When i was down at her place, she didn't turn on the A/C till late afternoon, she then complain it takes forever to cool down..

    She has this saver switch.. so the system never get the house to temp on a hot humid afternoon.. so soon as the sun set, she turns it off, and opens the windows..

    I could never get it across her.. I told her no point to call for service.. she never had anyway.

  12. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    North St Paul MN
    Posts
    858
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by MikeJ
    [B][QUOTE]Originally posted by tpa-fl
    [B]
    Originally posted by mr hvac41
    Makes me wonder how many no cooling calls are made b/c people (especially old people) forget they have these energy saver switches installed.
    Any time I go on a call that has a saver switch, I make a note on the invoice that they have one. That way, if we have a hot spell, where the power company is activating the switch, and the customer calls and says their outside unit isn't running, the dispatcher can look at their profile, and advise them that the power company is cycling it. Saves the customer a service charge. Hey MikeJ, how are things going at your present employer. Are you keeping busy? Ran into Larry a couple of days ago, said you guys were busy. I started at a new company two weeks ago, and they are looking for another tech. If you are looking for a change, give me a call.
    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy.

  13. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    4,402
    cycle the compressor for 15 minutes? what kind of BS is that. sounds like a super energy wasting system.

    think of it this way. the compressor runs for 15 minutes. during this time theres is little sensible heat removal, but alot of latent heat (humiditiy) removal. the humidity is building up on the coil, but not running down the drain yet. Now the Saver Switch shuts off the condensor, but the fan continues to run. All of the moisture collected on the evaportator, evapores into the air. now the next time the condensor comes back on it will have to re-remove the humidity before it starts cooling the house. so basically, the A/C is running longer to do the same job. don't forget the fact that the entire time the indoor fan is burning energy while doing nothing to cool the house while the condensor is off.



    but i have come up with a plan to make the saver switch worthwhile. I am going to get 10 broken condensors and "install" them in my backyard. then i will have the utility install install "Saver Switches" on all of them. at $3 each i'll be getting 30 bucks a month back on my bill The plan cant fail

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