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Somar PowerBoss


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#21 jraef

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Posted 29 March 2006 - 07:40 PM

Morgan,
While I wholeheartedly agree with Mark, I would like to address the business aspect of your situation. I do know of an "energy saver" distributor who is making a living, and he too was a businessman, not an engineer. He sells a reasonable amount of units, primarily through internet ads, yet he really knows next to nothing about electric motors and controls other than what his supplier has taught him. As a result, he buys into everything they say because he has no experience to the contrary. His customers are essentially people just like himself who do not know much about it, but because he is a convincing salesman they buy from him.

From my viewpoint, he could just as easily be selling swamp land in Florida or a miracle snake-oil cure for cancer! He makes a living, but only because he can convince a few people to buy things they likely don't need or for reasons that are generally inaccurate, and to paraphrase P.T Barnum so many years ago, "There's one of those born every minute". If that appeals to you as a business plan, companies like that are right there waiting for you. In the long run though, assuming you can sleep at night, it is a flawed strategy because sooner or later you will run short of having enough of "those" customers to sustain you.

As you are probably aware, a general rule of the sales game is that you get 80% of your income from 20% of your customers, which implies repeat business. This is going to be difficult to maintain with that kind of product because the results you will be claiming in order to get them to try it will not show up. That will force you do be prospecting for new customers almost continuously, and prospecting is the most costly and least productive part of a sales plan. Normal sales plans call for prospecting 15-20% of your customer base to make up for natural attrition. In this case you will be near 100%! Think it through very carefully.
"He's not dead, he's just pinin' for the fjords!"

#22 cnavlekar

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Posted 31 March 2006 - 08:39 AM

This is not areply as such ,
Iwas wondering does it work in cases machine designer overdesigns the motor for a perticular load.
If motor runs typically at 50% of the capacity will it save at least 15 -20 % of losses?

#23 marke

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Posted 31 March 2006 - 09:04 AM

Hello cnavlekar

This is a common falacy. It is commonly promoted that these energy saving devices will save energy on oversized motors. - It is in all the literature!
In reality, many motors are most efficient at around 75% load. The efficiency is still high at 50% load, so you will not save energy in the majority if cases.
With very small single phase motors, you may make some savings, but I would not expect to save 20%. This would require the motor to have an extremely high iron loss.

Best regards,

#24 jraef

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Posted 31 March 2006 - 04:46 PM

Aside from that, even if it saved 15% of the losses, those losses are not as great as you might think. Read Mark's paper at the LMP site linked above again. They often try to mix the term "losses" by comparing against a fully loaded motor, when in fact you are already using considerably less energy when 1/2 loaded, so the losses you can save on are only the iron losses, which don't vary much with loading. It's just that at 1/2 load, the fixed percentage of iron losses appears greater because the overall power consumption is lower.

Here is an analogy. If you are on an island with 1 million people, and 10% (100,000) have diseases for which you have the cure for 50% of them, then you can cure 50,000 sick people, giving you a cure rate of 5% (of 1 million people). If 500,000 healthy people leave the island, you still have 100,000 diseased people and you can still only cure the same 50,000 of them, but now it APPEARS that you can cure 10% of the population! You have not cured any more people, but you can claim that your cure rate went up by 50%! That is for the most part what their claims are based on.
"He's not dead, he's just pinin' for the fjords!"

#25 Dylbert

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Posted 01 April 2006 - 12:38 AM

What it comes down to is that this type of technology works well in certain applications, and not very well (or not at all) in other applications. No amount of discussion can compare to actual test results IN YOUR APPLICATION.

Trying to base comparisons off of motor parameters, or off of similar applications with different load profiles, is futile, and will likely end in a pissed off customer and a power savings unit in bypass mode.
As others have said, unless you have an application where the motor runs at very low load a significant percentage of operating time it's not worth looking at these types of devices.

#26 marke

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Posted 01 April 2006 - 01:54 AM

Hello Dylbert

Welcome to the forum

Yes, you have sumarised it well.

If you wish to do an onsite survey and look for potential applications without connecting an actual unit, I would suggest a clip on power factor meter and look for applications where the running power factor is less than 0.4 for a significant period of time. These will potentially save some power, but if they are using close to zero, then you can only save less than close to zero. Maybe a high percentage, but low KWHrs and that is what you pay on.

Best regards,

#27 SIENSRILANKA

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 06:42 AM

I am also trying to go into the business of selling energy savers.I amm baffled after reading the messages about these products.If the correct position is that the energy savers are fakes why not the industry take it up create awareness among the uninformed public.Some of these products claim to have got ISO 9001 & ISO 14001 .What does that mean?
SIENSRILANKA

#28 marke

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 07:12 AM

Hello Siensrilanka

Welcome to the forum.

The technology does work in the right applications. The problem is that many sales people suggest and imply that the technology will work in nearly all applications which is not true. They also, sometimes, claim impossible levels of saving, - such as 40% saving at 50% load. How do you save 40% when the motor is operating at higher than 80% efficiency?? In the right applications there can be savings. In the majority of applications there will not be.

ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 are no guarantee that a product will work or are fit for purpose, these are essentially management standards that ensure consistancy, not accuracy.

There have been a number of people trying to educate the public about the technology and suitable applications. Hence my paper at http://www.LMPhotonics.com/energy.htm
Unfortunately, it is hard to get to everybody without spending a considerable amount of money.

Best regards,

#29 jraef

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 04:56 PM

Well stated. The same is true for UL. There is a saying here in the US that you can get a UL listing on a bathtub as an electrical device as long as nothing catches on fire during the test.

I can only add that another problem is that there is no "industry" organization to speak of either. I work for a manufacturer of soft starters, and we elected to eliminate this feature years ago because we felt it did our reputation more harm than good, focusing instead on the real benefits of soft starters. We belong to NEMA (National Electrical manufacturers Assoc.) and adhere to their standards, but there is no standard for calling something an "evnergy saver", nor any requirement for manufacturers to join and no authority to force non-members to be truthful. Some government agencies in various countries are empowered to protect consumers from fraudulent claims, but they typically do little for industrials and rarely extend beyond their own borders. I will say that several of the home consumer versions of the product, targetd towards refrigerators and air conditioners, have been pulled from store shelves here in the US because of fraudulent claims.

The "energy saver" companies are also very careful about the words they use and the numbers they quote so as to technically avoid fraud, using vague references and examples of the few applications that worked without stating all the other mitigating circumstances. I would guess they have more lawyers on staff than engineers! Interestingly enough, I have heard of them claiming to sue people who expose their scam, but they never follow through, knowing that their own shadowy practices would not stand the light of day.
"He's not dead, he's just pinin' for the fjords!"

#30 jahangir zaffer

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 11:19 AM

QUOTE(garbie @ Nov 1 2005, 02:33 PM) View Post

Hi Rob,
I know some about Powerboss, and in USA it's called Moterboss. There are many other softstaters with the same features, where you do not need to pay a lot of money for a distributorship.
I cal help you!



hi

I am from INDIA and I am interested in SOT STRTERS /power savers ,CAN YOU SUGGEST AND HELP ME .
PLEASE DO REPLY ME ON.powersaver2006@hotmail.com

regards.............jahangir zaffer new delhi -INDIA



#31 marke

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Posted 16 July 2006 - 06:33 PM

Hello jahangir zaffer

First, as this thread is about the Somar PowerBoss, I would suggest that you start a new thread/topic to make your posting less confusing.
Second, what hep are you looking for??
If you are interested in energy savings on induction motors, I would suggest that you read my paper on the energy savers at http://www.LMPhotonics.com/energy.htm
If you start a new topic an post specific questions, I am sure that there are plenty of people here who will help you.

Best regards,

#32 alx

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 02:25 PM

QUOTE(paxitw @ Feb 6 2006, 11:30 AM) View Post

Hi Rob,
I don't know whether you have received any responses to your question. My advice would be, DON't. I have been a Somar distributor for a little over a year, idiot that I am, and have spent much money, time and energy needlessly.
In short, the product(s) does not do what is promised (although under some circumstances it can provide minor savings), the support is nowhere (which will become apparent as sson as you have paid up your distributor fee and ordered first stock).
If you do decide to pursue the matter, some advice: let Somar put you in direct touch with 10 successful distributors anywhere in the world (should not be difficult since they claim 200+), and 10 successful installations (that you are allowed to contact and verify yourself). Visit at least 3 installations, establish their installation costs (not just the cost of the units) and then see amortization times.
DO ALL THIS BEFORE SIGNING UP OR PAYING.
Regards,
Werner.


Hi Werner,
Which promises are not respected from their side? Which is the major flow of Powerboss?
Regards,
Alx

#33 GGOSS

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 11:58 PM

Technicalities aside, I do not undertsnad why anyone would want to hand over cash to become an agent/distributor of the powerboss products.

As a distributor of similar products (and I use the term loosely), I move a truck load of product weekly and I know exactly the level of investment in both capital and technical resource that is required to properly market and support products of this nature.

If a manufacturer believes it could/would benefit from signing a distributor, there should be no need for money to change hands in order to establish the 'partnership'.

My opinion for what it's worth.

Regards,
GGOSS

#34 Alexis

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 09:52 AM

QUOTE(alx @ Jul 25 2006, 03:25 PM) View Post

Hi Werner,
Which promises are not respected from their side? Which is the major flow of Powerboss?
Regards,
Alx

Hi Werner,
[Please note we are not the Alx quoted above, we would like to hear from Alx as well]
Boy am I glad We've found you. We are a U.K. company who is (was until I read your warning) interested in becoming a Somar - PowerBoss distributor. We have been very puzzled as to why Somar do not have a list of their distributors on their web site? For example as a factory owner, or chartered engineer We might have heard of PowerBoss and We might want to buy some for my factory. We would go to their web site and find no list of distributors! - why do they keep their sales offices & you guys such a secret? It's a bit like having a chain of shops that are always closed! Power Boss SOUNDS fantastic. Can you tell me whats wrong with it? you can email me directly at alex@solvi.co.uk or post a blogg here. If you are prepared to send me your phone details I would love to call you and discuss. My business partner is a chatrtered engineer and we have sent our "heads of agreement" to Somar only yesterday as we have done a fair amount of investigation and according to our electo mechanical engineers in THEORY these units should work. But we agree with you why charge 10,750 for a distributorship? dry.gif . Somars sales pitch seems very American and verging on the Multi Level Marketing system which always has a suspicious smell about it! We hope you can get back to us and as a thought we know Somars turn over is around 4 million - well with 200 distributors world wide all paying 10,750 that makes up for 50% of thier anual turn over ! did anyone say pyramid selling? hummmm !
Looking forward to hearing from you very much and do you know of anyother distributors? We found ONE in Ireland, and the other 2 in the U.K. ( found via google) have both ceased trading!!!
thanks in anticipation
yours very puzzled
Alex
Solvi Ltd
Hertfordshire
England

#35 GGOSS

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 06:53 AM

Hello Alexis,

Although I am not a fan of energy saver products, I would suggest you extend your research into any supplier beyond this forum.

In the right applications, energy saver products can provide good savings, albeit not to the levels suggested by some.

To coin a phrase often used by marke, "you can only save a portion of the energy being wasted". Therefore if you want to get a true understanding of what the potential savings are, take a close look at motor efficiencies throughout the entire speed range as that will allow you to get an indication of the total amount of energy wasted. Then consider the words in the opening sentence of this paragraph, and determine yourself whether it's at all worth while.

Regards,
GGOSS
PS: A look at the thread titled "How much energy did you say you could save?" may also be useful to you.

#36 Alexis

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 01:01 PM

QUOTE(GGOSS @ Jul 31 2006, 07:53 AM) View Post

Hello Alexis,

Although I am not a fan of energy saver products, I would suggest you extend your research into any supplier beyond this forum.

In the right applications, energy saver products can provide good savings, albeit not to the levels suggested by some.

To coin a phrase often used by marke, "you can only save a portion of the energy being wasted". Therefore if you want to get a true understanding of what the potential savings are, take a close look at motor efficiencies throughout the entire speed range as that will allow you to get an indication of the total amount of energy wasted. Then consider the words in the opening sentence of this paragraph, and determine yourself whether it's at all worth while.

Regards,
GGOSS
PS: A look at the thread titled "How much energy did you say you could save?" may also be useful to you.

Hi GGOSS,
Thanks for taking the trouble to reply. I did read Marke's paper on energy savers. suffice it to say I/we are now older and wiser thanks in a major part to this forum and people like you who will take the time to help strangers. a BIG thanks to all who replied/helped. We ( my business partner & I ) continue to seek carbon reduction and energy saving equipment. any ideas we would be pleased to hear. again thanks as Ken & I are now 10,750 better off an NOT Somar distributors. Well done for a great forum.
kindest regards
Alexis

#37 mariomaggi

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 03:15 PM

Dear all,

QUOTE

I continue to seek carbon reduction and energy saving equipment. any ideas we would be pleased to hear.


I would thank Alexis for this action.
I've found interesting energy savings using special lubricants to reduce friction.
In some applications (i.e.: lithium grease on heavy duty chain conveyors) I found a power reduction over 50 %, due to high reduction of friction. The cost of lithium grease is high, but energy cost is higher.
Furthermore, less energy losses means better human health, thanks to reduction of carbon pollutions.

Regards
Mario


Mario Maggi - Italy - http://www.evlist.ithttps://www.axu.it


#38 jraef

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 11:55 PM

I think that an important point the Mario has brought up is that "energy savings" is not a technology issue, it is an application issue. Sure there are technology devices such as Nola Energy Savers that can, under the right circumstances, provide an energy savings benefit. But the best way to go about saving energy is to look at each different application on a case by case basis and evaluate where energy is being wasted, then look for individual solutions. Mario's example is an excellent one for that purpose. Will lithium grease solve every energy problem? No, not if there is very little friction involved to begin with, but in the right circumstances it may be more beneficial than you would imagine. Can VFDs save energy? Yes, in the right circumstances, but if the motor is going to run at full speed all of the time, then they actually WASTE energy!

I once got involved in a large project where a salesman had sold a lumber mill on the idea of putting in soft starters with the "energy saver" feature as a way of reducing his power consumption and his peak demand charges. By the time I got into it they were 95% complete in converting every motor starter over 25HP (19kW) to having a soft starter. I was working on the last batch when I asked him why he had started this process and was appalled by his answer. I started to explain to him that the energy saver was not going to work when the bypass contactors came in (they ALL had bypass contactors) and that Peak Demand charges were not going to be reduced because the utility calculated them on a 15 minute sliding window. He stopped me and produced an energy audit they had just completed. Sure enough, he was using over 30% less energy than the same period in the previous year, yet production was essentially equal! To him, this was proof.

I was not convinced because I knew better, so I investigated. As it turned out, the reason why they saved so much energy was the simple fact that having soft starters made the operators more inclined to turn machines Off when not needed. Prior to that, the voltage dip was often so bad when they restarted large machines that they just left them running, whether they were in use or not. Even though the problems stemmed from large machines such as chippers and resaws, the attitude extended to every machine. Once the problem went away for the big machines, the new attitude extended downward as well. So IN EFFECT, the soft starters DID save them on energy use AND demand charges because there is no better energy saver than the OFF button. It taught me a lesson in looking deeply at a problem rather than just assuming that there is some sort of "magic box" that will solve it. As it turned out, the magic box WAS the answer, but in an indirect way.

So Alexis, don't give up on your idea of providing energy and carbon reduction strategies to your customers, just don't hang your hat on a single technology and expect it to be the magic box, especially if the magic box purveyor expects a big up-front buy-in. There are plenty of soft starers products out there that are in fact of better design and quality than the Somar and the manufacturers do NOT require a big investment in inventory and training materials. I would also align yourself with some VFD manufacturers, energy efficient motor suppliers, lighting controllers, heck, even lithium grease suppliers and offer a complete package of solutions to your customers.
"He's not dead, he's just pinin' for the fjords!"

#39 GGOSS

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 12:03 AM

Good work jraef.

Regards,
GGOSS

#40 kens

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Posted 01 August 2006 - 12:29 AM

QUOTE(jraef @ Aug 1 2006, 11:55 AM) View Post

But the best way to go about saving energy is to look at each different application on a case by case basis and evaluate where energy is being wasted, then look for individual solutions.


Well stated Jraef, efficiency is about avoiding waste, if there is no waste then the system is efficient. Often the best way to efficiency is not the installation of another piece of equipment but the better use of what you have. Unfortunatly many energy auditors do not spend the time to learn the process or the technology that they are recommending, Alexis I think that you have saved yourself some major headaches by doing a little research. I wish you luck in your endevours.

Kens
An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less until he knows absolutely everything about nothing




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