02:05PM | 07/13/01
Member Since: 06/10/01
10 lifetime posts
Has anyone heard of or had experience with a device called Power Planner?

They are voltage / amperage reducing items that run motors more efficiently, with the intent of using less electricity, saving money on your electric bill, and producing less motor heat, thereby increasing motor life.

Patented and developed by a NASA scientist. In use since the mid-to-late 90s. Website displays some usage results and letters of recommendation.

If you are unsure of what I am speaking of, visit

I would like to hear some opinions from electrical experts or first-hand use as to whether they would be worth the money if they perform as claimed.


Robert Hill

Electrical Inspector

02:35AM | 09/29/02
Member Since: 09/27/02
73 lifetime posts
The local Solar store energy guru just happens to have this model on display, complete with a small 1 ph motor hooked up to portary via a built in meter ythe difference bettween 'actross the line' starting amperage, and one where this device is used.

The concept of taking the 'spike' out of a motor starting has been around for a while, and now i guess it is going to be marketed residentially.

This looks like it may be a cousin to the VFD ( variable frequency drive) units , where the frequency ( 60 hertz normally) is altered during the starting process to reduce the 'inrush current', aka 'spike' .

I would ask it this unit is 'approved' or 'listed' by an NRTL, or testing labaratory like UL.

This is important beacuse they constitute the safety net for products marketed here, some of which tend to slip by.

Myself, i was solicited to be the 'northeast distributor' of a similar panel installed unit consisting mainly of a capactitor a few years back, until an NRTL stepped in ( to my surprise!) and put the kebosh to the whole deal.
In hindsight, they probably saved me many $$$ in litigation, as well as my carear.
One can't be too careful these days....

live & learn.


02:56PM | 09/29/02
Member Since: 09/27/02
9 lifetime posts
Never seen on of those, the ones I have installed are the whole house deals. They come complete with a power monitor and feedback from two CTs.
The basic set-up is 4 relays, for the dryer hot water heater and electric heat, each relay has two NO contacts.
You set the monitor to whatever kilowatt setting you want, for example set the monitor for 10 kw, this is done at the monitor located in the living room and the relay panel and internal computer does the rest.
The water-heater is an 80 gallon model and is set to run on an off peak of 120 volts, when the demand kicks in on it, the relay operates and the HW is switched to 240 volts.
the only problem is once the loadsetpoint is exceeded its starts shutting off different loads to maintain the 10kw set point.
The setpoint is monitored by the incoming power on both legs with Current transformers.
For what you get it is not a bad unit, once set it is completely closed loop. They make them to monitor electric ranges and all 240 volt loads.




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