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Topic Title: v phase
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Created On: 26 February 2013 11:13 AM
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 26 February 2013 11:13 AM
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jamesrussell

Posts: 81
Joined: 11 January 2008

just wondering has anybody had dealings with this company and installed the voltage optimiser?
If memory serves me well Billy had to install one on DIY sos
with claims for saving electric. more importantly its the dropping of the voltage thats the main interest for me.
I know there is another company that sells what basically looks like a step down tranny (huge) the VO4.
This baby is installed before the cu but the vphase taps into cu and bypasses the cooker and shower circuits.
awaiting replies
 26 February 2013 11:24 AM
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AJJewsbury

Posts: 11453
Joined: 13 August 2003

There have been plenty of comments on here in the past - try a search.

On the energy saving point of view, given that most modern current-using devices are self-regulating to some extent (e.g. by thermostat, time taken to boil, or regulated PSU), with the exception of filament lamps or old magnetic ballast fluorescents lights which would produce reduced light levels, it's hard to see where the savings come from. The manufacturers don't seem to be able to explain adequately either.

- Andy.
 26 February 2013 11:45 AM
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Angram

Posts: 553
Joined: 23 March 2009

Some now claim that appliances will last longer if the voltage is lower because UK voltage is higher than European!

Seems a weak argument.

Mains voltage in my locality varies by 10volts or more without this type of kit. How low do you need to go .
 26 February 2013 12:35 PM
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broadgage

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I think that they are a con trick, as posted above a search will reveal many comments by myself and others.
 26 February 2013 01:54 PM
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Cremeegg

Posts: 528
Joined: 13 July 2007

I'm one of their approved trained installers. Training was half an afternoon watching a demo and having tea and biscuits (not even chocolate biccies). In three years I've had one enquiry to fit one. The customer lost interest as soon as I mentioned the cost of the unit.

VPhase will go into bypass mode as soon as the immersion kicks in and the customer is very likely to need a new CU as well. Have I ever seen a domestic appliance thats been worn out by having 240+volts through it - no.

I'm not a fan myself but I'll fit one if someone wants one. I remain sceptical about how they circumvent Ohms Law.

Look at the Voltis V4Home - a huge box but easier to fit - although the same doubts remain.
 26 February 2013 03:40 PM
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redtoblackblewtopieces

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Joined: 10 January 2013

If the immersion was powered through theVphase then it was installed incorrectly, heating elements would use more electricity to produce the same heat at a lower voltage-the Vphase could be installed so only certain circuits ran through it eg lighting.That said still don't think price of product is worth the savings ( if any)
Kevin

-------------------------
Safety through a Standard
Compliance by Approved Documents
 26 February 2013 04:13 PM
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jamesrussell

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interesting comments I have found out that vphase has a contract with British gas who will be promoting to customer base in 2014 !!!
I was wondering from the angle that customers complaining of lamps always blowing kettles dont seem to last now.
I dont know I suppose if your supply is hovering around 250 it could help if reduced to say 225 ish
 26 February 2013 04:58 PM
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AJJewsbury

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complaining of lamps always blowing kettles dont seem to last now.

Cheap lamps - while any filament lamp will last longer at a lower voltage, economically it's probably cheaper to buy a few decent quality lamps at 50p extra each than several hundred pounds on a box, energy-wise the filament lamps will probably have been phased out long before the v-phase breaks even. CFLs and LEDs have electronic control gear so will usually compensate for lower voltage by drawing a higher current - so it's not a long-term solution to energy saving from lighting anyway.

What's the failure mode of these kettles? The last couple I took out of service were due to leaks and a dodgy connector. I don't ever recall finding one where the element had burned out. Again things for £9.99 that used to cost £30. I'm not sure lowering the voltage would have a benefit...

- Andy.
 27 February 2013 05:44 AM
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ebee

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I think most of us consider VPhase to run on snake oil

-------------------------
Regards,
Ebee (M I S P N)

Knotted cables cause Lumpy Lektrik
 27 February 2013 09:20 AM
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ToniSM

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Originally posted by: jamesrussell

interesting comments I have found out that vphase has a contract with British gas who will be promoting to customer base in 2014 !!!

I was wondering from the angle that customers complaining of lamps always blowing kettles dont seem to last now.

I dont know I suppose if your supply is hovering around 250 it could help if reduced to say 225 ish


Any more information on this? Given BG's track record with hard sell tactics it could get interesting.

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Could there be a better way?

In theory yes, but in practice?
 01 March 2013 07:39 PM
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dlane

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EA Technology wrote an independent report based upon 50 installations of the VPhase unit back in 2010.

The report is available from ofgem but in the conclusions they reported an average energy saving of 5.2% with a deviation of 1.4%. Interesting enough though, they reported that the worst case was -4% savings and the best case was 19% savings.

I think it depends upon the type of appliances that are used, how far you are away from your substation, what your actual supply voltage is and your total demand.

The unit retails for around £300 incl VAT and then installation costs on top and has an 8A continuous rating. There is also a unit from Apex that sells for £420 but has a higher continuous rating of 40A.

Based upon the average energy saving it would take around 10 years to payback for the unit alone. Add £200 for a relatively easy installation and you are then looking at 17 years in terms of basic payback for a VPhase based on average household consumption.

Kind regards

Donald Lane

Edited: 01 March 2013 at 07:47 PM by dlane
 01 March 2013 07:50 PM
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GB

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I was quoted £150 to by a V-Phase unit direct from CEF, with installation best on a split board seperated to exclude heavy resistive loads ie: showers, the time to install (correctly) added to material cost would in my opinion put most peolpe off (housholders)
Although I do believe they will make a saving and would guess in the 5-7% range.
By the way I did not fancy one in my own house just seeing if an "opportunity was knocking"
 01 March 2013 08:04 PM
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dlane

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That is a much better price GB would knock 4 to 5 years of the basic payback.

Out of curiosity is that their standard price or a discounted price to you?

Kind regards

Donald Lane
 01 March 2013 08:51 PM
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GB

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Donald
I am not at work at present so better pull out quote and confirm 100% value and unit quoted for but the £150 is stuck in my head.
It would have been discounted as trade customer but let me check, it may also have discounted rate on the quote which may help if you have negotiating to do!!
at average bill of £700 a 6% saving per year would take forever to pay back if installation and unit were in the region of £400.
Although you could go on the less honourable route of saying 15 to 20% savings like the sales literature but I dont think a houshold unit could get anywhere near those figures. (and I like to sleep at nights)
 01 March 2013 09:55 PM
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alancapon

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You also need to remember that it would probably be incandescent lamps (now banned by the EU) that would have produced the largest savings. The new CFLs have switched mode power supplies (albeit basic ones) so just draw more current as you drop the voltage.

Regards,

Alan.
 01 March 2013 10:52 PM
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impvan

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A 17 year payback, against a warranty of 5 years....
 02 March 2013 08:36 AM
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dg66

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We had some optimal voltage units fitted to three injection moulding machines on a trial basis for a month . The units provided very unimpressive results. The payback periods for two of the macines were 6 years and 12 years and the third machine actualy cost more to run with the unit fitted.

-------------------------
Regards

Dave(not Cockburn)
 02 March 2013 08:24 PM
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Cremeegg

Posts: 528
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A 17 year payback, against a warranty of 5 years..


Says it all - try quizzing their sales guys on that one - it's fun.
 03 October 2013 08:09 AM
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leckie

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This company make claims of great savings also. They appear to have the backing of some very large clients if you look at the testimonials.
http://powerstar.co.uk/index.html
Anyone had any dealings?
 03 October 2013 11:33 AM
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Cremeegg

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Large commercial operators are more likely to see savings by the nature of their operation. As for the company showing endorsement by the Deputy PM - the mind boggles as to how that improves the image of the company.
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