I went around and around trying to decide between the IntelliFlo 4x160 and the Ikeric Dyna-Miser VS150 to replace a burned out single speed 2 HP motor that was attached to a Hayward Super II pump.
The best cost I was able to find for the Ikeric VS150 was $1050 at www.holidaypools.com. The best price I was able to find for an IntelliFlo 4x160 was $799.95 at poolsonly.com and $806.63 at a1poolparts.com, with $849.95 at bestbuypoolsupply.com running in close behind. But I was forced to spend another $400 plus for something called an IntelliComm for my non-Pentair control system to actually change speeds on the IntelliFlo.
At the end of the day, the Ikeric was maybe a couple of hundred dollars less expensive than the IntelliFlo 4x160, with the IntelliFlo being more efficient thant the Ikeric. I ended up buying the Ikeric over the IntelliFlo for the following reasons:
1. less expensive than IntelliFlo 4x160 by a couple of hundred dollars.
2. the 4x160 uses a relatively new type of motor which, despite LOTS of hours of research, only appear to be available through Pentair.
3. No one, including Pentair local dealers nor Pentair headquarters, was able to say how much a replacement motor or motor drive would cost if it were to fail after the warranty expires. Since I could buy a 4x160 on the Internet for $900 or less, and the list price of a new motor appeared to be $1100, and since Pentair could not give me even a ballpark replacement cost, that left me with a really queasy feeling about the 4x160.
4. Last, but not least, the Ikeric has a variable speed drive and a "smart relay" or micro PLC (programmable ladder logic) controller in the control panel. The geek in me loved the chance to tinker with these two items. The micro PLC appears to be a Square D/Telemecanique Telio PLC and appears to use industry standard "ladder logic" for programming. Which means that I can get down into the ladder logic and play with custom programs.
First Impressions (before installation)
1. The control box is a lot smaller than I expected. It is 12 1/4" wide, 12 3/8" - 14 1/4" high, and 7 1/2" - 9" deep. There are two height and depth dimensions because the control box has mounting "ears" - the first number is the control box dimensions without mounting ears, and the second number is the control box dimensions with the mounting ears.
2. The wet end is a Hayward TriStar pump.
3. The motor is an Emerson 2.0 HP with a service factor of 1.35, for a total max HP of 2.7 HP. The Emerson label also shows Hayward information on it, and some of the words say "variable speed pool pump duty". I can not find this motor on the Emerson motor website, so it may well be being made specifically for Hayward. This TriStar pump/motor combo appears very ready to be used as the basis for Hayward's own variable speed offering due out the beginning of 2008. The exact components may be a little different, but it should be a near clone of the Ikeric, I expect.
4. Holiday Pools appears to sell only Ikeric VS150 (1.5 HP), but they appear to have sent me a VS200 (2 HP), even though nothing on the panel or literature actually says VS150 or VS200. Somebody wrote, in Sharpie marker, on the inside cover of the control panel "2 HP".
5. I spoke with a Gary at Holiday Pools. He seemed very knowledgeable, and was very patient with my geek electrical engineer questions. He said that the co-owner of Holiday Pools, or an very closely affiliated company, was actually a co-partner with Ike Hornsby who runs Ikeric.
6. Perhaps the most interesting thing of all, was that when I asked what the control panel would cost all by itself without the pump/motor, Gary quoted a price of $375. That is an OUTSTANDING price for the control panel, which included a variable speed drive controller (which is actually rated for 3 HP), and a micro PLC. What this means in plain language is that if someone has a fairly new pump that is fairly efficient hydraulically (Hayward TriStar or NorthStar, Pentair WhisperFlo, etc.), all one would have to do go variable speed operation is to:
1. buy the Ikeric drive panel for $375
2. buy a three phase motor with the correct motor frame size which matches up with the existing pump (around $300)
3. remove the old single-phase motor from the pump
4. install the new three phase motor
5. mount the Ikeric drive panel and wire up the motor to the drive panel, and the drive panel to the power panel.
The above, of course, assumes that one already has a control system such as Hayward Aqua Logic, Pentair Intellitouch or EasyTouch, or Jandy AquaLink which has relays that can call for different motor speeds from the Ikeric system. So one can go to variable speed pump operation for only $675, not counting tax or freight, in parts. Labor, of course, would cost extra.
Considering that the local Ikeric dealer wanted $2100 for the Ikeric system installed, I think the $1050 total system cost from Holiday Pools, or the $375 Ikeric panel only plus $300 for a motor (and keeping your wet end pump) are two very interestibng options.
I will try and post pictures of the Ikeric control panel and the TriStar pump/Emerson motor later this weekend. Since I am such a geek, I will be reverse engineering the wiring and coming up with a wiring diagram. I will also be delving into the ladder logic programming in the micro PLC "smart controller" and seeing what they did and how.