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Thread: Intelliflo Power Consumption During Idle

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    Intelliflo Power Consumption During Idle

    I just installed a brand new Intelliflo (011018) pump.
    When I measured the power consumption using current clamp, I measured about 120 watts when running at 1000 rpm and 100 watts when idle/stop. The power consumption during idle is what concerning. Do I have a defective pump controller? The 100 watt seems excessive for the electronics. Has anyone measured it for the same model (011018) or could provide the number for comparison?

    I called up Pentair and the customer service had no idea how much the power consumption should be. She opened a case to talk to the engineer. For a moment, she was trying to convince me that 100 watt is nothing and that electric is charged by kwh so it's pennies every hour. But where the pump is installed, the electrical rate is $0.274 per kwh and the whole motivation to install variable speed pump is to save electrical cost.

    The old pump is 3/4 HP and running for 5 hours per day equal to 2.8 kwh
    The intelliflo running for 12 hour and 12 idle equal to 2.6 kwh
    That is a saving of only 8% and it would hardly justify the cost of the pump.

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Intelliflo Power Consumption During Idle

    Welcome to TFP!

    Pentair says that the standby current draw should be just under 5w. They also say that because of the design of their power supply it is easy for a clamp on amp meter to get incorrect readings when the unit is on standby.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    Re: Intelliflo Power Consumption During Idle

    Thanks Jason!
    I believe my current meter is base on average current which then calibrated for sine wave, but I would need to check on that.
    Could you elaborate more on their power supply characteristic during idle?

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Intelliflo Power Consumption During Idle

    Apparently it is a switching power supply, which turns the power on and off very very quickly so just the amount of current it needs gets through. Many switching power supplies intentionally draw power only when the voltage is near what they want, presumably around 5 volts, and are off for the high part of each cycle.

    I don't know anything specific about the particular power supply they are using, but I am familiar with other switching power supplies that give misleading high readings when measured by clamp on amp meters. The meter reads the average current, and you assume the voltage behaves normally for line power. But a switching power supply that only draws power when the voltage is low can draw a fair bit of current and not use nearly as much power as one might assume it does, since the default assumption is that some of that current is drawn while the voltage is high, which isn't true in this case. Power is amps times volts. The voltage while the supply is actually drawing power is far lower, so actual power is far lower than apparent power. To sum up, the meter is "correct" in it's amp reading, but since the actual voltage is low the number of watts is far lower than one might assume.

    Power meters are fairly complex things, compared to volts and amps meters, because of issues like this one.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Intelliflo Power Consumption During Idle

    I'm EE by profession. I see your point but I would like more certainty that there is nothing wrong with my brand new pump. Maybe I need to measure it with a power meter? Any other suggestion?

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    susa's Avatar
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    Re: Intelliflo Power Consumption During Idle

    Quote Originally Posted by adjohan
    .. when running at 1000 rpm and 100 watts when idle/stop..
    my IntelliFlow VF uses about 9-11 watts when idle, the onboard programming takes up some cycles but nothing of concern.

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    Re: Intelliflo Power Consumption During Idle

    Susa,
    How did you take your power measurement?

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