I wanted to share some interesting info I found out about the Pentair Superflo/Supermax variable speed pumps. It seems that the design has been recently revised. The new pumps (P/N 342001 and 343001) have a much nicer user interface and can display power consumption, which are nice features. The older pumps (P/N 342000 and 343000) are the most efficient available at my intended operating point, according to the MAS985 spreadsheet. The prices are pretty good, too, so I was all set to order one of the new pumps when I had a look at the energystar database:
, which now lists both the new and old pumps. The numbers for the old pumps are consistent with the numbers I got from the MAS985 spreadsheet, but for the new pumps they are much worse. I had assumed that only the control panel had changed, but it looks like the efficiency has gone from class leading to lousy. Interestingly, one of the other observable differences in the photos of the pumps is that the new ones have cooling fins on the motor, seemingly to get rid of the heat from all of the wasted power.
I suppose it is possible that the fine folks at the federal government have somehow messed up the data, and it seems incredible that Pentair would have screwed the pooch this badly. But they have had ample time to complain and get the numbers corrected.
So now I am thinking of getting the Hayward Tristar VS, which has efficiency similar to the old Superflo according to the energystar data. BTW, there is a tristar VS in the MAS985 spreadsheet which is not very good, but it has a different model number than the one available now. I was not able to find any other info on that pump, but I have concluded that the tristar line is moving toward higher efficiency over time, unlike the Pentair guys.