There are lots of ways to hook things up, it kinds of depends on what your goal is. The SWG can control the pump, but that limits some of the automation options. Or the automation system, if you have one, can control the SWG. It depends on how much of an automation system you have, or don't have, how many modes you want to be able to use on the pump, etc.
The Intellicomm allows you to use the pumps built in priotrity system for picking which flow rate to use (and to allow the pump to calculate total turns per day if you have the full Intelliflow, not just the 4x160). But if you are just using a single speed on the pump then simplest to have the SWG control the pump power directly and ignore the Intellicomm. On the other hand a fancy automation system can control both of them.
I have the Intelliflo 4x160 and I'm very happy with it. But with power costs like yours, I could not in good conscience recommend the pump for its primary purpose of energy savings.
If you need variable speed for other reasons (water features, undersized filter, etc), then go ahead and buy the pump. As far as saving money goes, you're probably looking at 5-10 years before the pump pays for itself.
Last year I had a 1 1/2 Hp pump on the filter system and a separate 3/4 Hp pump on the solar panels. The filter and panels are almost 100 feet apart so I decided on separate pumps. The flow thru the panels was not enough so this year I reversed the pumps. The panels now work great and the water is toasty enough for my wife. ( Hit 96F this week and has not been below 90. Too hot for me but .....)
On the other end the velocity through the DE filter with the 3/4Hp is not enough to get a good coating. Most of the DE ends up in the bottom of the tank. So I was thinking with the VS pump I could bump up the speed for coating or backwashing and then run slower through every night for normal filtering. A two speed pump looked good but they are getting up there in price too and the slow speed on a two speed is real slow. The VS pumps would solve the problem, or so I thought, until I saw that they ( pentair ) want the pump to be powered up 24/7.
The Autopilot retains all its settings when powered down. Even through many months of winter shutdown the clock was still spot on this spring. If the Intilliflow would retain its settings then all I need is to have the Intelliflow powered by the Autopilot only for the speed I find gives the turnover I want at night. I could manually over- ride that speed for backwashing and re-coating. That would put the cost down to just the pump and not need the Intellicom. Put I am not convinced from the sketchy owner's manual that the control on the pump will do that.
Discount Pool offers the 4/160 at about $830. So that gets a bit more realistic. And energy prices are not going to go down in the future.
I'm going to chime in only because we have been having an Ikeric vs. Intelliflow discussion elsewhere. My Ikeric VS pump retains all of its settings even when powered off. So it was/is a drop in replacement for a normal setup where you have both the pump and the SWG on a timer.
My solar contoller has a relay that is switched on when it calls for solar, this is normally used for a booster pump (wired 110V). However, I use the relay to switch the Ikeric to go into boost mode. So, my normal setup is:
slow speed - normal filtering (extremely quiet and efficient)
boost mode - solar on (still quieter than the Superpump it replaced).
However, the controller also has a front switch, which can be used to manually place the pump in slow speed, high speed or boost speed. If I want a bit more filtering, I put the manual switch in high speed (all speeds are fully adjustable within the limits of the pump) - solar will still go to boost mode when needed. When I backwash, I manually switch to boost.
The price on the Intelliflow has dropped a lot! I'm not sure that you could get an Ikeric for that.
I found in the Intelliflo manual
"... the pump can be operated in "stand alone" mode, starting and stopping when power is applied and removed. When the drive powers up it will return to the mode and run status that it was in when power was removed. This setup may be appropriate if you need to use existing relays or timers "
This sounds like exactly what I want it to do when the Autopilot Digital brings in the start contactor ... so I have put one on order.
The Intelliflow pump is dead simple to run from the Autopilot.
It retains all the settings when the power is cut / switched off and will return to it's last state when power is switched back on, by the Autopilot of whatever.
Everything seems to run as advertised. Quiet and smooth. Quite a bit quieter than the Hayward Super Pump.
I will put an ammeter on it soon to see what the current draw really does at lower speeds, but I like being able to crank it up to coat the DE filter and then slow it down and run in economy mode of my setting.
It might even pay for itself in energy savings before I die. Power is too cheap here in Ontario. About 5 cents / KWH
( Canadian cents that is ). The savings calculator on line at the Pentair web site doesn't have an selection for power this cheap.