We first saw this device on one of the tabloid TV shows late last year. Typical of these shows, the report was full of “gee whiz” and short on substance. We wondered if the claims being made were real . . . or was it just another in the long line of power saving devices which don’t quite stand up to a technically-sound examination.
User controls on the FutureWave Energy Saver are minimal: two large switches controlling mode and energy saving level. Without instructions, we were unable to work out the controls at the top but the LED display reads the frequency supplied to the pump motor.
Developed by a couple of electric motor rewinders in a shed on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, the FutureWave Energy Saver was claimed to reduce electricity consumption by a rather significant amount. They claim up to 80% – a figure we can’t quite replicate – but the savings we can measure are not too far away.
But we are getting a bit ahead of ourselves. Shortly after we saw it on TV, we tried to contact FutureWave via their website and emails – without a lot of luck. It turns out at the time they were simply too busy trying to keep up with demand following their TV exposure to have even more media exposure – which could further increase demand.
But we persevered, eventually tracking down a mobile phone number which was not only answered but we were promised that someone would get back to us within a week or two. It was explained to us that FutureWave had moved to new premises and significantly ramped up their production capacity, so now they were happy to talk to the technical media which would put their device under much more scrutiny than the TV programs had.
They were well aware of SILICON CHIP (in fact they subscribed) – so were also well aware of the damning reports we had published on previous “energy saving” devices. More to the point, they completely agreed with us!
But they were also very quick to point out that the FutureWave device went about its energy saving task in a completely different, scientifically proven way (more on that anon) and it was also specifically intended for certain electric motors, the main target market being swimming pool and spa pumps.
They were confident that FutureWave Energy Saver would stand up to SILICON CHIP’s scrutiny and measurements.
In due course, a FutureWave Energy Saver was delivered to the SILICON CHIP office. Yours truly was given the task of reviewing the device, mainly because I happen to be the only one with a swimming pool in the back yard!
The FutureWave Energy Saver
It’s housed in an ABS box measuring 390 x 300 x 150mm. The lid of the box is clear and hinged, opening to allow access to a limited range of user controls. There are two large 3-position switches, one of which selects the mode of operation – full power (used, for example, when backwashing a filter), energy saving (ie, controlled by the unit) and off. The second switch selects the amount of energy saving – high, medium or low.