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100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/14/2009 2:55 PM

""Through a cutting-edge feat of engineering, under perfect conditions our ZR Series of water-cooled, oil-free air compressors with built-in energy recovery systems allows facilities to recover 100 percent of the electrical energy input," said Paul Humphreys, Vice President Communications and Branding, Atlas Copco Compressors LLC. "At higher temperatures and relative humidity it is even possible to recover more than 100 percent of the electrical energy input, while in the average manufacturing environment, with lower temperatures and relative humidity, the recovery will amount to 90 to 95 percent. This is a very significant amount of energy savings." "

from http://www.newequipment.com/303/ProductDetail/66388/303-3500/Net_Zero_Energy_Consumption_Compressors.aspx

100%= Unity

more than 100%= Over Unity.

Your comments please...

Blink, where are you?

milo

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Anonymous Poster
#1

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/14/2009 3:42 PM

From Atlas-Copco?!?!?!? One of the main players in compressors?

What the hell is this world coming to when they start spewing this nonsense?

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#12
In reply to #1

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/15/2009 2:45 AM

Paul Humphreys

Vice President Communications and Branding

Atlas Copco Compressors LLC

1800 Overview Dr
Rock Hill, SC 29730

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#2

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/14/2009 3:58 PM

I'm ready to invest a million bucks.

I have 11,111, $90.00 US bills to spend.

Where can I send it?

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#3

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/14/2009 4:53 PM

"under perfect conditions" hmm... Under perfect conditions, I would think everything would run at 100% eff.

"100 percent of the electric power input could be recovered in the form of hot water at a temperature of up to 90°C."

"certified by the German Monitoring Association (TÜV) to have net zero energy consumption under specific design conditions." -Now I may be crazy, but doesn't every single object/machine/tool ever created by man fall into this category? I mean, When a tool/object converts energy to another form to do work, by-products, such as heat/light/vibrations etc are considered losses... but... the tool/device/object has not "Consumed" any energy, its simply converted it to some other form. which is exactly what this compressor is doing... they are considering the waste heat as useful energy... which I suppose if you needed 90°C water, it might be usefull, but its hot water, not compressed air!

Bullosk marfketing scam if you ask me.

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#4

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/14/2009 5:39 PM

Wow! If you used HHO as the initial fuel source, and the Rockwell retro-encabulator as the control, why you might even get triple unity!

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/14/2009 6:09 PM

The "Rockwell Retro-Encabulator"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXJKdh1KZ0w

I LOVE THAT MACHINE!!

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/14/2009 6:20 PM

Yep. It's a classic. That has to be some clueless salesman actor. I don't think an engineer could read that script with a straight face! They probably weren't even allowed on the set.

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/14/2009 7:36 PM

Don't forget the original Turbo Encabulator

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVZ8Ko-nss4&feature=related

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#11
In reply to #5

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/15/2009 2:16 AM

I never get tired of watching that!

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#15
In reply to #5

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/15/2009 12:20 PM

Arguably the finest example of TechnoBabble on the planet.

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#16
In reply to #15

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/15/2009 12:36 PM

Agreed.

Love the wright quote.

milo

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#17
In reply to #16

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/15/2009 12:44 PM

Ha! I changed quotes between my last post and yours just now.

So ... uh ... how do you like the new one?

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#18
In reply to #17

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/15/2009 1:29 PM

I miss the last one... sniff.

milo

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#19
In reply to #18

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/15/2009 2:41 PM

Click on my Profile. It's there in the Bio* along with my other faves.

-e

* I used to have a Real bio, but it read so much like one of those steamy pulp novellas you see on Oprah that I ..................... wait a minute !!!

What the hell am I doing here?!

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#8

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/14/2009 7:50 PM

If 100% of the electrical energy input is recovered, then the ZR Series can't be much of a compressor now, can it? It takes energy to compress air, just like it takes energy to compress a spring.

Looks to me what they're really saying - once you strip it of its (somewhat incredible) marketing hype - is simply that they make the heated water available for other uses!

Turns out my home water heater does exactly the same thing - also at 100% efficiency - with the difference being that my water heater has no illusions about being a compressor.

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#9

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/14/2009 8:51 PM

First of all, someone with the title "VP of Communications and Branding" has not a clue what he just said.

I am sure all the engineers at Atlas Copco are cringing.

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#10

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/14/2009 9:25 PM

Then again, I guess they have all decided it is not worth fighting over. The Atlas Copco site is full of this 100% energy recovery crap...

I am very disappointed.

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#13

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/15/2009 5:21 AM

lol....

had to think what month it is...not April 1st for a long time yet

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#14

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/15/2009 9:34 AM

I imagine that these people are using spent gas to drive a heat pump. That gives heat transfer at greater than 100% efficiency (relative to input electrical power).

So the statements could be true - albeit misleadingly presented. In theory they could be providing cost-competitive energy recovery to provide water at high usable temperature; on the other hand, it is almost a matter of principle to mistrust anyone who generates this type of hype.

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#20

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/16/2009 10:50 AM
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#21

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/20/2009 10:45 AM

100% and more than 100%.........hell for a compressor even at 90 - 95% sounds too good to be true.....and is.

He's too much into sales with not only physics, but also no engineering background

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#22
In reply to #21

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/20/2009 12:55 PM

He could well be perfectly competent as a physicist - all the website says is that 100% of input electrical power can be recovered to heat in water. Then it has figures for "specific design conditions" of 70% RH and 40OC. Separately it lists a possible water temperature of 90OC. We can either interpret this as recovery efficiency being based on:
a) 40OC water temperature and based on >20OC air conditions, or on
b) 40OC ambient temperature and 90OC water temperature.

As the second is not a feasible working environment, I think we should work on the basis of the first - even though the utility of 40OC water is largely limited to hand-washing.

Neglecting the impact of moisture, the theoretical proportion of ordered input energy that can be pumped against a 20OC temperature difference is greater than 1400%. So in principle we could meet these figures if we reserve 1/14th of the energy stored in the compressed gas to drive a heat pump. It could be that this corresponds to recovering the energy that is wasted in venting the hydraulics - but it is open to doubt whether this is worthwhile (in the light of additional capital and maintenance costs, and probably also reduced decompression efficacy).
N.B. The theoretical limit on the efficiency of conversion if maintaining a tank at 90OC is about a factor 4.5 lower. I suspect this is actually the maximum temperature that the system can reach, and that the recovery efficiency at this point is approaching zero.

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#23
In reply to #22

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/20/2009 1:10 PM

So am I to understand that IF 100% energy was recovered as heated water and compressed air, this air compressor would not have ANY vibration whatsoever, and operates COMPLETELY silently. I might be right out on this one, but I would consider even the slightest noise/vibration coming from this compressor to be energy lost to sound/vibration and not into heated water or compressed air.

Is this possible?

Methinks no.

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#24
In reply to #23

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/20/2009 2:20 PM

I'm obviously failing to communicate. For small temperature differences (in this case 20OC) a heat pump can transfer vastly more heat from (say) the environment to (say) water than the mechanical (originally electrical) power you apply. Theoretically, it could transfer over 14x as much heat as the electricity. Transferring exactly the input power to the water is therefore an efficiency (relative to what is theoretically possible) of less than 7%. If we use terms rigorously, the transfer efficacy of a system that includes a heat pump (when heating) is specified as 100.heat_output/input_energy. As stated above, this could theoretically be as much as 1400% for this situation, although practical heat pumps would usually give closer to 400%.

So a system that transfers only the same energy as the input energy is (in thermodynamic terms) thoroughly inefficient. (As previously stated, for this temperature difference it is less than 7%).
The reason that it is so easy to appear to make claims for superlative performance is:
partly that over time "efficiency" has replaced "efficacy"; and
partly that people aren't commonly aware of the capabilities of heat pumps.

N.B. It may be worth considering the following:
The heat output from the heat exchanger of your refrigerator is the sum of the input energy and the heat pumped from the contents. So, if a refrigeration unit is to have any value, its heating efficacy has to be more than 100%.

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#25
In reply to #22

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/20/2009 3:28 PM

all the website says is that 100% of input electrical power can be recovered to heat in water.

oh if its on the web it must be true...,...

I worked at a company in the food and dairy that also sold Alfa-Laval plate heat exchangers. The company's owner, was bragging to me that he was able to get 98% efficiency regen on the plates, and wanted to get to 100%. I told him there something wrong with the program that was supplied to him............and there was.

Hell, I don't even think (I know) he did not know the formula for regen.

phoenix911

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#27
In reply to #25

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/20/2009 5:00 PM

Before you accuse me of credulity (yet again), please take the trouble to provide your specific take on each of the following Qs&As:

Q: Where does the heat from inside your refrigerator go?
A: It is transferred to the refrigerant, and by that to the condenser coil, where it is dissipated (typically into the air outside the refrigerator).
Q: Where does the electrical energy used to drive the compressor go?
A: It is converted to mechanical energy and heat in the refrigerant, and is eventually transferred to the condenser coil, where it is dissipated (typically into the air outside the refrigerator)
Q: So the air has to dissipate the sum of the input energy and the heat extracted from the fridge?
A: Where else can the energy go?
Q: So the energy dissipated into the air by the condenser is greater than the electrical input energy?
A: Yes.
Q: So you could make a heater this way that is more than 100% efficient?
A: Of course not. The heat is extracted from the fridge. The effective heat output is greater than the electrical energy input - but only because some heat is moved from elsewhere.
Q: So why do people claim more than 100% efficiency?
A: Because custom and usage has allowed heat exchanger efficacy to be called efficiency.
Comment: most of the time it doesn't matter - but it can cause extreme confusion.

P.S. Clarification of the sums??
Suppose the environment was warmer than the water. If you prevent condensation the water would gradually heat up. Now I put an electrical heater into the water and provide sufficient heat to increase the rate of heating by 1%. According to the standard formula, the efficacy of the heater is 101%. No heat pump, just inappropriate use of a definition and formula. Copco have actually made appropriate use of the formula, but supplied the information in a way that leads to misinterpretation.

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#29
In reply to #27

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/20/2009 6:17 PM

So you are using the fridge as an example, I understand all that. Of course if you pull energy from places other than that of the electrical source energy, you can (of course) have a combined energy output (recovery) greater than the single electrical input source.

So back to the compressor... where is the second source of energy? The Ambient temp in the surrounding environment?

OK, so you pull heat out of the air, combine it to the waste heat from the compressor, to come to a figure of energy (heat) which is 100%+ of the electrical energy input? Is this the correct understanding?

The problem I see, is that the heat pulled from the environment is not "Recovered" from the compressor, its a bunch of marketing bull$h!t if you ask me. What happened to good ol' fashioned honesty?

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#32
In reply to #29

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/21/2009 6:28 AM

"OK, so you pull heat out of the air, combine it to the waste heat from the compressor, to come to a figure of energy (heat) which is 100%+ of the electrical energy input? Is this the correct understanding?"
Correct - except that some of the energy from the compressor to which it is added needs to be in ordered form (not heat) for this to work.

"The problem I see, is that the heat pulled from the environment is not "Recovered" from the compressor".
When the nominal efficiency is 100%, the heat that is delivered to the water is exactly the heat that the compressor pumped into the environment. We may not like it, but what alternative meaning can you assign to "heat recovery"

"It's a bunch of marketing bull$h!t if you ask me. What happened to good ol' fashioned honesty?"
The British "Advertising Standards Authority" has a tag-line: "legal decent honest and truthful". Very perceptive. My statement "appear to make claims for superlative performance" (in the post which evinced your credulity response) should have alerted an honest reader to that difference (though you probably won't be pleased to recognise that it's not your honesty I'm impugning here...).

To repeat: the claims are technically accurate, and I don't believe the blurb makes any claims that are either untrue or misleading as such. But they do invite the reader who is not familiar with the technical terms to draw the conclusion that there is something out-of-the-ordinary here*. That means that (whatever the intention) reader interpretations do not always reflect the reality. I think the intention is honest: to persuade potential users to investigate the cost-benefits of the system**. However, the reactions of the people on this thread are along the lines "too good to be true, the man must be ignorant and/or a charlatan". Given that the intended purchasers of the systems are likely to be at a similar technical level (in the relevant areas), that would appear to be a marketing mistake (whether honestly intended or otherwise).
*What they have will not be technically remarkable - but it may still be "new to the market" and financially worthwhile.
**Remember, given the market they are working in, if in the end the client decides that it doesn't make financial sense, it'll just cost Copco money (and perhaps reputation).

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#30
In reply to #27

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/20/2009 8:56 PM

Before you accuse me of credulity (yet again), please take the trouble to provide your specific take on each of the following Qs&As:

No not my intent...but close, I have just been around practical application long enough, that 100% conservation is impossible, or am I'm missing something

No the energy does not just disappear we both realize that energy can not be destroyed, or created.

A: Because custom and usage has allowed heat exchanger efficacy to be called efficiency.

A example from a experience I had, I had design a Ultrafiltration unit. I was on the start-up and commissioning.

The level sensor failed for pump out., what happened, it just keeped recirculated throught the membranes, on the chart recorder it recorded the temperature just keep on rising, from the friction of passing through the membranes. it climbed to 185 degrees, the membranes cooked at 130 degrees and melted. but the worker it the plant though they just discovered a free energy machine. I reminded them about the energy input to the 40 HP recirculation pump motors.

100 percent efficency, I am glad you used the term efficacy, that would be a trick term from highly stressed desire effect, and not result. and as you said leads to misintrepedation.

Because the energy just changes forms, it is the capture of this energy and put it to work again. that goes into the efficiency thats actually important.

And yes, one could present a machine the appears to be overunity, but isn't.

What is the debate here? because I get the feeling we agree on this.

phoenix911

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#33
In reply to #30

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/21/2009 6:39 AM

I think we agree on the purely technical side - but you did apparently accuse me of credulity.

Given the standard terminology, the article makes no false or misleading claims. The problem is that the audience to which it is addressed is highly likely to misinterpret it. That has no benefits for copco, as this will alienate some potential users. The people who do approach them will be performing cost-benefit analyses - and every adverse decision will cost copco in time and (perhaps) reputation.

My perception:
Deliberately dishonest? - probably not
Ill advised (in presentation)? - probably
How to do it better? - difficult, as a more explanatory blurb might be seen as condescending

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#26

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/20/2009 4:18 PM

Maybe I'm just stubborn, but I'm not buying it.

"recover 100 percent of the electrical energy input"

That would imply to me that no electrical energy whatsoever is converted into vibrations and sound (I'm leaving the heat to water out of this). Any vibration created will be lost into the support structure (Concrete floor, wall etc). Any sound will be lost into the air, and If it can be heard that energy is converted back into electricity for use by the brain. As far as I know the Vibration, and Sound from the unit cannot be 100% converted into heat to recover the energy, so some loss MUST occur. 100% energy recovery is not possible.

Someone clarify how this is possible? A Silent air compressor should be a hot item, and should be flying off the shelves.

Sooo... If 100% of the electrical energy input is recovered as heated water, the unit must not make a single vibration or audible sound. I want one!

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#28
In reply to #26

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/20/2009 5:05 PM

You said exactly that before. And I answered you with some care. Perhaps the first answer was too diffuse?

So, just as a favour to another seeker-after-truth, would you also go through my post number 27 and see if you can find the flaw?

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#31
In reply to #28

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/20/2009 9:09 PM

I don't think anyone is arguing with you.... but Atlas is indeed implying that they have a over unity machine by the use of their language. You are trying to explain what you think is really going on, but that is not the point. The point is that there are indeed losses, and Atlas acutally recognizes that but plays it down while emphasizing misleading statements, like 100% recovery.

This machine has noise, it has vibration, it has thermal losses that don't go to compression or heat recovery. That is just the way it is. But your perspective depends on how you draw your control volume... If you draw it big enough then any power plant might be said to be 100% efficient..

I think this is more a discussion of improper marketing than thermodynamics. But hey that is just my opinion.

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#34
In reply to #31

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/21/2009 6:43 AM

Atlas's potential customers are interested in cost-benefits. That is how the article is presented.
If they misinterpret the physics it really doesn't affect the customers adversely - unless it causes them to miss an opportunity to make genuine financial savings (I'm not in a position to judge whether these are possible)

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#35
In reply to #34

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/21/2009 7:09 AM

I am one of Atlas's customers. And as a customer I want straight forward technical information about costs and benefits, supported by solid engineering.

However the next time I receive a quote from Atlas I am going to be sniffing for BS throughout the tender process.

My past experience with Atlas has been very good, now I am beginning to wonder.

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#36
In reply to #35

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/21/2009 7:32 AM

Thanks everyone.

Appreciate the insoghts shared!

milo

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#38
In reply to #35

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/21/2009 8:00 AM

"as a customer I want straight forward technical information about costs and benefits"
They article gives accurate (but limited) technical information using the terminology that is standard in the field of heat exchangers. That is all that can be expected in a short article. I think many users are like you in that they would appreciate a link to more detailed explanation so they can properly interpret the data; but I wouldn't expect much additional data, as Atlas probably don't want to provide competitors with easy access to their proprietary data.

Should you approach them on this topic, you should expect that they would provide either additional technical information (such as graphs of "recovery" versus environmental conditions) or offer to perform a cost/benefit review based on your answers to a questionaire (possibly both, as you are an existing customer).

In short, I think you are being a bit unfair - Atlas are offering a possible method of making savings. And they do mention that any benefit will depend on the temperature of the working environment and the temperature to which you need to heat the water (though they don't mention whether you are likely to need the quantity of hot water that this will generate).

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#39
In reply to #38

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/21/2009 8:07 AM

better.

the only this is difficult

but I wouldn't expect much additional data, as Atlas probably don't want to provide competitors with easy access to their proprietary data.

That would sound like a free energy machine such as "trust me I'm trying to sell this to you" I would still challange them, if not on the process, actual empirical data.

If there is savings, they should have some very happy customers willing to share this.

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#42
In reply to #39

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/21/2009 9:34 AM

Crossed in the posting...

"actual empirical data".
I assumed the mention of certification to be an assurance that empirical data was available.
But I'd comment:
Many's the time people have come to me with empirical results that looked improbable.
In most cases the reason was either that the people carrying out the measurements had misinterpreted what they saw or that there was a varying condition that they had failed to notice. On two occasions (outside vendors) I found the results had been fiddled (one of which stopped trading soon after).
Measurement is actually one of the two areas where I make the most practical use of theory - if any one implication doesn't stack up, there's probably a serious flaw.
This is not to say that I'm suspicious of Atlas's measurements - the recovery claimed looks quite conservative for the conditions they specify. To my mind, the question is whether there are net financial savings under specific conditions of use.

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#43
In reply to #42

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/21/2009 9:51 AM

To my mind, the question is whether there are net financial savings under specific conditions of use.

I knew we did agree on this, somewhere.........

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#37
In reply to #34

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/21/2009 7:46 AM

Atlas's potential customers are interested in cost-benefits.

How would you know that,

If they misinterpret the physics it really doesn't affect the customers adversely

How about new customers,

I would want straight answers. This isn't even semantics, its becoming ridiculous.

This is what I do not like when you have to basically sell with smoke and mirrors.........but theoretically its possible.

Which I'm beginning to see our differences, In my opinion with your log in name and responses,

your a theoreist....good for you, we need people like that.

and for me, I like to think I am practical nothing wrong with that either.

And if I'm specifying a compressor like atlas, (it would happen) and I feel they are blowing smoke. I will question it and challenge them Like I did you), and if they gave responses like yours, I would question the company.

phoenix911

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#40
In reply to #37

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/21/2009 8:20 AM

"Atlas's potential customers are interested in cost-benefits.
How would you know that?"
If they are not, they won't remain in business (or customers) for long. (And you accuse me of being impractical?)

"If they misinterpret the physics it really doesn't affect the customers adversely
How about new customers?"
The worst that can happen is that they mistrust Atlas and don't approach them. Not ideal, but there are limits to what Atlas can present on their website.

"I would want straight answers. This isn't even semantics, its becoming ridiculous."
What they say is accurate. They also tell you that the benefits depend on your conditions, though they do fail to mention your requirements (for hot water).

I'm defending this as a first offering, because (given the customer variables) I can't see how to do it much better. What I'm not saying is that what you see up-front should be all you get - far from it; the article says "we may be able to save you money - here's why". The next step is up to you. If they don't then provide usable data, then you have a case.

BTW, I have originated and managed multiple financially successful product developments, and have been rewarded accordingly. I use theory as-and-when I consider appropriate. In this case you attacked Atlas on theoretical grounds (calling accurate but limited factual data bullshit) so that is where I defended them. You chose the grounds - and in my opinion are now being petulant and rude because you can't admit to yourself that you got it wrong.
I rarely contribute to management fora - but when I do it's under a more appropriate name for the purpose.

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#41
In reply to #40

Re: 100% Efficiency, TUV Certified No Less

08/21/2009 8:26 AM

cool you sensitivity jets.........See post #39

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