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Old 08-05-2019, 12:22 AM   #1
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Default Wesix automatic load regulator

I came across this on a job recently. I’m scratching my brain trying to figure why they need this for their electric heat? What the heck it does? I assume it keeps the output current the same despite the input fluctuation. But this is kind of freaking weird. Doing a panel swap tomorrow and not sure to keep it or scrap it.




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Old 08-05-2019, 07:09 AM   #2
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Evidently there is a book "The Effects of an Automatic Load Regulator on the Load Characteristics of Electric Space Heating" by Paul Henry Schmidt, 1950.

According to https://searchworks.stanford.edu/view/955294

"A stdy resulting from a graduate project sponsored jointly by the Leland Stanford Junior University and the Wesix Electric Heater Company."

Quote:
The Wesix “automatic load regulator” has a current relay of the ammeter type which measures the load from range, water heater, lighting and appliances. At a set Position of the moving element a contact closes, causing a miniature 30-watt ...
Google Books will only show you bits and pieces, I thought Google Books used to be useful? WTF.

Quote:
The Wesix “automatic load regulator” has a current relay of the ammeter type which measures the load from range, water heater, lighting and appliances. At a set Position of the moving element a contact closes, causing a miniature 30-watt ...
I think it might somehow lower the heating load when other loads in the house are high - something about setting the relay so that when the kitchen loads are on... I guess basically a load shed. So if you're upgrading the service it may no longer be necessary?

Stanford has all kinds of money, you ought to snag this for your vintage collection and sell it to them.
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Old 08-05-2019, 07:57 AM   #3
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According to the patent, it switches the heating load from 240 to 120 when other loads are high. So, for example, in the middle of the night, when everyone is asleep, the heaters will go full blast with 240 volts. But when the range is on and the washing machine is going, this load regulator will switch the heaters over to 120 volts and cut their draw in half, and thus the number of kW to 1/4.

If the space heaters are no longer used, you can do away with it. But send it to me when you do.
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Old 08-05-2019, 08:41 AM   #4
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I agree it looks like the first version of a load shedder. You said you are doing a panel swap, you might need to do a service upgrade or dump the electric heat.

Is that panel in a bathroom?

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Old 08-05-2019, 08:50 AM   #5
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I agree it looks like the first version of a load shedder. You said you are doing a panel swap, you might need to do a service upgrade or dump the electric heat.

Is that panel in a bathroom?

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Old 08-05-2019, 09:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolWill View Post
According to the patent, it switches the heating load from 240 to 120 when other loads are high. So, for example, in the middle of the night, when everyone is asleep, the heaters will go full blast with 240 volts. But when the range is on and the washing machine is going, this load regulator will switch the heaters over to 120 volts and cut their draw in half, and thus the number of kW to 1/4.

If the space heaters are no longer used, you can do away with it. But send it to me when you do.
Can you see from the patent drawings how it switches from 120V to 240V? That's a pretty clever load shed IMO.
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Old 08-05-2019, 10:38 AM   #7
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Can you see from the patent drawings how it switches from 120V to 240V? That's a pretty clever load shed IMO.
The copper coils at the top act as a relay coil and move a reed switch to energize a motor in the lower section that changes the connection. The reed switch is held by light spring pressure, adjustable by the center set screw between the two coils.
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Old 08-05-2019, 10:41 AM   #8
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Looks like there is some other box to the left of it (just above the K-Y)... Main switch?

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Old 08-05-2019, 10:49 AM   #9
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Looks like there is some other box to the left of it (just above the K-Y)... Main switch?

Cheers
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I think that box has the loads that are being monitored. It looks like the service comes into the top of the FPE panel on the right. Then the top left double pole feeds the load regulator. The top two conductors of the load regulator must be feeding whatever is to the left because that is the monitored load. The bottom two terminals of the regulator must be heaters.
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Old 09-11-2019, 05:59 PM   #10
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Here are a few more photos of the job:




The service came into the FPE panel then out a breaker to the load shedder, then from there to different panels. Some panels tied together. The others separated, as I think it would cycle which ones were able to work.


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Old 09-11-2019, 06:01 PM   #11
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The lead to the motor was ripped off its terminal inside so it was no longer shedding load.

Yes this was in the bathroom. The panel was in an u finished basement then the bathroom was added later. It was inside a cabinet so at least it had some what of a barrier lol. But I put the new panel facing into the equipment room for the house.


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Old 09-11-2019, 08:15 PM   #12
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The lead to the motor was ripped off its terminal inside so it was no longer shedding load.

Yes this was in the bathroom. The panel was in an u finished basement then the bathroom was added later. It was inside a cabinet so at least it had some what of a barrier lol. But I put the new panel facing into the equipment room for the house.


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So are the old heaters still being used?
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:24 AM   #13
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They have all been replaced with newer baseboards before I got to the job. There also was no main breaker then, so this winter... we will see. (Kidding) I did a load Calc and it came to like 196 amps. I offered to upgrade to a 320 but they declined.


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Old 09-15-2019, 11:29 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolWill View Post
According to the patent, it switches the heating load from 240 to 120 when other loads are high. So, for example, in the middle of the night, when everyone is asleep, the heaters will go full blast with 240 volts. But when the range is on and the washing machine is going, this load regulator will switch the heaters over to 120 volts and cut their draw in half, and thus the number of kW to 1/4.

If the space heaters are no longer used, you can do away with it. But send it to me when you do.
I'm real dumb so educate me. Load is x amps when running at 240 volts. Cut the power for the same load to 120 volts and 2x amps required. Same wattage to power the load both ways. If the number of heating coils are reduced by half with this rig - I can get it. Otherwise I don't.
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Old 09-15-2019, 01:28 PM   #15
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I'm real dumb so educate me. Load is x amps when running at 240 volts. Cut the power for the same load to 120 volts and 2x amps required. Same wattage to power the load both ways. If the number of heating coils are reduced by half with this rig - I can get it. Otherwise I don't.
The resistance of the heating coils is fixed, not the wattage. The watts depends on the volts and the resistance. Half the volts for a fixed resistance means half the amps. 1/2V x 1/2A = 1/4W
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Old 09-15-2019, 07:24 PM   #16
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They gave me books to read, but I ate all the pages......
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