Saverclip Shames Your Electricity Usage

The Saverclip is a clothespin like device that reads electric usage on any power cable it’s clipped onto. Say for example the slow cooker crock pot you leave on all day. How much power is it actually using and would the results make you change your mind to using something faster, like a pressure cooker?

The device works by reading the electromagnetic fields emitted by said devices. Conversely, this is also how it recharges itself. The embedded LCD displays information in laymen terms so you clearly understand just how much power you’re using, wasting, and could be saving.

Designer: Tsunho Wang, Insu Wang, Jongheui Lee & Youngdon Lee

93 Comments

  • Itsmrjp says:

    If this works, it might just sell. Assuming anyone actually cares how much power they use.

  • anyone says:

    where can I buy it?

  • Gazoogleheimer says:

    This is a great concept, but in reality it wouldn’t work for two primary reasons; one that you need a closed loop, and two that you need to be around a single conductor.

    The design is brilliant, it just isn’t technically possible.

    • wwwo says:

      Ive given it some thinking and i think it would work

      It would work accurately for multiple wires if there were multiple coils inside the device, as long as the control chip wasn’t underpowered (performance wise)

      it needs an OLED screen instead of LCD as OLED looks better and is thinner,

      i would pay much money for a device this cool.

    • Stuurt says:

      It is technically possible,

      Fluke for example, has several clamp amp meter’s that work without separating the conductors.

  • Puggs says:

    Actualy any turned on device is a closed loop, and most devices have a transformer that is always connected to power.

    It would work by inductance, eg. any AC cable will emitte a magnetic field, the higher the current the larger the field. This is how high voltage current meters work.

    By having multiple induction loops in the device it could work as shown.

    Puggs

  • loogie says:

    looks great, but make it an mp3 player and i’d buy it for the gym 🙂

  • Yertle says:

    Too bad it probably won’t work on AC, since the lines usually cancel each other out, no?

    • Makkuro says:

      Yes I think you are right; I have yet to find a meter that can measure AC current consumption just by wraping it around the power cord and not cost my kidney. For most of them, you will have to strip the outermost shield and only wrap the sensor-thingy around the “hot” (black?) wire. Or else it won’t read.

      • This has been discussed in much more detail at gizmodo.com.

        1. To measure current, you need a clamp meter. The Wikipedia article on this technology is pretty good: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clamp_meter . Besides the meter, you need the power and ground lines broken out.

        2. The other gotcha with measuring AC current is whether or not you have a true RMS meter. If there is a nice smooth sinusoidal wave on the line, a non-RMS meter will be sufficient. However, if the curve isn’t smooth, a non-RMS meter will be very inaccurate.

        3. In the power/neutral/ground 3-wire configuration, the ground line is no carrying any current (unless the device is badly broken). This picture shows current going through all 3 wires. That leads one to conclude that the picture has been photoshopped or it’s very tiny 3-phase wires (very unlikely).

        4. If you do want to measure current, there are the kill-a-watt devices which you plug between the outlet and the device. They’ll measure wattage over time. The kill-a-watt EZ device will extrapolate and compute how much $$$ a device will consume over a year.

  • Nimblesquirrel says:

    To be honest, I doubt it would work. Yes, you can use induction to measure the current in a single conductor. It is how clamp multimeters work. [en.wikipedia.org]
    But when more than one conductor is passed through the clamp, the measured current is a vector sum of what is passing through. If it was a normal single phase cable (two conductors + earth), the sum would be zero. Only current imbalances would be detected, and this is exactly how a Residual Current Circuit Breaker works.

    On top of that, in order to measure current by induction, the conductor (or conductors) need to be surrounded by a loop of ferromagnetic material (which acts as a transformer core. That doesn’t appear to be the case with this clip design.

    • Floatingbones says:

      The Nimble Squirrel is right: it’s problematic to measure power usage unless you clamp around either the hot or the neutral line. Unless you just want to watch flashing lights, you’ll get little information this way.

      Far better are the kill-a-watt(tm) widgets that have been on the market for a couple of years: you plug this little monitor into an outlet, plug in the device to be monitored to the kill-a-watt, and have it measure the wattage consumed over time.

      • Kineticarl says:

        It’s a lot more elegant then those Kill-A-Watt thingers.

        • You are presuming that the tie-clip actually measures something meaningful. Or that the device pictured is actually anything more than a photoshop job. I’ve seen no evidence at all that the tie-clip is real.

          Comparing a hypothetical device to one you can buy at a local store is rather silly.

  • mee says:

    Wow, cool.
    I want to have one! Now! 🙂

  • b0mber says:

    it’s a thermometer, people

    all it does is measure the temprature of the wire as the current flows through it .

    no LCD
    no induction coils
    no electronics at all .

    • If it’s a thermometer, then all it can possibly do is take a wild guess about how much power is actually being consumed by the device. And that guess will be even worse if someone doesn’t strip down their power cable to the individual wires.

      If people want an accurate reading about how much power is being used by a device, the kill-a-watt has been around for years. The 2nd generation of that device will automatically compute how much a device will cost to run for a year.

      Finally, if the device is measuring temperature, why is the ground wire getting hot, too?

      Something doesn’t add up!

  • b0mber says:

    there IS no ground wire(s) in the picture .

    I only see 3 seperate power cords, to 3 seperate devices (none of them have a ground wire)

    if there was a ground wire in any of those cables, the thermometer wouldn’t know the difference, since it would measure the temp in the entire wire bundle .

    you’re are right about the fact that could only take a very wild guess about the power being used .

    the Duracell battery tester works the same way,
    a metallic strip is mounted on the side of the battery, which is coated with a chemical that changes color with temprature, when you press the dots on the battery, the metal strip heats up and the strip changes color according to how hot the metal gets, which tells you if the battery is good or not .

    and the Duracell battery tester is much more accurate than this clothespin thingy lol

    but don’t take my word for it…
    take the saverclip and put it on top of an incandecent lightbulb, or put it out in the sunlight for a while & see what happens .

  • notolosa says:

    I want one!! It’s pretty and useful!

    How much?

  • who?me says:

    If it would work, I would really buy it.

  • william says:

    where can i buy it?

  • william says:

    these goods where can i buy it please tell me

  • william says:

    this site is very wonderful site
    i like it !!!

  • Sharath says:

    I don’t know if this has been covered in these comments, but I think heat from a cable
    is also a good sensor input. If there is some way heat can be translated into, HEAT+DURATION = CONSUMPTION OF ENERGY / POWER

    • Lucian says:

      No it isn’t. There are too many variables like materials used, ventilation, room temperature. At most a very wild guess.

  • KK says:

    useless design…
    and your views number was very slow 2 days ago.but the number grows so quickly these 2 days . even climbe to 11 on the listof best of 2008…..haha….Korean like make something fake?

    • john says:

      sure..I noticed that ,too….In fact , it takes only 1 day to climb to the list of 2008. It is impossible for it if there was not special reason…considering their stem cell research gate ….
      the idea is good enough but in fact , there is no wire naked in modern building…so how it works?..

  • nobuka says:

    the view number seems false…………….
    anyone is interested with this design?it was out ot the list of “best of 2008” yesterday….how can it do?…korean like making false thing such as stem cells researching..

  • james says:

    this design seems want to climb to the top of the list within a few days?
    I dislike the false result…….
    I am not sure whether someone is shame on this………
    now , july 28, 2008, the view number is 40947 Views

  • mas says:

    2 things, 1: it is not workable, as someone mentioned above, it need a close loop to get the measurment for the power, and if you dont seperate the live neutral and earth wire….. even you have a close loop it cant, as the 3 will cancel each other out……. 2: ………. to be honest, if you need to use those power then you will use, after the second week you got things like this in your house, would you be bother looking at how much you are using or spend time with your computer …..

    not my cup of tea ……

  • matthias says:

    nice…very nice….let me know when it´s possible to buy somewhere

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