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  1. #1
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    Pfo/tar Vs Icecap/elect.

    well, I know this has been done to death but I've got a few questions to pose here. I've read all the energy savings threads about electronic ballasts and so on. I've always used PFO standard ballasts. The talk is that they waste more hydro than electronic ballast by way of heat. I can tell you that my 400w ballast runs just warm. I can easily rest my hand on there for any length of time. my VHO ballast gets almost as warm. how can there be that much of a waste? I know ICECAP make great ballasts and the ICECAP ballast is very versatile and smaller but,, is the energy savings really there??
    any actual tests done to prove that there is?? standard ballast have alot going for them as well. durability comes to mind. I still here/see threads about electronic ballasts having issues. not firing some lamps,causing interference,crapping out after 2 years and so on. Is this technology still to new??

  2. #2
    Senior Member Deafboy's Avatar
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    I realize I'm not directly answering your question but let me give you my 2 cents worth of opinion. Anytime that you are heating your home (a big part of the year in Canada...), then the heat from your ballast (efficient or not) is not "wasted" in any way. The heat from the ballast simply heats the room, taking some load off the home heating system.

    Deafboy
    20 g reef, 72 g reef

  3. #3
    Senior Member ak_sniper's Avatar
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    Johnny, I personally have no opinions regarding electronic ballasts, although when we spoke to one of the guys at Marinescape this summer, he was saying how electronic ballast were still a very new technology, and that some people had issues with them and that for the time beeing a regular ballast was still recommended.

    I personally can't give my opinions since I have never used an electronic ballast but just thought Id pass this information along.

    AK
    20G Reef Tank (Starting again...)

  4. #4
    ijo
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    There have been a lot of electronic ballast that hit the market in the last few years... yes they are new and yes you will have issues with some(just like any other product) but I think we would have seen many more problems if they were unstable. When you deal with a company like icecap... you can't go wrong.. these guys give the highest customer service a company can give.

    Its human nature to reject change... but IMO... electronic is the way to go!! Buy from a company known for its quality and more important... service and everythnig should be fine.

    IJO

  5. #5
    Mel
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    I'm about to hook up a few TAR ballasts, 1 250 and 1 400 watter. I can easily test the current consumption of these ballasts over a period of time which will tell you everything you need to know about effeciency. If there's anybody nearby that has an electronic ballast for either of these MH bulbs I can easily test current consumption on their setup.

    The technology behind the electronic ballasts really isn't "new". It's a simple switching power supply to create drive for the bulb at it's rated voltage and power. In my opinion, the electronic ballast will be more efficient, but there's no comparason to the durability of a TAR ballast. A big transformer and a cap is a whole lot simpler than a device with hundreds of components (and it will be more likely to resist water damage Johnny )

  6. #6
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    don't think I'll try to install a TAR ballast in my canopy poor little VHO ballast, my heart sank when that sucker poped right out of my hands and swam to the bottom of my tank.

  7. #7
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    I agree, electronic is the way to go. Deafboy has an interesting point too.
    You have to remember that there are other things besides the heat issue to wiegh the pros & cons. There is also stability of the lamp burning, a "closer" target voltage. I say closer because while it still isn't perfect, electronic can usually run a bulb somewhat closer to spec...., or so I hear... This translates to the bulb being good for a longer time period I would guess.
    The bottomline is as long as you are venting those electronic ballasts.., the same way as you would the other types, there shouldn't be an issue. In the past, there were problems with some electronic types overheating because they were epoxy filled and this didn't disspipate the heat very well.

  8. #8
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    Cool

    mmm all good points. I pretty much have my mind on the 400w ICECAPS but it never hurts to ask questions. I like the idea of mounting them in my sump area [well ventilated in the future].

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