Voltage optimisation is a term given to the systematic controlled reduction in the voltages received by an energy consumer to reduce energy use. As an electrical energy savingtechnique voltage optimisers are simply installed by the mains electrical supply to a building, allowing all the electrical equipment used to benefit from an optimised supply. Voltage optimisers are essentially transformers used to deliver power at a reduced voltage from the mains supply.
- Reduces maximum load and in return cuts electricity bills.
- Average savings of 12-15% on energy consumption, with recorded savings up to 26.1%
- Reduces CO2 emissions
- Improves power factor, removes harmonics and provides voltage phase balancing
- Increases life expectancy of equipment and reduces site maintenance costs
- 100% reliability, no recorded failures
- No moving parts
Common power quality problems
Overvoltage refers to voltage higher than the voltage at which equipment is designed to operate most effectively. It causes a reduction in equipment lifetime and increases in energy consumed with no improvement in performance.
A 230V rated lamp used at 240 will achieve only 55% of its rated life and a 230V appliance used on a 240V supply will take 4.3% more current and will consume almost 9% more energy.
Undervoltage refers to voltage lower than the voltage at which equipment is designed to operate most effectively. If the design of the VO does not take into consideration voltage drop over distance to remote power users, then this may lead to premature equipment failure, failure to start up, increased temperature in the case of motor windings and loss of service.
Phase voltage imbalance
Industrial and commercial sites are supplied with 3-phase electricity. Imbalance between the phases causes problems such as heating in motors and existing wiring, leading to wasteful energy consumption.Voltage optimisation devices balance a building’s electrical supply, reducing losses and improving the longevity of three phase induction motors.
The energy savings achieved by Voltage Optimisation are an aggregation of the improved efficiency of all equipment across a site in response to the improvements in the power quality problems outlined above. It has been and continues to be a key technique for savings in energy consumption.