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Topic Title: Voltage Optimisation
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Created On: 01 April 2013 08:02 PM
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 01 April 2013 08:02 PM
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amandalewin

Posts: 139
Joined: 19 December 2007

Hey currently looking through past threads on this as the boss has asked me to do some research into it. I don't understand how reducing the voltage can save money when equipment has a specified power rating and by the look of past threads it is a load of ***** especially in the mainly commercial environments we design. However I need to justify that and was wondering if anyone has any good reads they can point me to on this?

He wants me to get a voltage optimisation company in to talk to us so I wish to be well informed so I can give them a grilling

Any info very much appreciated

-------------------------
Amanda

'At some point we all must chose between what is right and what is awesome'
 02 April 2013 12:24 AM
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djrichiet

Posts: 85
Joined: 23 April 2010

Most things like LED lamps and electronic items (especially computers etc) have switch mode power supplies in them, which will always draw the same 'power' regardless of voltage - so if voltage goes down current draw will just increase.

Small items with heating elements in will take longer to heat up - e.g. kettles etc so it will require the same watt-hours to boil a kettle.

Large heavy items (over 20 amps domestically) are usually too powerful for these units, and as such they just go into bypass mode when a certain demand is reached.

Im sure theres more ammunition which people can add for you, and would be interesting to see

-------------------------
From SMD's to 132kV... ive had a go!

Richard Talmage, LCGI EngTech TMIET
 02 April 2013 07:55 AM
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dlane

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As with all things in engineering it isn't about the technology itself, it is about the way it is applied.

Under certain installations, voltage optimisation has been proven to work and will reduce power consumption, in other cases it has been shown to actual cause an increase in power consumption.

Switch mode power supplies are one of those instances. They are more efficient at higher voltages due to the way they work, so if you decrease the voltage to them they can start to draw more current. In an overall scheme that may not matter, as there may be other appliances where the savings outweigh the increases on the switch mode power supplies.

Whether those savings warrant the investment or not will need to be assessed from carrying out an appropriate survey to define what makes savings and what doesn't along with what type of financial payback scheme is in operation or if there is a triple-bottom-line aproach.

Kind regards

Donald Lane
 02 April 2013 08:48 AM
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jj4091

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This any help
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/33611/pg01_10.pdf
it seems quite in depth.
 02 April 2013 09:00 AM
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GB

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Voltage Optimisation certainly works and there are thousands of proven installations to back this up.
Why not look at the Power Perfector web site then give them a call, the list of clients on the site may give you a clue as to the validity of their claims (Tesco/Lloyds/NHS/Gov/etc) they also guarentee savings and have external savings verification so you have little to loose.
I would like to add that all sites generally make a saving but as per earlier threads this saving in consumption will vary due to the loads used on site, It is also only the small domestic units which go in to bi-pass mode on heavy load, the large commercial / industrial units dont have this dubious facility.
Further to the above there are two unit types (not sizes) offered by PP the PP & PP+ the first is the standard unit which has a fixed percentage output Voltage based on input the second has a Auto Voltage Controller (AVG) which fixes the output Voltage even if the input Voltage is fluctuating.
Actually there are a few other small variations but basically the above holds true.
PS I dont work for PP but can confirm they are not snake oil salesmen!!
 02 April 2013 09:27 AM
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potential

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The pdf that jj4091 posted backs up the previous general consensus that no major savings are made.
Only with older lighting and very lightly loaded motors are savings made.
The money ear-marked for VO would be better spent on upgraded lighting to make savings in consumption.
 02 April 2013 09:43 AM
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amandalewin

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Originally posted by: jj4091

This any help

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/33611/pg01_10.pdf

it seems quite in depth.


That's a great link ta very much!

-------------------------
Amanda

'At some point we all must chose between what is right and what is awesome'
 02 April 2013 09:46 AM
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amandalewin

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Originally posted by: potential

The pdf that jj4091 posted backs up the previous general consensus that no major savings are made.

Only with older lighting and very lightly loaded motors are savings made.

The money ear-marked for VO would be better spent on upgraded lighting to make savings in consumption.


Yes our projects are mostly office or healthcare refurbishments where they want to have shiny new lighting anyways.

-------------------------
Amanda

'At some point we all must chose between what is right and what is awesome'
 02 April 2013 09:48 AM
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amandalewin

Posts: 139
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Originally posted by: GB

Voltage Optimisation certainly works and there are thousands of proven installations to back this up.

Why not look at the Power Perfector web site then give them a call, the list of clients on the site may give you a clue as to the validity of their claims (Tesco/Lloyds/NHS/Gov/etc) they also guarentee savings and have external savings verification so you have little to loose.

I would like to add that all sites generally make a saving but as per earlier threads this saving in consumption will vary due to the loads used on site, It is also only the small domestic units which go in to bi-pass mode on heavy load, the large commercial / industrial units dont have this dubious facility.

Further to the above there are two unit types (not sizes) offered by PP the PP & PP+ the first is the standard unit which has a fixed percentage output Voltage based on input the second has a Auto Voltage Controller (AVG) which fixes the output Voltage even if the input Voltage is fluctuating.

Actually there are a few other small variations but basically the above holds true.

PS I dont work for PP but can confirm they are not snake oil salesmen!!


Cheers for this GB, the company that the boss mentioned is V Phase but I'll have a chat to these too. This is after all research and not just a witch hunt

-------------------------
Amanda

'At some point we all must chose between what is right and what is awesome'
 02 April 2013 12:06 PM
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John Peckham

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There may be a problem with disconnection times if you have a tight Zs on any circuits with the lower voltages. Also volt drop issues with longer cable runs/heavier loads.

-------------------------
John Peckham

http://www.astutetechnicalservices.co.uk/
 02 April 2013 12:28 PM
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amandalewin

Posts: 139
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Originally posted by: GB

Voltage Optimisation certainly works and there are thousands of proven installations to back this up.

Why not look at the Power Perfector web site then give them a call, the list of clients on the site may give you a clue as to the validity of their claims (Tesco/Lloyds/NHS/Gov/etc) they also guarentee savings and have external savings verification so you have little to loose.

I would like to add that all sites generally make a saving but as per earlier threads this saving in consumption will vary due to the loads used on site, It is also only the small domestic units which go in to bi-pass mode on heavy load, the large commercial / industrial units dont have this dubious facility.

Further to the above there are two unit types (not sizes) offered by PP the PP & PP+ the first is the standard unit which has a fixed percentage output Voltage based on input the second has a Auto Voltage Controller (AVG) which fixes the output Voltage even if the input Voltage is fluctuating.

Actually there are a few other small variations but basically the above holds true.

PS I dont work for PP but can confirm they are not snake oil salesmen!!


This product looks interesting and the case studies are impressive but it appears to be a more than just a voltage optimiser having harmonic filtering etc. That may be having more effect than the VO part of the kit and we tend to already include a filter in the main panelboard depending on the installation. Anyway I'm going to get them to come in and have a chat with us, thanks again for the link.

-------------------------
Amanda

'At some point we all must chose between what is right and what is awesome'
 02 April 2013 01:47 PM
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GB

Posts: 357
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Amanda
To my knowledge the V Phase unit is single phase and not suitable for commercial / industrial locations.
I have seen VO units specified for new installations but the slight issue is then to verify and confirm the savings ie: no old data to base the savings against, this is where a bi-pass switch or the PP+ can be helpfull as these allow the unit to be taken off line for a period of time so as the savings can be confirmed.
I am sure whoever you speak to at PP will be able to clarify things better than me!!
Cheers

 02 April 2013 02:02 PM
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OMS

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Anyway I'm going to get them to come in and have a chat with us, thanks again for the link.


My advice - get them to offer a CPD session - get your electrical team in front of them to ask pertinent questions - and actually listen to the answers - be prepared to challenge what the answer is versus the question asked. It'll be an interesting hour.

Regards

OMS

-------------------------
Failure is always an option
 02 April 2013 04:11 PM
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KevinSimmonds

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Hi Amanda

I normally sit in the background and read throught he various threads but this one has caused me to put finger to keyboard as it were.

All of the above is true, to a degree. I've worked in the VO sector for a number of years, a large chunk of that time with a major competitor of PP, and I now work for the longest serving installer of VO equipment in the UK. I therefore consider myself to be impartial and have little or no axe to grind, other than to say VO has had some very well marketed good press and some extremely bad press, where the end user has often been badly advised and is rightly left feeling short changed.

The one thing I can say is that a full blown survey is vital if you are going to get best value for any energy saving solution and this is probably even more true for VO than for many other things such as lighting etc.

I'm more than happy to throw my hat in the ring and offer as much free advice as anyone wants on the subject.

Fire away!
 02 April 2013 04:28 PM
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EMSc

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Joined: 02 April 2013

Hi Amanda

You are right, electrical equipment does have a specified power rating but that power rating is considerably lower than the national average of 242V.


As Dlane mentioned, in certain installations voltage optimisation will be beneficial, in other cases not. It all depends on the current voltage, different loads and so forth.


There are many voltage optimisation manufacturers (and companies) on the market, each with portfolios of clients, guarantees and varying products.


EMSc manufacture Powerstar voltage optimisation of which there are 3 varying products.


Powerstar offers fixed voltage optimisation, ideal for those with stable (yet high) incoming voltage.


Powerstar MAX offers electronic-dynamic variable voltage optimisation, for those with fluctuating voltage or varying load.


Powerstar HV MAX offers HV side optimisation with the addition of an amorphous core low loss transformer, ideal for companies with their own HV supply.


Like PP, EMSc cater for commercial applications. Vphase offer domestic voltage optimisation.


If you want to know more about Powerstar voltage optimisation, head to Link removed/index.html
 02 April 2013 04:45 PM
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rocknroll

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And there was me thinking that a few basic things like, turning the lights off not required and using EE lamps, turning the CH down a few degrees and a little bit of insulation would save you a few bob on your bills.

LOL Science Yo!!!!!!!

regards

-------------------------
"Take nothing but a picture,
leave nothing but footprints!"
-------------------------
"Oh! The drama of it all."
-------------------------
"You can throw all the philosophy you like at the problem, but at the end of the day it's just basic electrical theory!"
-------------------------
 02 April 2013 05:51 PM
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OMS

Posts: 19601
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All part of the basket of tools we use to save the polar bears, Rock - start with the low cost, easy wins - move on from there - never forget that realising that last 10% of energy saving might cost 90% of the capital.

Use passive before active and reduce the demands (particularly if they are compounding)

Meet that reduced demand efficiently

Then bolt on all the whiz bangs and dubious green bits of kit you can find to make it look like you can design an eco building

Yo Science, for sure - but a lot of it is bad science -

Regards

OMS

-------------------------
Failure is always an option
 02 April 2013 11:27 PM
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ebee

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Well I`ve always considered it as "snake oil"

-------------------------
Regards,
Ebee (M I S P N)

Knotted cables cause Lumpy Lektrik
 03 April 2013 07:46 PM
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TeesdaleSpark

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Does anyone know of any independent research?
 03 April 2013 08:08 PM
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dlane

Posts: 690
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The usual survey I refer to is that from eatechnology back in 2010 available from the Ofgem site.

Ofgem Vphase report

It was written on behalf of Vphase and Scottish and Southern and concludes what has already been said here by some.

Kind regards

Donald Lane
IET » Wiring and the regulations » Voltage Optimisation

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