Voltage Management – It’s All In The Site Survey

voltage-managementThe Carbon Trust helpfully published late last year its clear explanation of the benefits of Voltage Management, how it works, and prescribed a methodology on how Site Surveys should be conducted.

This has developed a minimum standard for the industry and has really helped potential customers understand what Voltage Management is all about and how it is, or is not, applicable to their needs.

Crucial as the Carbon Trust’s process is, there is also a stark warning as to what does and doesn’t constitute as Voltage Management technology. Additionally the methodology is not just a case of plugging in a simple voltage logger, and using kWh data. Without the prospective supplier physically attending site the potential savings are just guess work but the likelihood will be that the solution proposed will not reflect the load profile of your equipment with potentially dangerous results.

The simple reality is that Voltage Management (VM) whether in its simplest form Voltage Optimisation (VO) or in its more effective and technologically more advanced format Voltage Optimisation plus Regulation (VO+R), does not deliver savings across all types of electrical equipment.

If you are considering Voltage Management solutions then your prospective supplier needs to conduct a full and comprehensive site survey and provide you with detailed information with their proposal before you should contemplate placing your order.

Voltage Management works because most incoming UK voltages are not at the 230V we expect, but fluctuate across a range between 216V and 253V, and vary during the day too.

The survey needs to include at least a week long Mains Voltage and Load Analysis, together with a full and comprehensive Site Survey detailing which electrical assets on your site will respond to Voltage Management and which will not.

This comprehensive Mains Analysis will detail for you a whole host of characteristics of your site which basic voltage loggers cannot do. The minimum you should see is an analysis including the following: Nominal Voltage, Voltage Swing, Powerfactor, load inbalance, peak in rush current, voltage drop across your site …..in essence a full evaluation of your Load Profile. Only with this information is it possible to determine the correct system size requirement.

The next step is to determine which of your equipment will give you savings and which will not. Savings are only available from certain types of electrical equipment. There are essentially 2 types of electrical equipment – those that are Voltage Dependent and those that are Voltage Independent.

Voltage Dependent devices consume power proportional to the supply voltage – the higher the voltage the higher the power consumption – and if you reduce the voltage you’ll use less electricity. A 1% decrease in supply voltage will cause a 2% reduction in power demand – saving you money.

Voltage Independent devices however, are designed to consume energy regardless of the supply voltage and with these savings are not possible.

There are some types which are “partially dependent” but the majority of your equipment on site will be Dependent or Independent. Savings are possible on Voltage Dependent devices – and not on those that are Voltage Independent.

Determining what these savings could be for you requires this comprehensive Site Survey and evaluation of your Mains Voltage and Load Profile. It is only by doing this that you can be confident that the solution that is being proposed is “fit for purpose”.

The Carbon Trust has worked hard to raise awareness of the benefits of Voltage Management but have cautioned that it is not right for everyone and unless you follow their methodology you may well be over promised a system which fails to deliver.

e-fficient Energy Systems Ltd – the UK’s technological leader in the field of Voltage Management – has adopted a truly honest approach following this methodology recommended by the Carbon Trust, and will tell you if Voltage Management is or isn’t right for you. Utilizing their Voltage Optimisation plus Regulation technology you can be assured that the approach and technology provides the correct solution. Their refreshing approach is being welcomed by many companies who have been concerned by the over promises and under delivery they’ve seen over the past few years.

e-fficient Energy offers the very latest intelligent Voltage Optimisation plus Regulation equipment giving users the opportunity of achieving the greatest electricity savings and addressing the many technical issues often seen with “step down” basic Voltage Optimisation systems.

Contact e-fficient Energy on 01909 569 016 or see their website

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