Save up to 15% in kWh Consumption
Optimising your Voltage from >240V to around 220V can save a significant amount of energy for commercial and industrial sites. To make the headline savings, you’ll need to have a high Voltage in the first place and also be operating lots of “Voltage dependent” equipment – ie equipment that changes the output based on the input Voltage. Traditional motors and chilling applications, mills, fans and even some older lighting can all benefit greatly from the installation of Voltage Optimisation.
Load that is said to be “Voltage independent” such as inverter drives, variable speed drives and thermostatically controlled heating are types of equipment that generally won’t yield much in the way of savings. Yes, it’s likely to extend life and there may be a small amount of energy saving too, but it’s very difficult to quantify – this is why they are generally discounted from our energy savings forecasts.
What is Voltage Optimisation?
The basic idea behind most forms of voltage optimisation is to reduce the incoming supply voltage from a level provided by the grid to one that is more suited to the needs of the equipment on site – with the main aim being to save money and energy.
Prior to 1995, the UK’s nominal voltage was 415/240V ±6% (227 – 254V) and this is what the distribution network was originally designed to provide. In 1995, this was changed to 400/230V +10% -6% (216 – 253V) in an attempt to get closer to Mainland Europe’s 380/220V ±6% (207 – 233V) and is where we remain today.
To make things easier for buying and selling electrical equipment within the EU, the Low Voltage Directive (LVD) 2006/95/EC was introduced to ensure that any equipment bearing the CE mark shall operate within the proposed harmonised voltage levels of 400/230V ±10% (207 – 253V).
Therefore, with all modern equipment being capable of operating at a nominal voltage of 230V and within 207 – 253V, it’s unnecessary to continue to operate in and around 240V. As stated above, this can cause equipment to consume more energy than required and can shorten life expectancy – this is where voltage optimisation can help.