How Do They Work?
The theory behind voltage optimization is simple.
There is a difference between the voltage supplied to a building in the United Kingdom and what is required to operate electrical equipment.
On average the voltage in the United Kingdom is 242V and due to electrical equipment being manufactured to work anywhere in the European Union, this means that the optimum operating voltage required by electrical equipment to work most efficiently is around 220V.
This overvoltage is not only costing more than required, it can also shorten the life of electrical equipment.
The surplus voltage produces additional heat, noise and vibration in appliances, causing stress on components, especially to motors, electronic systems like computers and lighting which are more vulnerable to overvoltage and fail much sooner.
An Energy Ace voltage optimization system makes sure that a building only consumes and pays for the voltage level that it really needs rather than the overvoltage supplied from the grid. It does this by optimizing the incoming voltage by up to -25V. This lowers electricity consumption, reduces electricity bills and reduces the wear and tear on appliances and electrical equipment.
Voltage optimisation with the energy ace voltage management system returns real measurable savings of up to 20% on general electrical loads and up to 43% on lighting loads.
Who can benefit?
Frequently Asked Questions
At an average of 242V, the UK supply is one of the highest in the world, together with Australia. Most equipment will operate from 220V, so the wasteful difference is enormous.
Most certainly it does, and quite significantly. High voltage, transients, spikes, harmonics, and phase imbalance all cause damage to equipment, reducing its useful life. Reduction of vibration, noise, and waste heat can make a huge difference to operating efficiency, and increase maintenance requirement.
YES, but only if PF is low. With a PF of 0.7 – 0.8, most VO systems will show some improvement, but this shrinks when there is already a good PF.
YES. Depending on the quality of the VO system, it will bring the voltage levels closer, whilst also improving the phasing.
YES. There are examples of LED consumption being reduced by over 8%, but a realistic figure is 5%. It depends on both the VO technology, and the electronic controls within the LED lights.
The grid delivers voltage at much higher levels than required, as the electricity suppliers have to overcome line losses, and cope with a host of uncertainties as to consumption changes and habits. It is convenient for the utilities to keep the voltage high, as it gets them “off the hook” for voltage being too low.
Wind and solar inputs to the grid must be at a higher voltage than the local supply level, and this pushes the user inputs even higher.
Most VO systems will have overload (over current), and over temperature protection. activolt switches into bypass mode in 200mS in these circumstances, and switches itself back into circuit when the input and load have returned to normality.