Are you aware of your energy consumption? Or the optimum voltage levels of your equipment? Have you heard of the PowerPerfector voltage optimisation device? If not, keep reading and find out how you can save money on electricity, productivity, and equipment repairs.

Approximately 90% of buildings in Australia receive electricity at a higher voltage than they need.

NSW Office of Environment and Heritage states voltage optimisation is an effective solution that is available to Australian businesses to help better manage both their energy and equipment assets.

On October 27, 2018 Queensland’s Electricity Regulation 2006 will align with Australian and International best practice standards. All energy networks will need to comply with the new distribution network voltage limits.

According to the Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME) the new voltage limits in Queensland will change from 240 volts +/-6% to 230 volts +10/-6%, which is the range set out in Australian Standard (AS) 60038 (Standard voltages).

The preferred range aims to optimise the network to ensure electrical appliances operate more safely and efficiently.

Why are the Voltage limits changing?

Solar renewable energy systems are a popular and effective environmental business investment. However, DNRME states the power that flows from large amounts of rooftop solar into the power grid can cause network voltage levels to rise. This rise increases the risk of electrical appliances performing poorly or being damaged.

In the past, energy networks invested significant resources to control the voltage rise. This made it harder, and more expensive, for customers to connect an exporting solar PV system to the grid.

So, the new Queensland voltage standards support the solar and renewable energy industry. They now have the flexibility to operate at a lower voltage, so the network can handle more power flowing into the grid from rooftop solar.

Voltage or power optimisation is used to reduce and capitalise on voltage levels.

What is Voltage Optimisation?

Commercial voltage optimisation aims to minimise electricity usage, power demand, and cost by reducing received supply voltage.

PowerPerfector states excess voltage and poor power quality inhibits electrical equipment performance, for items such as motors, HVAC, and LED lighting.

For example, a normal 230V rated lamp, when running at 240V will fail after 550 hours instead of 1000. This will draw 9% more energy. Imagine across an entire site, every single component failing faster and wasting energy. This expense can be corrected with Energa’s PowerPerfector technology.

Like an extra bottle of wine that travels from being a delicious meal accompaniment to a horrible hangover, you regret, too much voltage can send your equipment from being efficient to early retirement.

In Australia, statutory supply ranges between 253V and 216V. Usually, electricity is supplied at the higher end of the range, as it has to travel a long distance across the grid. However, most connected loads, such as electrical equipment and machinery, operate efficiently from 220V to 230V.

The excess energy is lost through heat or vibration when a higher voltage is supplied. There are no gains in equipment performance. Businesses are paying for the overvoltage in money and machinery.

Voltage optimisation ensures energy isn’t wasted.

The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage found some businesses have seen energy savings of up to 12% or more when using voltage optimisation. Businesses need to be informed about the effects of over-voltage on equipment and expenses, and how voltage optimisation can be beneficial.

Is Voltage Optimisation right for you?

Voltage optimisation doesn’t service everybody. In some instances, upgrading your equipment and processes on site could be more cost-effective in the long term than voltage management.

However, voltage optimisation may help when your business is suffering from:

  • overheating of transformers, switchboards, and cabling
  • nuisance tripping of circuit breakers or control equipment
  • unstable equipment operation
  • high energy costs

Solar systems are usually still connected to the grid. The sun falls to your solar panels, then the power travels to the electrical grid, then returns to you. Voltage optimisation ensures solar users capitalise on their energy investment.

How does Voltage Optimisation work?

Voltage optimisation devices can be installed in series around the workplace, and also be fitted into specific equipment, like motors.  To prolong and protect electrical equipment life, the PowerPerfector voltage optimisation device is equipped with independent phase control, which maintains a stable and reduced output voltage.

The PowerPerfector device:

  • Saves electrical energy
  • Improves power factor
  • Reduces harmonics
  • Protects against common transients

The figure below depicts how a voltage optimiser device works:

Voltage Optimisation benefits

NSW Office of Environment and Heritage state voltage optimisation advantages include:

  • an overall increase in the lifespan of voltage-sensitive electrical equipment
  • potential reductions in maintenance frequency, effort, and costs
  • improvement in overall site power supply quality (depending on the type of voltage optimisation technology used).
  • a reduction in energy consumption (and associated costs) and indirect greenhouse gas emissions
  • equipment is supplied with the optimum voltage

Who can save? 

Voltage optimisation can benefit facilities with inductive loads such as three-phase induction motors, air conditioning, and refrigeration including:

  • Commercial, office, retail building, and supermarkets
  • Government and educational facilities
  • Manufacturing, processing, and warehouse operations

Energa Australia is a single provider for all your renewable energy needs. Energa uses PowerPerfector voltage optimisation devices to help clients save money on electricity, productivity, and equipment repairs. PowerPerfector introduced voltage power optimisation to the UK and is at the forefront of the voltage optimisation market.

The Queensland government states that as a result of the voltage limit changes, network connections will be more relaxed, making it easier and cheaper to connect your solar PV or battery energy storage system to the grid. Contact Energa today and ensure your business is optimising in cost, equipment, and energy.

Sources:

Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy. DNRME. 2018. New Statutory Voltage Limits for Queensland. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.dnrme.qld.gov.au/energy/initiatives/statutory-voltage-limits. [Accessed 12 July 2018].

NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. 2016. Voltage Optimisation. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/business/voltage-optimisation.htm. [Accessed 12 July 2018].

PowerPerfector. 2016. Why use PowerPerfector?. [ONLINE] Available at: https://powerperfector.com/our-solution/why-use-powerperfector/. [Accessed 12 July 2018].