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FMs have a pivotal role to play in establishing an energy strategy that will cut costs and reduce CO2

emissions, yet many remain ignorant of a well-established technology that can

provide guaranteed savings of 12–15% on a site’s electricity bill, with payback of just two to three years. Alex Mardapittas, Managing Director of Powerstar, explains why voltage optimisation is an essential weapon in every site’s armoury against wasted energy.

Most organisations in the UK are paying for energy that they are not using. Voltage is generally supplied to sites at a considerably higher level than the optimal 220V required by electrical equipment throughout the EU because of the way that the national grid is obliged to operate. This excess energy – 22V, on average – is still factored into a building’s energy bills despite the fact that it offers no benefits and can actually damage equipment.

Voltage optimisation was one of three technologies identified, together with LED lighting and Variable Speed Drives (VSDs), that have been proven to provide the highest energy savings and payback, as identified in reports prepared by the NHS Sustainable Development Unit and St George’s University.

GUARANTEED SAVINGS All sites have different voltage needs,

and this is why Powerstar carries out a free and comprehensive on-site assessment before recommending the best Powerstar system for that site and agreeing a guaranteed level of savings.

There are two main types of Low Voltage (LV) voltage optimisation systems on the market: fixed and electronic-dynamic – also referred to as variable. A building that has a stable, yet excessive, incoming voltage supply, requires a fixed voltage optimisation system.

However, sites with critical equipment, high night loads and greater security requirements, such as hospitals, data centres, hotels, education facilities and

retails outlets, will benefit from an electronic-dynamic system such as Powerstar MAX. This solution uses intelligent electronic controls to automatically ensure that voltage is supplied at a constant level, regardless of how unstable the incoming voltage is.

TRANSFORMING SUPPLY Sites with their own transformers

can take voltage optimisation one step further by optimising a building’s voltage supply on the High Voltage side, following the development of Powerstar HV MAX, the world’s first high voltage electronic variable

solution, developed after years of market research. This is a super low- loss, amorphous core transformer with integrated voltage optimisation technology that provides a combined solution of replacing an inefficient transformer and optimising site voltage, resulting in substantial energy savings that average 17%.

Powerstar HV MAX can replace a building’s existing transformer or be installed in new building developments and incorporates a monitoring facility which enables organisations to identify where further energy savings can be made. It can be installed in four to six hours without touching the on-site supply and adapted for inside or outside installations.

Powerstar has no moving parts so maintenance is minimal and systems come with a 15-year warranty. It is providing savings worldwide for clients who include government departments, local authorities, blue chip companies, and household names across a range of industries.

Voltage optimisation is a ‘fit and forget’ technology which provides savings at source and can be used in conjunction with all other energy-saving measures such as lighting controls and photovoltaic panels. Not utilising voltage optimisation is equivalent to simply throwing money away. It’s time that more FMs were aware of its potential in the war on energy wastage.


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