Despite the introduction of the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) in April 2010, many companies still do not realise that they are missing out on potential energy savings. PowerSave, a division of UK-based Claude Lyons, explains

The CRC is a mandatory emissions trading scheme aimed at reducing the UK’s carbon emissions amongst large public and private sector organisations. The scheme features an annual performance league table that ranks participants on their energy efficiency.

With a properly planned voltage optimisation strategy, organisations can both reach their carbon reduction commitments and save money – sometimes well into the thousands.

VO in action

Although the national grid typically supplies electricity at more than 240V, most electrical equipment is designed to accept a range of electricity voltages, with 240 being near the upper end of that range. For example, a 230V linear appliance operating at 240V will consume approximately nine percent more energy than necessary.

Voltage optimisation helps mitigate this excess, adjusting the output voltage from the mains so that equipment only receives the necessary power to operate.

This sort of energy management strategy is an easy step-change for organisations with carbon reduction commitments as it is simple to measure. Qualifying organisations for the CRC have to monitor their energy consumption and purchase allowances from the government for each tonne of carbon dioxide they anticipate emitting in the upcoming year. As every kWh of electricity is equivalent to 0.54kg of CO2, using voltage optimisation means emissions can be effortlessly calculated to assess carbon credit requirements.

However, some voltage optimisation equipment is more effective than others, as Jim McIlfatrick, MD of Claude Lyons explained, “There is more than one type of equipment that bills itself as ‘voltage optimisation’ technology, but in most cases this a misnomer. Most products on the market are simply voltage reduction devices. These devices can achieve useful levels of savings if the site’s voltage is stable and the phases are always balanced, but for the vast majority of sites this isn’t the case. Most sites require true, dynamic voltage optimisation to maximise energy savings and carbon reduction.”