As a business owner, you’ll always be on the lookout to save money where you can to ensure everything is running as efficiently as possible.
One cost-saving activity that may have passed you by is voltage optimisation. It’s especially beneficial with the current sky-high business energy rates.
Here we explore voltage optimisation in detail and how this can significantly help your business reduce its energy bill.
Let’s get into it;
What is voltage optimisation?
Voltage optimisation is a technology used to regulate and reduce the voltage of the electricity supply in a building. It works by reducing the voltage of the incoming electricity to an optimal level for the electrical appliances and devices being used within the property.
In the UK, the standard voltage for electricity supply is 230 volts, but many electrical appliances and devices operate most efficiently at a lower voltage.
Voltage optimisation systems are designed to adjust the voltage supplied to the building, typically reducing it to around 220 volts or even lower, depending on the specific requirements of the devices being used.
By reducing the voltage supplied to the building, voltage optimisation systems can help to save energy and reduce electricity bills.
It also helps to prolong the lifespan of electrical appliances and reduces the risk of damage from voltage fluctuations.
How does voltage optimisation work?
Voltage optimisation works by lowering mains’ electricity voltage to the optimum level required by electrical appliances and systems, resulting in lower energy consumption and reduced wear and tear on the equipment.
Most electrical appliances and equipment are designed to operate efficiently at a specific voltage range. However, the power grid’s voltage supplied to business premises often exceeds this range, resulting in wasted energy and increased stress on the equipment.
This is where voltage optimisation comes into play.
Voltage optimisation systems regulate the voltage supplied to the equipment, reducing it to a level appropriate for the equipment being used.
This can be achieved through various methods, such as using transformers or electronic devices.
In a standard voltage optimisation system, the incoming voltage is measured and monitored by a control system. The control system then adjusts the voltage to an appropriate level for the used equipment.
The regulated voltage is then supplied to the equipment, reducing energy consumption and extending the lifespan of the equipment.
Voltage optimisation systems can be designed for a range of things, including lighting, air conditioning, refrigeration, or even entire buildings.
They can also be customised to match the specific voltage requirements of different equipment, ensuring that the equipment receives the appropriate voltage level.
An example of a standard voltage optimisation installation:
Why would a business need voltage optimisation?
The main reason a business uses voltage optimisation is to save money. Using voltage optimisation will reduce energy consumption, reducing the volume and stress on the devices.
Since business energy rates are charged for each kWh of energy consumed, using an optimum voltage will lower business energy bills.
How can I measure the results of voltage optimisation?
Measuring the results of voltage optimisation isn’t as easy as comparing monthly energy bills; there is a lot more to it.
If you read this guide written by BEAMA, they advise that to measure the results accurately; you need energy data three months before the installation and then three months of recorded data after the installation.
This way, you can accurately quantify the results, as other changes may impact the readings if you look at a shorter period of time on either side.
For example, changing to a new kettle in the office may have an impact, or using a time-based device on an industrial printer will dramatically affect the energy usage data. So the longer time each side, the more accurate your results are.
What are the benefits of voltage optimisation?
Here are some key benefits when optimising your business premises’ voltage:
Reduced energy consumption
By reducing the voltage of the incoming electricity supply, voltage optimisation systems can help reduce the amount of energy used by electrical appliances and devices. This can lead to significant energy savings and lower electricity bills.
Increased lifespan of electrical equipment
Voltage fluctuations and high voltage levels can cause damage to electrical appliances and devices, leading to shorter lifespans and increased maintenance costs.
By reducing the voltage supplied to the building, voltage optimisation systems can help to extend the lifespan of electrical equipment, reducing the need for costly repairs and replacements.
Improved power quality
Voltage optimisation systems can help improve the power supply’s quality, reducing the risk of power surges and dips, damaging sensitive equipment and disrupting operations.
By reducing energy consumption, voltage optimisation systems can help reduce a business’s carbon footprint, helping to meet sustainability targets and reduce environmental impact.
The energy savings achieved through voltage optimisation can result in significant cost savings for a business. In addition, some voltage optimisation systems may be eligible for government incentives or tax benefits, further reducing the cost of installation and operation.
Voltage optimisation can provide plenty of benefits for businesses, including improved energy efficiency, reduced maintenance costs, improved equipment lifespan, and financial savings.
Read our full guide on how to reduce your energy bill as a business.
What are the issues when implementing voltage optimisation?
Here are a few hurdles to consider before you implement voltage optimisation:
The cost of implementing the technology
The initial cost of installing a voltage optimisation system can be high, which may deter some businesses from implementing it. However, over time, the cost savings from reduced energy consumption can outweigh the initial investment.
Issues with compatibility
Some electrical equipment may need to be compatible with voltage optimisation systems, which can limit potential energy savings. Businesses may need to invest in new equipment or modify existing equipment to ensure compatibility.
Voltage optimisation systems require careful installation and monitoring to ensure they work effectively and efficiently. If the system is not correctly installed or maintained, it can lead to electrical problems and safety hazards.
Depending on the location and industry, there may be regulatory requirements or standards that businesses need to comply with when implementing voltage optimisation. Researching and understanding these requirements before implementing a voltage optimisation system is essential.
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