The declared electricity supply in the United Kingdom is 230V, so most electrical equipment manufactured for the UK is rated at that voltage. However, in practice, the average voltage supplied from the national grid in mainland UK is 242V.
This over-voltage causes a reduction in equipment lifetime and increases energy consumption, with no improvement in performance. By bringing supply voltages down to the lower end of the statutory voltage range, voltage optimisation technology does not only save energy, it can also prolong the life of the connected equipment.
Before going ahead and installing a Voltage Optimiser, we need to make sure the technology is right for us. To do that we need to install a ‘VO logger’, which measures the voltage over time. This data is then used to calculate the potential savings. Last year we fitted a VO logger in Redditch. After analysing the data, it was calculated that installing a Voltage Optimiser could reduce total consumption by 8%, which is a significant saving.
Would a similar saving be possible in Banbury? Due to the nature of the power supply in there, installing a VO logger is not straightforward - it requires a total electrical shutdown of the entire site, which needs planning and preparation.
The work took place on Saturday, February 25th. Early indications show the voltages coming into the site are even higher than at Redditch, so the potential savings are even greater. This technology could reduce the company’s carbon footprint by 75 tonnes, which is a significant step towards Carbon Neutral.