The good news is that voltage correction can help you save energy. However not every type of stabilizer will save you energy. In order to understand where there is an opportunity to save energy and how to take advantage of this opportunity, let us understand the impact of voltages on operational efficiency as well as identify the best available solutions to achieve these potential savings.
Impact on voltage on electricity consumption
Power supply variation is a very common phenomena. Although the acceptable ranges of voltage variations is 10%, voltage variations of 12% are common in urban area and up to 35% in rural areas. This voltage variation has an impact on equipment performance and efficiency. Different loads behave differently as described below.
- Linear loads: These loads show an increase in consumption with increasing voltage. Typically power increases with squared law to voltage i.e a 10% increase in voltage will lead to 21% increased energy consumption. Motors, traditional lighting, heating elements (geysers, etc) are types of linear loads.
- Non-linear loads: These loads ideally have constant energy consumption with varying voltage. However due to factors such as harmonics and PF these loads tend to show changes in energy consumption to voltage. It can have increase in energy consumption when not operated at optimal voltage points. A 10% voltage variation can lead to 5-12% impact in energy consumption. LED lighting, chargers, IT equipment, power supplies, etc are types of non-linear loads.
- Closed loop loads: These are equipments that have a controlled output via a sense and correct mechanism. Air conditioners & geysers working with thermostats, certain drives, industrial equipments, etc. exhibit such operations. What is interesting is that the behaviour of these systems has a far more complex relationship with voltage variation and it depends on the efficiency of the overall system including the mechanical, and thermal responses that dictate the implication of voltage variations. It must be noted that most energy efficient systems do operate with closed loop controls. The bottom line is that different loads operating in the facility have different responses to voltage variations and an optimal voltage thereof. Moreover it is never one load, but a combination of loads that need to be considered to determine the optimal voltage. Furthermore, the optimal voltage changes with changing loads. This presents in itself both a challenge and an opportunity to use voltage stabilizers.
Not all Stabilizers are made equal. Not all Stabilizers save energy
The common voltage stabilizer is unable to dynamically learn the optimal voltage operating point. Instead a predetermined voltage is set during installation and the facility is maintained at that voltage as long as the system is functional. Not surprisingly, this is not the optimal voltage and it leaves room for energy savings. In fact if the stabilization voltage is not selected wisely the internal losses of the stabilizer along with an incorrect voltage operating point could even lead to increased energy consumption.
Smart Optimizers are designed to take advantages of the opportunity to optimize voltage levels and save energy. It automatically and dynamically adapts and learns the most optimal voltage point for the loads operating within a give period of time. This algorithm runs on the edge and is constantly updating it’s operation using AI/ML to classify loads and optimize the voltages thereof.
CPRI approved & industry verified
The technique for voltage optimization has been approved by the Central Power Research Institute to demonstrate energy saving with a mix of linear, non-linear and closed loop loads. In a typical office environment with conventional lighting, fans, computers, air conditioner and a small induction furnace a 18% energy savings was observed. The essence to identifying the energy savings is to perform an analysis while keeping a constant output. This is the only way to evaluate energy savings when there are closed loop systems that are maintaining a fixed output like temperature control etc.
Automatic voltage optimization has been successfully applied to several organizations in the manufacturing sector, commercial premises and even mission critical applications. Clients have saved from 8-25% in energy consumption.