FAQ

Power Factor Correction

What is EnergyAce Power Factor Correction?

Power Factor Correction is a technology that utilises capacitors in banks to automatically switch capacitor stages onto the electrical supply to remove the undesirable effects of inductive loads, like motor loads, and restore the degree of electrical efficiency of power factor closer to 100% efficient to save energy, remove penalties like reactive power charges from energy bills and reduce maximum demand. Please click here to download a brochure explaining Power Factor Correction.

Voltage Optimisation

What is EnergyAce Voltage Optimisation?

There are many terms used for the same technique of reducing energy consumption via voltage control, VMS, VO, VPO, PO and many more although ultimately this technology works by carefully controlling the voltage to return an energy saving, the really clever thing is how it is controlled and the efficiency of the solution, this is what makes the difference and makes EnergyAce stand out amongst other manufactures of Voltage Management Systems. Please click here to download a brochure explaining Voltage Management.

How will my site benefit from EnergyAce Voltage Optimisation?

It is widely recognised now that voltage control can generate substantial energy savings across an entire site provided the correct approach is applied.

EnergyAce Voltage Optimisation not only ensures that plant and electrical appliances operate more efficiently and consume less energy, it will also ensure electrical appliances will last much longer.

How Does EnergyAce work?

The principal is voltage control, in most cases a site will have very little or no control over the voltage it receives while the national grid voltage fluctuates between 216v and 253v.

The average voltage level across the UK is 242v while the voltage most appliances and plant will operate most efficiently at is around 222v.

EnergyAce controls and stabilises the voltage to around 222v, this optimised voltage allows appliances and plant to operate more efficiently and last much longer than at the higher voltage levels which reduces maintenance and energy costs.

Simply put, voltage can be described as a pressure, if you apply a higher pressure than need be, the appliance the high pressure is applied to will deteriorate quicker than the one that has a lower pressure applied to it.

But where’s the science in all this?

The actual calculation based on Ohms Law is as follows:

Power = Voltage² / Resistance

However, in general a sites load can be separated in to two main categories:

  • Voltage Dependant
  • Voltage Optimisation

Voltage Dependant – A voltage dependent load is an electrical device whose power consumption varies with the voltage being supplied to it.

Voltage Independent – A voltage independent load is an electrical device whose power demand, within its designed operating range, is independent of supply voltage.

The two types of load above will react quite differently to a reduction in supply voltage, the voltage dependant loads will offer a greater energy saving which is disproportionate to any reduction in output than the Voltage Independent loads which will offer very little in way of energy savings.

Voltage however can be loosely described as a “pressure” and while voltage independent loads offer very little through voltage reduction in way of energy savings, they will operate at a much lower “pressure” and as such last much longer thus reducing maintenance and replacement costs, a typical example of this would be LED lighting, an expensive LED Driver receiving the upper limit of voltage in the UK at 253v would be expected to be replaced before an LED driver receiving the more sensible and controlled voltage of around 222v, this could also apply to many other appliances or plant on site, especially lighting as confirmed by recent ECA testing.

If you apply a higher pressure than need be, the appliance the high pressure is applied to will deteriorate quicker than the one that has a lower pressure applied to it – simples!

So are all Voltage Optimisation systems the same?

No, most Voltage Optimisation systems are loosely based on an Auto Transformer design of one type or another and consist of a number of “tap offs” which offer very little control, in order to change the voltage output, a shutdown of the whole supply is required and the attendance of an Engineer to “adjust” the system by moving cables to another “tap”.

The benefits of the EnergyAce variable or Dynamic Voltage Optimisation over the Fixed or Static Voltage Optimisation can be categorised into two main areas:

  • Safety
  • Control and savings

Safety – Standard Static Voltage Optimisation products simply transform the voltage down and once optimised and the voltage reduced, a 10% reduction in voltage on input through normal fluctuations in the Line Volts would result in a 10% reduction in output thus risking a low voltage situation, Dynamic Voltage Optimisation controls the voltage to ensure the correct voltage levels are maintained at all times.

Dynamic Voltage Optimisation allows for the introduction of a low voltage threshold to protect the sites voltage levels, once preset the voltage reduction system is bypassed if the threshold is reached to ensure the sites voltage is not compromised.

Alarms can be introduced to alert the user of potential overload which is extremely important if the system has been matched to the size of demand and not supply.

Control and savings – Improved control via stabilisation allows for maximum savings with varied voltage reduction applied automatically allowing the target voltage to be achieved throughout the period of operation, it also allows for remote control of the voltage output to enable fine tuning of the Voltage Optimisation System without the need of a shutdown.

The voltage output and low voltage threshold can be adjusted remotely and without the need of an Engineers attendance.

Dynamic Voltage Optimisation would also normally allow for remote monitoring of all power parameters and power factor to enable the user to view energy usage in real time and act on any anomalies, this feature also allows for the generation of savings data and graphs to ensure full and transparent savings are achieved.

Site selection is important!

Not all sites will benefit from the technology of Voltage Optimisation, sites with longer opening hours and a majority of Voltage Dependant loads will benefit most along with an average voltage in excess of 235v, the survey conducted before installation will determine the quality of the installation and accuracy of savings, a poor survey will in most cases result in a poor installation or poor performance, EnergyAce cannot stress enough the importance of a good quality survey and honest interpretation of the results to avoid over selling or misrepresentation.

The technology of voltage management has recently attracted some scepticism and bad press as a result of a poor survey, over selling and misrepresentation from some companies whose only route to market appears to be Voltage Optimisation. EnergyAce will always give honest advice and select the most appropriate technology product for the application.

Reactive Power Charge

Reactive Power Charges

Reactive power charges sometimes known as wattless power or the Common Distribution Calculation Methodology (CDCM) are basically charges in the form of a financial penalty for operating an inefficient electrical supply, the penalties are issued in the form of a “reactive charge” or “reactive power charge” which appear on a commercial type tariff and are usually charged one month in arrears.

Most Distribution Network Operators (DNO) who manage and distribute the power to users within the UK charge a penalty for operating an inefficient electrical supply called a “reactive power charge”.

These reactive power charges can be removed by installing suitably rated Power Factor Correction equipment normally located on the main distribution system and fully automatic to react to the fluctuating loads.

What Is Reactive Power?

Reactive Power is basically additional wasted energy that is consumed by an electrical appliance but serves no useful purpose, it is likened to a horse pulling a barge along a canal tow path, the horse cannon pull the barge from directly in front of the barge and has to pull from one side to move the barge forward hence energy is wasted by pulling the barge to the side when, the main focus is to pull forward. Most of the energy to pull the barge is useful although the energy used when pulling sideways could be described as unproductive wasted energy. Reactive power is a measure of the unproductive wasted energy.

Why is Reactive Power charged?

Reactive Power is charged as a penalty as an inefficient task requires more energy to perform the same task as if it were efficient, for example a 100kw motor with a power factor of 0.98pf (degree of efficiency) would require 141A to perform its given task although the very same 100kw motor with a power factor of 0.50pf (degree of efficiency) would require 278A to perform exactly the same task, hence a power station would need to supply the motor with more power to perform the same task as is would otherwise require and the electrical infrastructure would also need to be bigger to carry the additional unproductive wasted currents.

How can Reactive Power charges be removed or reduced?

Reactive Power charges in most cases can be easily removed by the introduction of power factor correction capacitors which improve the electrical efficiency of inductive loads (motors etc) and counteract the unproductive wasted energy called reactive units which in turn removes the penalty charge form the electricity bill.

In some limited cases, there may still be a small residual reactive charge left on the bill although this would only be a fraction of the initial change before the introduction of power factor correction and is due to the way one or two DNOs apply the Reactive Power charge.

What action can I take to remove Reactive Power charges?

EnergyAce offer a free service to examine a clients electricity bills and identify hidden penalties due to inefficiencies of the electrical supply, simply email a copy of your last three electricity bills (all pages) to post@pesgroupltd.co.uk, contact us or fill in your details on our Energy Saving Calculator.

EnergyAce only advise on the hidden penalties due to inefficiencies of the electrical supply, we are not an energy broker and do not advise on tariffs.

What if I don’t have a Reactive charge?

Almost all areas across the UK operate the policy of charging for Reactive Power although there are isolated areas that are still to conform to the common charging method which is due to come in force from April 2010, it is therefore important that all consumers check their electricity bills on a monthly basis for reactive Power Charges and act immediately to remove the charge to avoid costly penalties which could easily amount to ££££££ of pounds per annum.

For further details of our power quality and energy savings product and services please contact us.

EnergyAce Compact - Single Phase (Home)

Does it really matter that my voltage is high?

Voltage levels in the UK are stipulated at between 216v & 253v although the average voltage level in the UK is 242v and much higher than mainland European levels.

In general, the greater the voltage level the higher the energy consumption (kWh), higher voltage can also increase the heat generated in electrical appliances which in many cases reduces the life expectancy of household appliance, including TVs, Refrigerators, Computers, Gaming Systems, Sound Systems and light bulbs.

Most electrical equipment sold in Europe is designed to run more efficiently around 220V. All electrical equipment is designed using parameters such as voltage, frequency, capacity, etc. so to ensure that these are operating at their optimum performance, they need to operate as close as possible to their design characteristics.

Why don’t the Suppliers just turn down the voltage?

Voltage can’t be turned down as in general the whole infrastructure is set up to deliver 240-250V, if it is turned down all cables and local substations would need upgrading. In addition, if they did so there would be resistance from some energy suppliers as it may immediately reduce their income by around 10%

Will EnergyAce Compact work in my home or small business?

Voltage Optimisation is a recognised technology that is particularly relevant in the UK, as power supplied by the National Grid is often supplied at a voltage above the recommended operating levels for the household appliances in the home or small business.

How is EnergyAce Compact installed?

The unit fits in-line with your current electricity unit and does not require any rewiring or any change of electricity provider. It can be installed by any competent qualified registered electrician and does not require special training.

How long does take to install an EnergyAce Compact?

Typically installation will take less than 1 hour and will require the electricity to be switched off approximately 10 - 20 minutes.

What is Voltage Optimisation?

Voltage Optimisation is an electrical energy saving technique which is installed in series with the mains electricity supply to give an optimum supply voltage for the site’s equipment.

Where can I purchase an EnergyAce Compact Unit?

You can purchase a system from a network of stockists and distributors throughout the UK. Please contact the sales office for further information on 01695 559785 (international +00 44 (0) 1695 559785) or email post@pesgroupltd.co.uk

What does the EnergyAce Compact unit do?

The unit is a voltage optimisation device designed for use in homes and small businesses. The EnergyAce Compact system optimises the incoming voltage to around 220V giving homes and small businesses immediate and significant energy savings for the whole premises. Every circuit is optimised 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by one unit installed on the incoming mains supply.

How big is an EnegyAce Compact Unit?

The 63A single phase unit is around the same size as the consumer unit (fuse board) and measures 340mm wide, 215mm high and 115mm deep. The 100A single phase measures 410mm wide 280mm high and 150mm deep. The 63 & 100A three phase units both measure 600mm wide, 500mm high & 300mm deep.

How will it be installed?

The EnergyAce unit will be installed between the meter and consumer unit and must be installed by a competent qualified, registered electrician.

How can I find an electrician to install the EnergyAce unit?

A list of qualified electricians can be found online at www.eca.co.uk/find-an-eca-member/ or www.niceic.com/find-a-contractor/find-contractors alternatively, call us and we will provide you with some details of local tradespeople.

How much energy will an EnergyAce Compact unit save?

Through the verified results we have gathered from hundreds of installations, EnergyAce voltage optimisers save around 10% - 12% off annual electricity kWh consumption and can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of a household or small business.

What makes EnergyAce Compact a worthwhile investment?

Electricity prices are set to continue to rise and people are concerned both about this and their carbon footprint. Fitting an EnergyAce Compact unit is guaranteed to reduce energy bills for the whole house or small business for many many years, 24 hours a day, seven days a week  and without any other changes in lifestyle.

Will I be required to change my Fuse/Distribution Board?

No, an EnergyAce Compact unit is installed before the fuse board (consumer unit) and does not require this to be changed or re-wired.

EnergyAce Compact - Three Phase

What level of savings and payback can I expect to see?

Savings vary depending on the equipment on site but typically we see between 7%-14% savings on kWh consumption and payback periods from as little as 10 months.

How long does take to install an EnergyAce Compact?

Typically this can take between 2-4 hours, however you will only be without mains power for approximately 30 minutes.

How big is an EnergyAce 3 phase unit?

The three phase (100/63A) units are 600mm wide, 500mm high and 300mm deep.

What is the maximum capacity for the unit?

The units are rated at 72kVA which is 100A per phase and 45kVA 63A per phase.

My maximum demand is over 100A (72kVA), what do I do?

Larger voltage optimisation units are available from us, please contact us on our office number to discuss further.

Can EnergyAce Compact unit be installed outside?

The unit is made to be installed internally, however we can supply the unit in an IP65 rated external enclosure (additional costs will apply).

How does EnergyAce work with inductive and resistive loads?

Voltage optimisation gives best results on inductive loads – motors and lighting with magnetic ballasts for example – and significant savings can be achieved on motors and in particular refrigeration/cooling equipment.

On resistive loads without an active thermocouple, voltage optimisation will also give good results to conserve power and extend the life of the appliance and components.

  • Reduce maintenance cost
  • Save up to 20% on energy usage
  • Remove hidden penalties from bills
  • Make your business more profitable
  • Reduce your carbon emissions

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