Which Voltage Optimisation Unit?

Once you have decided to specify voltage optimisation units, it is important to make sure you choose the right one for the job.VX2 and VX5

Don’t Over Specify
By selecting products that are rated far in excess of what is actually needed, product costs can be unnecessarily high and payback periods are extended. Voltage optimisation units are often specified based on amperage and it is a common  misconception that the higher the amp rating of the unit, the better the performance. This isn’t the case. Recent research published by the DECC, Defra and the Energy Saving Trust, entitled “Powering the Nation” looks at energy consumption habits in the home. The report shows that domestic products such as fridges, along with lighting and other appliances that are on for sustained periods of time, contribute the most to household electricity bills.

It also identifies that the average daily base electricity load in UK households is less than 700 watts which equates to around 3 amps. Simply put, this means that a voltage optimisation unit which has an amp rating of say 40 or 60 amps is way above the necessary specification. An 8 amp unit would suffice and provide the same energy savings at a lower outlay cost in a shorter period of time.

Another way to look at it is in terms of “energy management capacity”. This is the continuous power rating of the unit multiplied by the number of hours in a year. A typical household will consume between 2,100 kWh and 5,100 kWh per year. An 8 amp voltage optimisation unit will provide an energy management capacity of 17,500 kWh per year – more than enough! In comparison, a 60 amp unit will provide 115,632 kWh per year – in percentage terms, this equates to 2,200% over the required capacity.

Avoid Under Voltage
A voltage optimiser should provide an “optimised” voltage not a reduced voltage. Whilst the average voltage in the UK is 245V it is not unusual for the supply to dip well below this when demand is high. Some voltage optimisers do not react to under voltage at all, others allow the voltage to fall as low as 200V before they react. Selecting a voltage optimisation unit that controls to a set point of 220V ensures that the property receives neither over or under voltage.

Maximise Savings & Minimise the Losses
All voltage optimisers have a theoretical maximum saving that can be achieved, which is reduced by any losses exhibited in the unit. The more losses a unit has, the less the overall savings will be, so to maximise savings potential, ensure that the optimiser you choose has the lowest losses.

Some voltage optimisation units that have relatively high losses will turn off at low power (typically 300 watts and below). The “Powering the Nation” study shows that typical overnight energy consumption is around 300 watts; voltage optimisation units that turn off at low power will therefore result in lower overall savings.

Single or 3 Phase?
This all comes down to power and what loads will be put through the device. A single phase unit will be more than adequate for a domestic household and small businesses. It is rare for a household to require a 3 phase unit as these are more commonly used in high powered commercial applications.

In essence, choosing the right unit depends on individual circumstances such as: price, size, rating, design, weight and whether the unit simply reduces the voltage by a fixed amount, or truly optimises it and provides a stabilised output. By delving deeper, you will discover the facts behind ratings and losses which will enable you to make a more informed decision on the right voltage optimisation unit for your application.

For details on the products available from VPhase, please visit the Products page.


Frequently Asked Questions

We realise the VPhase device is a technical product,but to help you understand more about it and the features you can benefit from – read our Frequently Asked Questions, HERE

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