Melbourne University undertakes voltage optimisation

The University of Melbourne has installed a 1150-kVA (kilo volt ampere) voltage optimisation unit for the mechanical services supply of its Law Building.

The decision was taken after the university conducted 100 hours of research into voltage optimisation (VO). The expected savings from VO arise from the fact that voltage levels can vary by as much as 30 volts a day, which results in excessive energy consumption and higher than necessary electricity bills.

Harry Troedel, sustainability manager Implementation, Property and Campus Services at the University of Melbourne, says the electricity savings gained could be more than 12 percent per annum.

“The energy efficiency of VO systems means that because we are consuming less energy, we are reducing our carbon footprint and carbon dioxide emissions, which is good news for the planet,” he says.

The system installed would supply voltage at a constant level regardless of input instability.

“So even if voltage to the site fluctuates dramatically, which could lead to equipment failure, it will ensure the electricity supply remains at a stable and secure level plus or minus 1.5 volts,” he says.

“This minimises the risk of equipment failures, a benefit not offered by simple VO systems. Also the voltage can be adjusted at any time if required.”

The VO system also provides exceptional stability to protect against spikes and surges, which also eliminates harmonic distortions and thus provides added protection and improved power quality.

This can result in an improved life expectancy of site equipment and reduced maintenance costs.