Powerstar’s Dr. Alex Mardapittas from explains how large energy users can take greater control over their own energy supplies.Reducing downtime and increasing reliability are a prerequisite for any energy management system in industrial and commercial premises, add to that reduced energy bills and greater control and flexibility over the power supply and real inroads can be made to improve performance and reduce costs.Powerstar Virtue uses Powerstar voltage optimisation technology and harnesses induced negative power feedback to divert the energy saved from the installation of a voltage optimisation system to a storage medium. The system allows for savings in electricity costs by enabling users to come off-grid during times of high tariffs, diverting to the energy stored during times of low demand.The solution can also be integrated with on-site renewable energy generation to combine the energy saved from the voltage optimisation system with that generated from the renewable energy source. As a result, renewable energy can be made more reliable.Whilst energy grids around the world struggle to cope with the surge in demand for electricity, which is set to rise a staggering six-fold by 2050, pressure is mounting to review electricity usage and energy storage has emerged as one of the best solutions to the problems faced – Imperial College London’s Energy Lab has estimated that energy storage technologies could generate savings of £10bn a year by 2050 in the UK.As forecasting of available power is simple, Powerstar Virtue allows users to become a VPS (Virtual Power Station) making informed decisions on how much power will be available at all times, and thus deciding when to use stored energy for maximum benefits. The solution also allows companies to act as a full facility UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) for up to two hours and due to its modular nature, additional storage modules can be fitted post installation to match any future needs of the site. The system also increases the monetary benefits from national and DNO (Distribution Network Operator) incentivised programmes such as STOR, EDR and FDR.A further financial benefit is that the system eliminates the use of inverters on renewable installations, which can further help reduce costs and improve return on investment. Sites will also benefit from reduced harmonics, voltage phase balancing and improved power factor, along with reduced maintenance costs.Powerstar Virtue is integrated with either a Powerstar MAX or Powerstar HV MAX voltage optimisation system. Between 70% and 80% of the savings achieved through Powerstar voltage optimisation are through the induced negative power feedback - generated as a result of the design of the technology, with the remaining 20% to 30% savings gained from the improvement in equipment efficiencies due to appliances operating at a voltage more suited to their operating requirements.A report from Professor Jihong Wang at the University of Warwick commented: “The overall power consumption is reduced because the negative power is induced as feedback power to the source. Literally, this power can be considered as power `generated` from the load side.”Making savings on LED lighting is particularly challenging. Due to its design Powerstar can achieve this. The system has also demonstrated that significant savings - 6%-10% - can be achieved when modern variable speed drives (VSDs) are connected.Energy savings of 12%-15%, a reduction of harmonics and transients, as well as an improvement in power factor are amongst the benefits delivered by Powerstar systems. All of which come with a 100% savings guarantee.Often, Powerstar has provided the solution to existing technical problems as was the case at St John’s Catholic Academy in County Durham.An on-site survey found the cause of regular equipment failures, which included computers, air handling equipment and pumps for the swimming pool, was due to a power quality issue and highlighted excessive harmonics as the cause. Applying the correct voltage to the site’s electrical equipment eliminated problems and the Powerstar installation reduced maintenance costs and achieved electricity savings of over £8,000 per annum and 42 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
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