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Powerstar at Richmond Adult Community College

Richmond Adult Community College (RACC) in London is a centre of learning that offers students the opportunity to extend their existing skills and acquire new ones. The College is a keen proponent of environmental issues and asked Powerstar to demonstrate how voltage optimisation could reduce electricity use and improve their carbon footprint.

The College is dedicated to providing the resources that enable adults to unlock their talent and fulfil their potential through learning, skills and enterprise. RACC offers approximately 2000 courses in 14 (out of 15) of the Sector Subject Areas that define the further education sector. These courses range in level from basic skills to postgraduate. In addition the College offers a programme of events, exhibitions, performances and leisure activities.

The College has an excellent reputation for high quality teaching, learning and effective assessment. It provides an impressive array of student support services across its two main sites; these include free access to Information Technology in its Learning Centres and a crèche for under 5’s. Courses are provided onsite during the day, in the evenings and at the weekend.

RACC actively promotes sustainability and eco-friendly practices and has already worked with the Carbon Trust to reduce its carbon footprint. As part of its ‘green’ commitment the College recently up-dated its heating systems at the Parkshot site, while the Clifden new build will achieve BREEAM Excellent rating and will incorporate recycling and sustainable energy strategies.

Against this backdrop the College called in Powerstar to identify the loading at both sites and to ascertain whether voltage optimisation could help to save money on energy costs and make a further contribution to reducing RACC’s carbon footprint.

Powerstar reduces electricity consumption by lowering the incoming voltage to more efficiently meet the demands of the equipment on site. It works best on inductive loads – motors, lighting – rather than resistive loads.

For Richmond Adult Community College following a site survey the solution was to install a Powerstar 210kVA unit at two of its sites.

A key additional benefit of Powerstar is that it comes with an online monitoring and targeting tool. This enables the College to monitor its overall energy usage and take further steps to reduce consumption which can be as basic as simply turning off unnecessary lighting.

Richmond Adult Community College is saving an average of 16% on electricity consumption following the installation of the Powerstar units.

RACC is not alone in finding out how Powerstar can help a College cut its energy bills and reduce its carbon footprint. In the past two years 13 Powerstar units have been installed in 11 Colleges from as far afield as Torquay to Perth.

Each Powerstar unit is built to meet the specific electrical loading characteristics of each College and load levels vary from 150kVA to 1000kVA. Powerstar is 100% British made which is an important consideration for some Colleges.

"Our electricity usage has dropped on average by 16% since the installation of the voltage optimisation units. Overall we are very pleased with the service provided by EMSc / Powerstar."

Monika Quayle

Corporate Services Administrator, Richmond Adult Community College

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