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27 Nov 2014 12:11:06


A growing school and sixth form college in County Durham, St. John’s, is benefitting from improved electricity supply, as well as reduced energy costs and CO2 emissions, thanks to the installation of the world’s leading voltage optimisation system, Powerstar.
Originally built in 1964, The Catholic Academy has undergone an extensive redevelopment and extension programme to meet today’s ever changing educational demands. The school was experiencing severe, repeated electrical equipment failures on a regular weekly basis.
Powerstar engineers, once on site, immediately recognised the problem as being a power quality issue, specifically highlighting excessive harmonics as the cause of the equipment failures, which included, computers, air handling equipment, food mixer motors and pumps for the swimming pool.
Following the installation of the Powerstar system, which was specifically wound to correct the ongoing issues, electrical failures ceased, as the correct voltage was applied to the site’s electrical equipment. The installation of the Powerstar system has significantly reduced maintenance costs and resulted in electricity savings of over £8,000 per annum and 42 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
Mr Alan Greensitt, director of finance and resources at St John’s Catholic Academy commented, “ I would like to thank Powerstar for the professional service provided. I can highly recommend voltage optimisation as an energy saving and power quality improvement solution for the education sector.”
Designed and manufactured in the UK, Powerstar is the only voltage optimisation system in the world to be granted a patent for its design. Powerstar’s unique design means that regardless of the type of load connected, savings will be achieved through the negative power created, as the system returns the excess voltage in terms of real negative power, which is deducted from the grid input power.
In essence, any excess voltage above the Powerstar set-point is returned back to the grid, which flows towards the supply and is then subtracted from the incoming power.
The result is that 70%-80% of the total savings are achieved from the negative power feeding back to the grid, while 20%-30% of the savings come from the improvement in equipment efficiencies.
The University of Warwick carried out a full Mathematical Simulation modelling of the Powerstar system. The concluding report compiled by Professor Jihong Wang highlights that, “The overall power consumption is reduced because the negative power is induced as feedback power to the source. Virtually, this power can be considered as being generated from the load side.” Therefore, regardless of the load connected to the Powerstar system, it will always deliver savings, as they are achieved by optimising a building’s incoming electricity supply.
Powerstar remains one of the only voltage optimisation systems capable of making additional savings on LED lighting, as a tender recently awarded by Melbourne University proved. The solution was the only voltage optimisation system, of the many tested, that verified savings can be achieved. The system has also demonstrated that significant savings – between 6% and 10% – can be achieved when Modern Variable Speed Drives (VSDs) are connected.

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