Powerstar Voltage

Powerstar – Energy Saving Voltage Optimiser

When James visited Montague Cold Stores’ new Truganina Distribution Centre in Melbourne about two years ago a Powerstar voltage optimiser had just been installed.

Earlier this year we received the following update from Montague’s Glenn Edwards –

Transformer review – Truganina


The Truganina project provided an opportunity to explore alternative solutions as a greenfield site including alternative power supplies.

Option one – low voltage customer whereby the authority owns and maintains the power transformer on site. (current method within Montague)

Option two – high voltage customer whereby Montague own the transformer, benefits of which include the ability to select a more efficient transformer and pay the utility on a different tariff method. The alternative tariff provided an electricity saving of 13.5% based on usage.

The new transformer was expected to provide another 1% to 2% efficiency increasing the savings even further. Along with the selection of a new transformer MCS opted for a unit with voltage optimization to reduce the invoiced consumption on site with a guaranteed 7% saving. This system reduces the incoming voltage (typically 242v) to 220v which is the required amount for all electrical equipment, the difference in voltage is saved as it is generally wasted energy.

Voltage Optimization review

Montague undertook two separate reviews to assess the performance of voltage optimization (VO), the first in June 2015 the second November 2016. Both of which showed that voltage optimization provided cost reduction benefits. One review conducted by Montague and the other by Powerstar.

November 2016 review comprised of switching off the VO for the month of September compared to the operation in October. To enable an accurate comparison the following factors were taken into consideration.

  • Room operating temperature
  • Ambient temperature
  • Product movement in and out per week onsite
  • Any other operational changes

The results for this period showed a reduction in energy consumption of 9.1% (18,134 kwh).

Along with a reduction in carbon emission of 754.75 t Co2 per annum.

VO from Powerstar was purchased with a guaranteed saving of 7%, the two assessments have demonstrated our target has been exceeded and will continue to operate at this level. Thus supporting the investment in VO

NOTE: The original proposal and evaluation where completed on an estimated 7,000,000 kwh of usage, following commissioning the site is operating at 50% less than expected (2,573,000kwh) results of which follow the focus on efficient design and equipment selection from construction

As voltage optimisation is a great and low risk way of reducing energy costs, we include an explanatory document from Powerstar’s South African representative, Ian Roberts.

Download their brochure here

Be sure to give him a call on 072 598 4344 or email ian@powerstar.org.za for more information.