Voltage Optimisers

I came across this. When reading it, bear in mind that it was published by a consultant who gives energy management advice and provides training courses for energy managers.



EMSc, a supplier of voltage-reduction equipment, has had a complaint against it upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority in relation to an online advertisement for its ‘Powerstar’ range. The ASA said that EMSc should not claim a typical reduction regardless of the type of equipment fed by the mains supply. The advertisement was held to breach CAP Code rules 3.1 (misleading advertising) and 3.7, which states that when making such claims, marketers must hold documentary evidence “that consumers are likely to regard as objective and that are capable of objective substantiation”. The ASA considered that before making any efficiency savings claims for the equipment, Powerstar needed to hold evidence that supported the level of efficiency saving claimed “in the situations in which the equipment would be used”.

My view on voltage reduction is this: on the basis of a simple energy balance, reduced energy consumption will be achieved at the cost of reduced output. By the same token equipment with regulated or controlled output should use the same amount of input energy (in reality it may actually become less efficient thanks to increased resistive losses, and therefore draw MORE power at lower voltage; I show this in the case of an LED lamp in a video clip at http://youtube.com/vilnisvesma). It also annoys me that we rarely see a mention of the continuous standing loss incurred by the devices when energised.

Meanwhile the full ASA ruling, which must have implications for anyone promoting voltage “optimisation”, can be seen at www.asa.org.uk: search their rulings for ‘EMSc’.

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