T&D World Magazine

Enterprise Voltage Regulator Delivers Power Savings on Air Conditioning Loads for California Utility

MicroPlanet Technology Corp., a developer of distributed-energy technologies to improve electric power grid reliability and efficiency, has announced that the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), in conjunction with the American Public Power Association (APPA), confirmed the energy efficiency potential of MicroPlanet's Enterprise Voltage Regulator, or EVR point-of-delivery voltage regulators.

The summary of the test results demonstrated the capability of the EVR to reduce electricity consumption by air conditioning loads-a key contributor to California's "peak demand" during hot summer days. The results indicated that the air conditioning units in this test operated at a higher level of efficiency and a lower power demand as voltage is decreased.

"Since the majority of California's summer peak electric demand is due to residential air conditioning systems, SMUD was interested in evaluating how air conditioning systems could operate more efficiently at lower voltage using MicroPlanet's EVR," said Brian Reidy, CEO of MicroPlanet. "Utility customers receiving higher voltages are overdriving their equipment, such as air conditioners, and wasting energy. According to the SMUD report, by lowering voltage with our EVR to optimal levels, customers are able to reduce demand by 7.3%-10.4%, conserve energy and improve power factor. Traditional infrastructure products either reduce demand or conserve energy or improve power factor, but the EVR is a triple play-it does all three in one product."

The SMUD study found significant energy savings on a critical peak power load and suggested the following applications could possibly merit the use of the MicroPlanet EVR product:

  • Bucking (reduce) the line voltage where it is high to maintain reasonable tolerances.
  • Boosting line voltage up where it is low to meet minimum requirements.
  • Leveling voltage where it has variations of plus or minus 8.33% of a desired level.

The next step for SMUD is to pilot test the EVR at a local customer site during 2006 to confirm the product's boosting capability.

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