Power Intelligence Voltage Optimisation FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Voltage Optimisation Definition (VO)

a. What is voltage optimisation (VO)?

Voltage Optimisation overcomes the excess voltage issue by utilising a highly efficient 3 phase PIVO transformer, which reduces the incoming voltage from the higher levels currently used for distribution down to the design characteristics of the operating electrical equipment (220 – 230V single phase). By doing so, the losses within the operating electrical equipment will be reduced and the equipment operates at peak energy efficiency. Meaning, voltage power optimisation will reduce the carbon footprint of energy consumption to suit minimum and maximum site demands whilst extending the life cycle of your electrical equipment.

For further details, please see our Voltage Optimisation page.

b. How do I check my incoming voltage?

Simply plug a volt or energy meter into a GPO (wall socket) to measure the incoming voltage or give us a call for a free site evaluation.

c. How common is voltage optimisation?

Voltage optimisation has been around for decades with hundreds of thousands of transformers installed around the world.

2. Voltage Optimisation (VO) PIVO Transformer vs conventional step-down transformer

a. What is the difference between a VO transformer and an auto-transformer?

An auto-transformer is a device designed to step down (or step up) voltage via selection of available tap settings.  Due to the device having moving parts and the subsequent build-up of heat they require regular maintenance and have relatively short life times.

A Power Intelligence Voltage Optimisation PIVO transformer is specifically designed to save energy and optimise voltage to the required level. It has no moving parts, operates considerably cooler than auto-transformers and has very high efficiency (>99.9%). This means a much longer plant and equipment life time and energy savings are maximised compared with other conventional step-down transformers.  With a PIVO Transformer, your site will be configured to optimising the power to save money.

b. Can I tap down my supply transformer to achieve the same results?

By tapping down the supply transformer only a fraction of the energy savings are achieved compared with a Power Intelligence Voltage Optimisation PIVO transformer. This is due to the inefficiency and design purpose of the supply transformer. In addition, tapping down the supply transformer does not provide the power quality or protection benefits of a PIVO transformer.

c. What are the benefits of installing a Power Intelligence voltage optimisation PIVO transformer?

There are a number of benefits resulting directly from superior power quality through a PIVO Transformer, designed and customised to each site:

  • Reduction in energy consumption  (kWh)
  • Reduction in carbon footprint (CO2)
  • Reduction in maximum demand (kVA)
  • Reduction in levels of voltage harmonics
  • Improvement in power factor
  • Improvement in power quality
  • Improvement in operation of electrical equipment
  • Improvement in lifetime of electrical equipment.

For further details, please see our PIVO Benefits page.

3. Power Intelligence voltage optimisation site analysis

a. What information is needed prior to arranging a Power Intelligence Voltage Optimisation PIVO Transformer quote?

We offer a site evaluation process by discussing all relevant details through a general consultation.  We then collect and review your voltage data over 10 days and review your electricity bill over a 12 month period in order to develop an energy savings plan.

For further details, please see our Free Evaluation page.

b. What savings and ROI can I expect from a PIVO Transformer?

Typically energy savings are between 8-20% depending on the site voltage and electrical equipment at the site. Typical payback periods are between 1-3 years with ROI’s of 30-100%+. Please try out our voltage energy savings calculator for an estimate of the energy savings available at your site.

c. Is the PIVO Transformer sized to each site?

While there is a standard range of 3 phase PIVO Transformer sizes, these correspond to the most common MCCB/ ACB sizes seen in Australia. This allows the PIVO Transformer to be sized to either the existing main switch size or the maximum demand of the site plus an expansion capacity determined by the future usage of the site.

d. Does the size of the PIVO Transformer allow for future expansion?

If expansion of the site is forecasted in the future the PIVO Transformer can be sized to accommodate the increase in electricity consumption. If unexpected expansion takes place within 5 years of purchasing a PIVO Transformer, then the Power Intelligence voltage optimisation upgrade guarantee will come into effect.

4. Power Quality – Voltage Power Optimisation

a. What power quality improvements will a Power Intelligence PIVO Transformer provide?

A Power Intelligence PIVO Transformer provides the following power quality benefits:

  • Optimised voltage
  • Voltage phase balancing
  • Reduced energy consumption
  • Reduction in levels of voltage harmonics
  • Improvement in power factor

For further details, please refer to our PIVO Benefits page.

b. Does the installation of a Power Intelligence Voltage Optimisation PIVO Transformer affect the security of my power supply?

A PIVO Transformer will increase the security of the supply where it is installed. This is achieved through the improvements in power quality listed above as well as the inclusion of additional features such as our under-voltage controller, bypass switches and metering and monitoring solutions.

c. How does the PIVO Transformer affect power factor?

A voltage optimisation unit is not used as a “Power Factor Correction (PFC)” transformer.  However, as the PIVO transformer will reduce the kwh consumption and kVA maximum demand, this will have a positive effect on power factor simply by the change in the power triangle.  If the site suffers from a low power factor  and Power Factor Correction (PFC) is required, then we recommend additional power factor correction equipment specific for the site requirement. The benefit of installing a PIVO transformer first is that the improvement in power factor means smaller capacitor banks are required to achieve the desired power factor.

d. What affect does the PIVO Transformer have on voltage and current harmonics?

The PIVO Transformer will reduce voltage harmonics by its nature.  However, it is recommended that if the site suffers from harmonic problems then this is addressed separately via a full harmonic study and specific site solution.  Power Intelligence can assist with this process.

5. Power Intelligence Manufacture and compliance to Australian Electrical Safety Standards

a. Where is the Power Intelligence voltage optimisation PIVO Transformer manufactured?

The PIVO Transformer is designed and manufactured in Australia specifically for the Australian environment. Each PIVO Transformer features the ‘Australian Made & Owned’ trademark.  Being an Australian made and owned company means local ongoing support and assistance is possible across Australia.

b. Does the PIVO Transformer comply with Australian Electrical Safety Standards?

Each PIVO Transformer is manufactured in accordance with Australian Electrical Safety Standards including AS/NZS 60076 and is suitable for the Australian environment.

c. How do you determine if the PIVO Transformer is suitable for my site?

Each PIVO Transformer is designed to meet the needs of that individual site. All aspects of the site are considered from the voltage power optimisation required to the cabinet size and type (IP rating) to suit the installation.

6. Power Intelligence Voltage Optimisation PIVO Transformer Technical specifications

a. What are the technical specifications of the PIVO Transformer?

Power Intelligence provides a range of detailed technical specification such as: input voltage, frequency, output voltage, voltage tappings, cooling, insulation class, ambient temperature, ingress protection (IP), location, overload capacity, thermal devices (optional), rating range, testing and cabinet range.

For further details, please see our Technical Specification page.

b.  Can the PIVO Transformer be designed specific to my site requirements?

Yes, each PIVO Transformer is custom designed to suit each site and any specific requests can be included such as cabinet size, IP rating, transformer size and protection settings.

7. Power Intelligence voltage optimisation PIVO Transformer site install

a. Where is the PIVO Transformer normally installed?

The PIVO Transformer is normally installed between the incoming power supply and the main electrical distribution board; this allows the energy savings and additional benefits to apply across the whole site. If requested or deemed more suitable the PIVO Transformer can alternatively be installed at one or more distribution boards around the site.

b. How long does the installation take?

Installation typically takes between 4-6 hours depending on the complexity of the distribution board and installation area.

c. Will I lose power during the installation?

Yes, the installation requires a shut-down of the site.  However, if no interruption to the power supply is essential then a backup generator can be provided. Also our project management team can work closely with you to arrange the shut-down during out of hours meaning no interruption to daily operation.

d. How much space does a PIVO Transformer take up?

The size of the PIVO Transformer is dependent upon its rating.  However, should specific sizes be required then the enclosure can be customised to suit your requirements.

e. Should a bypass switch be included with the PIVO Transformer?

A bypass switch is not recommended for most installations as the PIVO transformer requires no maintenance and comes with a 10 year warranty. However, should a bypass be required then we offer both Break-Before-Make and Make-Before-Break bypass options.

f. What type of protection is required for the PIVO Transformer?

Thermal magnetic protection is required for the PIVO Transformer in the form of an MCCB/ACB. If the site does not have a suitable circuit breaker then one will be supplied with the PIVO Transformer in the top of the enclosure. This ensures that installation is simpler and no additional modifications to the distribution board are required.

8. Power Intelligence Voltage Optimisation PIVO Transformer post install and savings analysis

a. Is any maintenance required after installation?

The PIVO Transformer does not require any maintenance and comes with a 10 year warranty. Whilst not essential, it is recommended that the PIVO Transformer be included in any existing thermal imaging schedules.

b. How are the energy savings measured and verified?

The energy savings are measured and verified through the use of the supply authority’s half hourly data. In addition to this the Power Intelligence team will work with you to factor in any changes in temperature (using degree days) or operation schedules that may influence energy consumption. This ensures that an accurate energy savings percentage is calculated to verify the energy savings.

c. Are the energy savings guaranteed?

The energy savings from a Power Intelligence voltage optimisation PIVO Transformer are backed up by our financial guarantee, ensuring your site is optimising power to save money.

For further details, please refer to the PIVO Guarantee page.

9. Power Intelligence voltage optimisation PIVO Transformer Support and service

All clients will be provided a 24/7 contact number for their designated service team member.  In the unlikely situation of a transformer malfunctioning, you will know exactly how to reach our service team.  For all your general enquiries, please call us on 1300 677 564.

10. Power Intelligence voltage optimisation PIVO Warranty

The Power Intelligence Voltage Optimisation PIVO transformer has no moving parts and is made available with a 10 year warranty.

For further details, please refer to the PIVO Warranty page.

In summary, the Voltage Power Optimisation PIVO transformer is ideal for optimising power to save money. If you want to reduce your carbon footprint and energy consumption, call Power Intelligence on 1300 677 564 or Contact US now!

Power Intelligence - Voltage Power Optimisation FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) and Voltage Optimisation Definition.



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