powerPerfector FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about powerPerfector

We expect to see the greatest savings on sites with large lighting and office equipment loads, including motors, refrigeration and air conditioning. Longer operating hours (high ‘load factor’) will maximise the savings made.

We would expect sites with conventional equipment to see energy savings of between 5-10%. Please see our case study section for more information.

Are there any funding routes available for a powerPerfector installation?

Yes, have a look at our funding assistance page.

Full details can be found there.

What savings would I expect to see following a powerPerfector Installation?

The energy use of most types of lighting will be reduced by supplying it at the correct voltage, including incandescent lighting and fluorescent systems with a reactive ballast.

For lighting systems with an electronic ballast there is less direct effect on energy use, but these systems are responsible for generating higher levels of harmonic distortion than a reactive ballast. As the powerPerfector helps to filter harmonic distortion, the efficiency of a site with electronic fluorescent lighting can be improved.

Similarly, there is a substantial opportunity to make savings where motor equipment is “direct online” and running at part load. However, when a variable speed drive is in use, the motor’s power supply is managed by the drive, so there is a reduced direct effect from the powerPerfector. Savings are made by filtering the harmful harmonic content these drives sometimes generate.

A full load assessment will be undertaken by a powerPerfector engineer prior to installation, to appraise the likely savings, based on the specific mixture of electrical loads at your site

Why don’t I just tap down my transformers?

The savings achieved from a transformer tap will be a fraction of those achieved through a powerPerfector. In addition, there will be no benefit to power quality or any protection of your electrical infrastructure.

The savings and benefits of a powerPerfector installation will quickly outweigh a transformer tap.

How do you log the site voltage as part of your appraisal?

Single phase voltage logging is carried out which allows us to record voltage at many points including a point distant from the electrical incomer, providing us with an essential measure of the volt drop across the site.

In our experience, this method captures the worst case voltage, allowing us to set the powerPerfector unit appropriately. The phase balancing is checked later as part of the site survey process, so if a severe imbalance is detected the site can be re-logged to capture other phases.

Three phase logging can be used to support this process, for example on sites with a high proportion of three phase equipment. Please contact a member of the sales team for details and costs.

How does powerPerfector differ from power factor correction?

Power Factor Correction (PFC) is a method of improving the Power Factor by adding capacitive components to an incoming power supply. Having good power factor is important for the efficient operation of electrical equipment, and to prevent penalty charges being imposed by your electricity supplier. Installing a powerPerfector will result in energy savings of between 5-10% and the power quality improvements that are documented elsewhere.

powerPerfector does not contain any capacitive components, but by reducing the running currents to equipment the reactive impedance of that equipment is also reduced, lowering levels of reactive power on the site overall and lifting the power factor by between 3-10%.

What are the differences between powerPerfector and autotransformers?

The two devices have fundamental differences. A ‘variac’ autotransformer is a mechanical device designed to control voltage by adjusting the tap setting of a transformer coil in response to changes in incoming voltage. Heating due to inefficiencies, and abrasion of moving parts means that these devices need regular maintenance and have short lifetimes.

A powerPerfector meanwhile, has no moving parts or electronic controllers, giving it a maintenance-free lifespan of 50+ years. Its functions (optimisation of voltage, transient protection, harmonic suppression and phase balancing) occur through the interaction of magnetic fields in its unique winding configuration. Further, advanced manufacturing techniques allow it to operate with a peak efficiency of 99.94%. This again sets it apart from an autotransformer, where efficiency may change substantially according to the load passing through the device.

The powerPerfector is designed to be an energy-saving device, optimised to address the problems of over-voltage and the electrical conditions of today’s grid. Autotransformers were developed for different applications and have been adapted to allow their suppliers to capitalise on the growing market for energy saving equipment. Only the powerPerfector has been designed from scratch to sit at the source of your building’s power supply without introducing a risk of overheating or failure.

What is the lead time for units?

As each unit is hand built to match your individual site requirements it will take around 4-6 weeks to build and deliver the unit.

powerPerfector Plus units may take slightly longer from the point of order, however please contact us for more details as lead times can be reduced for multiple unit orders.

What is the guarantee offered on the units?

The unit itself has a warranty of 15 years.

The expected lifetime is 50 years.

Which items of infrastructure need checking either before or after installation?

Here at powerPerfector we recognise that every single shutdown should be managed and controlled to ensure the best possible results when re-energising at an optimised voltage. As such, we have a set of standard project controls that are tailored to meet the needs of our clients, their stakeholders and the building infrastructure.

There is also an equipment checklist that should be checked prior to and after installation. Talk to one of our sales team to understand more about the process.

Is powerPerfector compatible with Photo Voltaic (PV)?

There is no conflict between having a powerPerfector and photovoltaics installed, and in fact, the powerPerfector will be beneficial to buildings with PV systems. It may be that the settings on your PV will need to be adjusted to maximise the site’s efficiency and allow the maximum benefit to be derived from the powerPerfector – for example preventing the PV from feeding in power at too high a voltage.

This is something we will identify during the site survey and advise on prior to installation.

What happens if we move premises or extend our site?

You can take the powerPerfector with you in most cases and we will help you to achieve this. Initially the size of the powerPerfector unit we install at your site depends on your highest maximum demand (in kVA) over the past 12 months. We would normally select a unit rated around 20% higher than your maximum demand.

If you are planning to expand and anticipate that your electrical demand will increase we will allow more headroom by installing a larger unit.

What will happen to the old motors on site that are rated 415V?

For sites with a large proportion of heavy motor loads our engineers will analyse the loads on site to determine the likely cost and carbon savings achievable from powerPerfector.

The nameplate rating of motors is part of this assessment, but in general their loading point is a much more important consideration than the nameplate voltage – lightly loaded motors can be made to run more efficiently by bringing the voltage to a more appropriate level for their loading point.

Is a by-pass required when installing a powerPerfector unit?

A by-pass is not typically required however there are a small number of reasons why a by-pass may be specified into the installation in order to quickly take the powerPerfector out of operation:

  • You wish to prove the savings attributable to the powerPerfector by switching it in and out of circuit and observing the effect on energy consumption.
  • You perceive the powerPerfector unit as a potential failure point therefore by-pass is favourable to provide capacity at short notice.
    • Historic performance is the best indicator of risk. We have supplied and installed over 5,500 units in the UK and tens of thousands worldwide over the last 20+ years. There has never been a single unit failure.
    • The powerPerfector is connected in series and has no moving parts. The powerPerfector Plus is also wired in series except for a control module based on solid state thyristor technology that controls voltage output, which is connected in parallel. This unit also contains no moving parts, and in the unlikely event of a failure in the electronics, the supply to the building will be maintained but without the voltage control on the existing supply. As a result, our clients can be absolutely confident in the reliability of the powerPerfector as a permanent part of the electrical infrastructure.

It is important to consider that specifying a by-pass does not mean that a standard voltage optimisation unit can be removed from circuit seamlessly. For a fixed ratio unit the power needs to be isolated before the by-pass can be engaged, meaning that there is a short power outage associated with using the by-pass.

We have CHP at site – where does the powerPerfector need to be installed?

In principle the powerPerfector unit can be installed either upstream or downstream of the point at which CHP feeds the site’s distribution system. As part of the site survey, our engineers will determine the best configuration for your site. The unit will also be sized accordingly to the CHP maximum size.