Spring 2014 – An investigation into the impact of voltage reduction on power consumption for a range of lighting, motors and refrigeration hardware.
Scope of Project: The Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory (TDHVL) received a request from Streamline Power, for TDHVL to investigate the effect of voltage reduction on the performance of various motors and lighting.
A reduction in supply voltage applied to a 2.2 and 11 kW three phase induction motors, exhibited savings of up to 10% in power consumption. These reductions were evident when the mechanical load applied to the motors was within the range of 20% to 90% of its rated value.
Voltage reduction outside of these mechanical loading levels did not show a power consumption saving. In addition, a 37 kW three-phase induction motor was tested in the same manner and the results showed a variable reduction in power consumption with input voltage, however the effect was less.
Testing across a wide range of different domestic and commercial lighting hardware demonstrated that generally, a reduction in input voltage reduced power consumption. This relationship did not hold for the high frequency or LED lighting designs that were tested.
There were reductions in the output light power and peak wavelength with the full details provided in the final test report. One observation during testing was that the impact on the light output at lower voltages was barely noticeable to the human eye.