Power quality considers the interaction between energy supplied from the grid and your site specific load. For example, industrial facilities with several motors will perform differently to small office buildings. A highly inductive load will make current (amps) lag the voltage, reducing power factor. In addition, electronic devices such as Variable Speed Drives can cause distortion which will reduce power quality. The good news is there are opportunities to optimise power quality to generate cost savings.

Power factor correction: If you’re on a kVA demand tariff then your optimal power factor needs to be closer to unity (1.0). An easy way to do this is to use capacitors in a power factor correction bank.

Voltage regulation: Standard voltage in Australia is 230V +10V, -6V. However, some states such as Western Australian and Queensland still operate at the old Australian voltage of 240V. Consequently, most equipment we buy is rated at 220 to 240V. Operating at the higher end of the range can waste energy. A voltage regulation unit can be used to actively manage voltage and generate energy savings. This is particularly useful in remote areas where brownouts are an issue. This technology can also be referred to as Active Voltage Optimisation, Voltage Power Optimisation or autotransformers. 

Find out more about these technologies and how others have leveraged them with Smart Business Hub. Your free online technology resource. 

Power Quality projects

On-site energy system saving $1M per year

Key outcomes

  • Cost saving of $1 million per annum
  • Received a $2 million Federal Government Grant
  • Project value $6.5M + $1.5M
  • Recipient of multiple awards

From feasibility to operation, ETS orchestrated the completion of one of the largest on-site energy systems of its kind at the iconic Bulla Dairy Foods Frozen Goods facility in Colac, Victoria.

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Converting heat waste into energy used for mine cooling

Key outcomes

  • Cost savings of $2.7 million per annum
  • Total project value $5.5 million
  • 18 month payback period
  • Saves 5000 tonnes of CO2 per annum

The ST Barbara mine in Leonora, Western Australia, had multiple gas generators which were producing heat waste. ETS were engaged to design and install an exhaust system which captures that waste heat and turns it into 5.6MW of additional capacity. The mine uses this additional capacity for its underground cooling system which means that traditional and much more expensive methods of expanding the cooling capacity were no longer required.

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Collins Square's Trigeneration Energy System by Optimal Group

Key Outcomes

  • 5 star NABERS efficiency rating

  • Best practice commercial green building design

  • $2 billion project, largest of its kind in Australia.

  • Use of Capstone Microturbine technology

When the Walker Corporation started planning the new Collins Square development they decided it should lead the way in best practice commercial building green design and efficiency.
The Optimal Group helped them achieve this, along with exceeding the 5 star NABERS rating. The cornerstone of this plan was a modern embedded trigeneration system where each of the 5 towers making up Collins Square could generate part of its own electrical demand using natural gas. 

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