Energy Conservation Through Conservation Voltage Regulation

Conservation Voltage Regulation (CVR) is an energy conservation technique that regulates the incoming voltage to buildings.

To compensation for line loss along the power grid, buildings at the beginning of the grid receive voltage at higher levels than others. This leads to energy waste, higher energy bills and unnecessary carbon dioxide emissions. Over $1 billion is wasted per year by commercial buildings due to forced grid consumption.

Line Loss in the Power Grid

How Conservation Voltage Regulatioin Works

There is an optimal minimum voltage level below the primary level (600V CA, 480V US, 400V EU) where lights, motors, etc, will operate comfortably with no effect on their practical performance. At 5% below the primary voltage (570V CA, 456V US, 380V EU) these loads are still within manufacturer’s specifications but will work with less waste heat, longer life, a lower carbon foot print and less energy.

CVR regulates buildings’ incoming voltages to optimal levels through a transformer and a tap changer.

Legend Power’s transformer and tap changer is called the Electronic Harmonizer-Automatic Voltage Regulator. It is an on-load automatic electronic tap changer with a high efficiency autotransformer that regulates voltage to the optimal level.

The Harmonizer component adjusts the incoming voltage to the optimum operating level for each facility as determined by an extensive pre-installation assessment. Currently, the Harmonizer can optimize the incoming voltage by 0% (bypass), 2%, 4% or 6%, creating a significant reduction in energy consumption and peak demand. Power grids will fluctuate on a regular basis so flexibility in the rate of voltage reduction is critical to maximizing conservation and eliminating risk.

The Automatic Voltage Regulator (AVR) continually monitors a facility’s incoming voltage level and automatically selects the correct tap setting on the autotransformer to ensure power is always entering the facility at an optimal level. If grid voltage levels drop below the minimum optimal, the system is immediately bypassed ensuring that the energy flow to your building is never negatively affected.

The Electrical Harmonizer-AVR maximizes voltage optimization, improves power quality and operates at an efficiency of greater than 99.5%.

Benefits of Conservation Voltage Regulation

The Electronic Harmonizer reduces energy consumption by 6-10% by:

  • Reducing energy consumption: kWh
  • Reducing real power: kW
  • Reducing reactive power: kVar

In addition to reducing energy consumption, CVR technology increases the life expectancy of equipment. All electrical equipment is designed to operate at +/- 5% of their rated valued. Voltage optimization ensures that equipment is operating at the lower limit, which increases the life expectancy of equipment. For example, after Science World installed the Harmonizer-AVR, they doubled the life of their exterior light bulbs on their geodesic dome, and went from having to change the bulbs once a year to once every two years.

Overall, Conservation Voltage Regulation benefits both the end user – through power savings and improved equipment efficiency – and utilities – through reduced power losses. CVR benefits both groups by reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

For more information about Legend Power’s Conservation Voltage Regulation technology, download our technical brochure (PDF) or watch our corporate video: