Monday, 18 March 2013

Voltage optimisers enable 10-15% energy savings for commercial buildings

Voltage optimiser
Voltage optimiser
~ Innovative technology is ideal for use in swimming pools, spas and other leisure facilities ~

Energy saving technology expert Powermaster has released a range of PowaSava voltage optimisers that reduce electricity consumption and the associated costs by up to 10-15%. The technology also protects a commercial buildings’ electrical energy infrastructure and can reduce carbon emissions across the building by 10-15%.

By controlling the voltage from the main supply, the PowaSava voltage optimiser ensures that the application uses only the required amount of electricity, minimising bills. The device reduces energy bills, without any noticeable difference to electrical functions, by balancing three phase supply and optimising the mains voltage. Depending on incoming voltage it can reduce costs by optimising and improving the source, which can be reduced incrementally by ±15V on the set point.

In Northern Ireland and Scotland, Powermaster’s IWEMS® range is listed in the Carbon Trust Loan Scheme. As a result, when taking part in the scheme, organisations can benefit from 0% business loans of £3,000 - £100,000 to cover the purchase cost. It’s quite common for the energy savings alone to cover the capital cost of the equipment during the course of the loan. From April 11, 2011 the equivalent scheme in the United Kingdom will be managed by the Carbon Trust and Siemens Financial Services.

“UK Plc has been trying to improve its electrical energy infrastructure to save money and preserve the environment for some time,” explained Geoff Ranshaw, a director of Powermaster. “Our voltage optimisers are proven to increase the lifecycle of electrical equipment and reduce maintenance costs. They also help protect electrical equipment from transients, such as surges and spikes. In addition, they are suitable for operating in severe temperatures, humidity, vibration and dirty environments and can respond immediately to input and output change.”

Moreover, the system also helps lower maintenance costs on motors, lighting equipment and other electrical devices by suppressing potentially damaging harmonics. It also reduces the operating temperature on electrical equipment, further extending its lifespan and reducing the need for maintenance.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Powermaster saved 14 seconds of all global carbon emissions in 2012 alone

In 2012 alone Stafford based energy-for-pool specialists Powermaster was responsible for reducing overall UK carbon emissions by 15,136 tons. This is the result of an electricity consumption reduction of 8,115,000 kWh units, which is the equivalent of £2,389,775 based on an average cost of 8.5 pence per kWh unit – representing 14 seconds worth of all global carbon emissions.

14 seconds to save the world
Powermaster has only worked on 600 of the 5000 pools across the UK. If the carbon savings they have already made were extrapolated across the nation, it would be the equivalent of 126,133 tons per year. That translates to offsetting the carbon emissions of approximately 140,000 people.

One of the company’s key energy saving tactics is fitting variable speed drives, also known as VSDs or inverters, on pump and fan electric motor applications in private and public swimming pools. VSDs regulate the speed and rotational force (or torque) of an electric motor and reduce the energy used in-line with what the motor requires to work efficiently. Because motors used in swimming pools have a varying output requirement, installing a VSD reduces the amount of electricity used and thus the amount of carbon emitted into the atmosphere.

“These figures just show how effective what we do is,” said explained Geoff Renshaw, a director of Powermaster. “We typically offer energy savings of between 30-70% per annum, per facility.  This scale of energy saving confirms that we can both save you money and drastically reduce your carbon footprint.”

The Powermaster team has also developed and patented a unique Integrated Water and Energy Management System (IWEMS), which reduces electricity consumption and chemical costs in a swimming pool or spa by up to 70%. There is also a web-based remote system for monitoring usage and reliability. IWEMS maintains water quality by carefully dosing the right amount of chemicals, in response to the load, which can help to reduce water usage.

The ultimate environmental benefit provided by Powermaster’s range is the reduction of carbon emissions which contributes to a slower rate of global warming, as well as alleviating the risk of health problems.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Remote monitoring system saves pools and spas thousands

Energy-for-pool specialist Powermaster has expanded its product offering to include a remote device monitoring system for leisure centres, pools and spas. The device was developed to help facilities managers save thousands of pounds on their energy bills every month by monitoring electricity usage on pool pumps and maintaining water quality at the highest standard. 

Powermaster's RDM could save thousands in electricity bills 
 The remote device monitoring equipment employs a web-enabling system which allows data collected from industrial equipment to be published on the Internet. This data is logged in an online database containing historical information which users can access using the web browser on any PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone.

Another benefit is that the system can be configured to generate alarms, e-mail and text message alerts. As a result, in the case of an emergency such as a pump failure for example, staff can react rapidly and take steps to remediate the situation.

Remote device monitoring not only provides efficient energy monitoring of the Variable Speed Drives (VSDs) used in pools, but also enables control functionality on these energy saving devices.

The remote monitoring device in situ
The software displays the data in an intelligible format for the user, which allows them to react in a timely manner to changes such as increased load of bathers in the pool, variation in temperature and chemicals levels. When such modifications occur, the device monitor alters the speed of VSDs accordingly.

“The remote device monitoring is a unique tool that can help save thousands of pounds in electricity bills,” enthused Geoff Renshaw, director at Powermaster. “When everyone in UK business is thinking about cutting expenses, the easiest way is to send savings to the bottom line is by effectively managing your energy consumption,” Renshaw concluded.

The remote device monitoring system has been deployed in a variety of applications in addition to pools and spas – from monitoring the status of fire alarms and water treatment equipment to temperature and tank level monitoring.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Energy for pools specialist launches 24-hour helpline

Free help with Variable Speed Drives in pools, spas, and leisure centres
Powermaster call centre
Energy saving specialist Powermaster has launched a 24/7 helpline to make life easier for leisure centre managers, pool managers and public sector organisations who are experiencing technical problems in their facilities.

Those calling the 24/7 helpline can benefit from independent advice on how to reach their environmental targets by cutting emissions in pool and spa applications. Powermaster is also offering a free of charge, no-obligation survey which will reveal areas of the facility in which energy can be saved.

There are a number of technologies Powermaster can employ to help save money on overall maintenance and pool energy bills. One of the most popular methods that has been tried and tested in a variety of pools is fitting a Variable Speed Drive (VSD) to the motor that powers the pool pump. VSDs regulate energy use in accordance with what the pool needs to function at any one time or by using a pre-set plan, which might, for instance, turn the motor down at night-time.

As most swimming pool motors are over-specified, they use far more energy than needed. VSDs do not reduce the efficiency of the motor; instead they help it respond to the actual need to move water around the pool.  

Furthermore, the company’s technicians can advise callers on safe and efficient chemicals management. For instance Powermaster’s Integrated Water and Energy Management System (IWEMS) has been proven to save up to 70% of electrical energy. The system also reduces the chemical costs by 30%. A typical application will see 50% savings in power alone on the overall facility, in addition to the resultant carbon emission reductions.

“The 24 hour helpline is a huge step forward for Powermaster and the industry as a whole”, explains Geoff Renshaw, Powermaster director. “It allows us to respond quicker and more effectively to queries from existing and potential customers. Think of it as an emergency service for pools, that aims to help facilities managers and leisure centre staff with their energy saving efforts, as well as with any unexpected problems,” concluded Renshaw.  

Powermaster was responsible for reducing overall UK carbon emissions by 15,136 tons in 2011. This is the result of an electricity consumption reduction of 8,115,000 kWh units, which is the equivalent of £2,389,775 based on an average cost of 8.5 pence per kWh unit.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Lose the greenwash when the tank is in the red

Variable Speed Drives for pools, spas and leisure centres
Our Variable Speed Drives installed
With the serious threat of energy rationing on the ten year horizon, using less energy is a smart move from both a cost and business continuity perspective. Against this background, the new Cibse President David Fisk called for real performance and less greenwash in building services systems (Incoming Cibse President Calls for Benchmarking, June 2012). He’s right; the UK needs more than greenwash to manage our energy crisis. And make no mistake; the global fuel tank is in the red.

We need to implement tried and tested energy saving technologies such as variable speed drives (VSDs), rather than make spurious claims about the efficacy of unproven technologies. VSDs are proven; 90% of the lifetime cost of an electric motor comes from its energy consumption. This can be demonstrated by installing a VSD on a pool motor application; a speed decrease of 10% has been shown to produce an average energy saving of 27.1%. A relatively small speed change controlled by a VSD produces a large fall in energy consumption.

So instead of waiting for a panacea energy saving contraption to be invented, businesses should ditch the greenwash and get to the core of the problem. VSDs may be simple devices that we’ve had for many years, but the fact of the matter is they are fit for purpose.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Ackworth School slashes energy bills with Powermaster

Ackworth School
Ackworth School has significantly reduced its energy bills using Variable Speed Drives (VSDs), remote device monitoring equipment and voltage optimisation/stabilisation from energy savings technologies specialist, Powermaster. Here, Geoff Renshaw, director of Powermaster, discusses these savings in detail with Peter Cheseldine, clerk of works at Ackworth School.

Ackworth School in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, was founded as a boarding school for Quaker boys and girls in 1779. Today it has 550 pupils of many different faiths aged 2-18. Ackworth School has excellent facilities including several sports pitches, a swimming pool, a sports hall, a fitness room, a gymnasium, tennis and netball courts, squash courts and use of a nearby all weather pitch and golf course.

Peter Cheseldine has been clerk of works at Ackworth School for ten years, and his experience also includes a spell as chief engineer at the landmark Savoy Hotel in London. “The Savoy had its own standby generation plant, boilers and UPS. It was like an autonomous city in its own right,” he recalls.

Shortly after joining Ackworth School, Peter recommended to the governors that it installed Variable Speed Drives (VSD’s) for the swimming pool pump motors in order to reduce energy costs, which were rising rapidly. In this respect, Peter was one of the early adopters of VSD’s in the UK, reinforced by the efforts of the Energy Services and Technology Association (ESTA) who were helping get the message across to UK industry.

“I have been going to ESTA events for eight years now and I had ideas on how to save energy here at Ackworth School,” continued Peter. “But getting the financing for Variable Speed Drives approved by my superiors was an uphill struggle initially. However, as energy prices went up and up, they realised that they should be doing something to save energy.

“I was very much driven by energy savings and installing the equipment provided by Powermaster has saved the school considerable amounts of money on energy costs, particularly related to the swimming pool.

“Now we are gradually getting everything else in the school upgraded to a very advanced standard of energy saving. This is not easy because Ackworth School is a Grade 1 listed building and we are very restricted in certain areas as to what we can do. The only three-phase motors the school has are in the swimming pool, but last year, we also went on to install Powermaster’s Integrated Water & Energy Management System (IWEMS).

“IWEMS automatically tests swimming pool water quality and dosing. This also affects the speed of the pumps, so when we adopted it we saved yet more money.”

IWEMS constantly monitors the chemical demands of each individual pool, and recognises when bathing loads have changed. The system will signal the VSD’s to reduce motor speed when bathing loads are low (i.e., when chemical demands have fallen) and, conversely, to increase motor speed when bathing loads increase and when chemical demands rise.

Quite simply this means that the IWEMS system ensures that the pump motor speeds are at their lowest at ALL times, thereby maximising energy savings, whilst at the same time ensuring that chemical mixing characteristics are spot on.

Powermaster’s Remote Device Monitoring system (RDM) allows a client to access details of the performance of the installation at all times, and will show exactly what energy is being used in real time, and what has been used over a given period. All data is fed to a web-based application, which enables expert monitoring and accurate reporting.

Complementing IWEMS is the Powermaster VRS Voltage Optimiser/Stabiliser, which reduces electricity consumption and costs. The VRS automatically reduces a site voltage to a constant, stable output voltage of 380V.

Because the VRS reacts to both over-voltage and under-voltage, it guarantees a stable site voltage of 380V at all times. This is ideal for all equipment such as lighting, computers and motors, for example, all of which are designed to run more efficiently at this level. By supplying a reduced output voltage of 380V not only will this result in a significant reduction in electricity consumption, but it will also reduce wear and tear on all such equipment.

“This year, we also installed Powermaster’s VRS Voltage Optimiser/Stabiliser, which controls the voltage on site to stable levels and gets rid of harmonics, and we are looking to further reduced energy costs in the region of 7-10%,” adds Peter.

“Return on investment has been quick on this equipment, especially with speed control on the swimming pool pumps, where we are saving anything up to 30% now. Total payback was only about three years, so we have had five years of pure saving.”

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

70% pool and spa energy savings make an impact on global carbon emissions

Against the clock
Thirty seven seconds isn’t long is it? You can’t achieve much in that time; in fact a freediver can hold their breath for ten times as long. But 35 seconds is a long time for pool and spa energy efficiency specialist Powermaster. In 2011 alone the company has saved enough energy in the pool and spa sector to compensate for 35 seconds worth of global carbon emissions. When you think of all the factories belching out smoke and all the power plants burning coal to fire their turbines, 35 seconds suddenly seems like a long time.

Powermaster was responsible for reducing overall UK carbon emissions by 15,136 tons in 2011. This is the result of an electricity consumption reduction of 8,115,000 kWh units, which is the equivalent of £2,389,775 based on an average cost of 8.5 pence per kWh unit.

The savings are achieved by reducing electricity consumption at each site on which Powermaster works by up to 70%. This is done using a combination of variable speed drive control on pool pumps, heat transfer to maximise the heating efficiency of the building and the pool, voltage optimisation and a trademarked remote monitoring and energy efficiency product called IWEMs (Integrated Water and Energy Management).

The remote monitoring and reporting functions of this kind of technology are proving to be one of the biggest reasons that Powermaster’s customers invest. There is increasing pressure on pool and spa owners, particularly large chains, to prove how much they are reducing their electricity bills by and, as a result, how much carbon they are saving.

In fact, the UK Government’s Climate Change Levy is a charge on energy usage for business and the public sector introduced to encourage energy efficiency. Effectively, large businesses are taxed on their energy usage, so it makes sense to both reduce it and prove what you use.

Managing water quality and chemical usage is an additional benefit of the remote monitoring and reporting functions of IWEMs. For instance, because the system operates in real time it can alert you by SMS or e-mail that your free chlorine level has dropped with ten seconds of the event.

“Reducing energy usage both improves a company’s economic sustainability and allows it to contribute to the UK’s overall environmental sustainability,” explained Geoff Renshaw, a director of Powermaster. “Technology like variable speed drives and our IWEMs system is simple to implement, easy to prove and very popular. A 70% electricity bill reduction can make the difference between a profitable pool and a loss making one.”

It probably took you about 35 seconds to read the last three paragraphs of this article. In that time global carbon emissions were equivalent to those of a small UK town or city for the entire year. So 35 seconds is a long time and you can do something useful in half a minute. You can make the decision to make your pool more energy efficient, profitable and environmentally sustainable.