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Energy savings high on the agenda with iVolt

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With rising electricity prices, increasing demand and growing pressure to cut carbon emissions, saving energy is high on everyone’s agenda.

A solution that is gaining increasing interest and recognition is voltage optimisation, but for all its benefits – and there are undoubtedly lots – the potential savings it can bring can only be based on guesswork. iVolt® is the exception.

Based near Heathrow, iVolt is part of the global Sollatek group and has taken the industry by storm with its innovative variable voltage reduction solution, which automatically adjusts the incoming voltage to ensure that the output voltage is always fixed on 220V (+/- 1.5%).

Delivering reductions in energy consumption of 12%-20%, the iVolt can save 30% more than fixed voltage reduction products offered by some of its competitors.

More importantly, the iVolt is the only product on the market to offer an intelligent real time (IRT) energy monitor. This sophisticated system is integrated into every unit and enables accurate tracking of savings as soon as the unit is switched on.

The product was invented by iVolt founder Manhal Allos ( pictured above) in 2010 and has been patent pending since February 2011 with an expected publication date of June 2012. The data it provides is a key tool for facility and building managers wishing to monitor their electricity use and is the only accurate way to report savings in an instant that are directly attributable to VO.

“Voltage optimisation is an energy saving solution that works; it saves money, protects equipment and it reduces your carbon output. However, in this economic climate no one wants to invest in a technology based on the theoretical savings it might bring – they need to be able to see what they are actually saving to justify the initial cap-ex, and that is where the iVolt comes in,” explains Manhal, iVolt’s managing director but always the electrical engineer he trained as 30 years ago.

“A lot of companies offering VO equipment require several months to demonstrate savings and even then these amounts are calculated through assumptions of usage, footfall, weather and other regression modelling methods. The problem with this is there are too many variables; it is technically impossible to prove that voltage optimisation has saved X% when energy consumption can be affected by so many factors.

“ The IRT system is a dependable method of calculating savings though. It works by adjusting the voltage output to compare energy consumption with and without optimisation, over a defined period. It then compares the consumption levels and can identify the energy savings being delivered.”

It is widely acknowledged some 400,000 UK sites would benefit from VO – and that 90% of those would save more energy with the iVolt system than with any of the leading fixed reduction systems on the market. This is because it uses the latest in thyristor switching technology and a programmable micro-controller system to ensure stability and reliability – reducing the risk of under-voltage and brown outs and compensating for fluctuations while being entirely flexible to reflect the changing site conditions.

Already the iVolt’s added benefits have won the company substantial contracts with supermarket and restaurant chains, railways, hotels, schools and factories.

The company, which showcased its acclaimed equipment at this year’s Nemex, is a wholly-owned division of the Sollatek Group, one of the world’s foremost designers and manufacturers of voltage regulation and control systems.

Founded in the UK in 1983, Sollatek has grown rapidly, with offices in 14 countries and an active distribution network in 24 more. Its products are sold in more than 70 countries and it has manufactured and installed some 440,000 voltage stabilisers/regulators in major infrastructure projects. The group’s impressive list of blue chip clients includes Siemens, Phillips Medical , Vodafone, National Grid, Airtel and Balfour Beatty.

Built to ISO9001 standards, production of the iVolt® takes place at the company’s facility near Heathrow Airport.

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