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Reducing energy consumption through voltage optimisation: Conservation voltage reduction in household appliances

Hazelden, Glenn (2015) Reducing energy consumption through voltage optimisation: Conservation voltage reduction in household appliances. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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Abstract

With growth in demand for electricity within Australian homes since 1980, the necessity to conserve and reduce overall energy consumption has become evident. Conservation Voltage Reduction is a heavily researched and tested technique, implemented to reduce peak demand and energy consumption in order to counter the growing costs to the consumer and minimize the pollution produced from generating the electricity itself.

By reducing the supply voltage within the lower region of regulatory limits, some common household appliances are able to continue operating as the manufacturer designed, whilst consuming less energy. Through physical testing, utilizing a power meter and variable transformer, it was discovered that constant resistive devices, such as the kettle, provided the greatest reduction in energy consumption, followed by constant current devices such as Microwaves and LED lights. Constant power and energy devices did not provide any increase in efficiency or reduction in energy consumption, due to the nature of the device and feedback control mechanisms.

By implementing Conservation Voltage Reduction, constant resistance and current devices are able to consume less energy, and when adopted on a large scale by thousands of homes, a quantifiable reduction in energy; hence a reduced consumption of fossil fuels can be obtained.

Publication Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor: Hettiwatte, Sujeewa
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/29862
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