Optimising voltage levels to a controlled stable level at a facility can not only reduce the cost of energy but also enhance equipment performance, prolong equipment life, reduce maintenance costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Voltage optimisation (VO) technology has been widely used in a number of different industries locally and internationally, but not to a large extent within the red meat processing sector in Australia. To determine whether VO technology can be implemented, and whether it is technically and economically viable for red meat processing sites, this study investigated, through case study analyses, the potential effectiveness of VO technology in Australian abattoirs. Through an extensive literature survey, the study initially explored the need and considerations of deploying VO technologies at a typical red meat processing plant. To determine the advantages of using VO technology the study then performed site analyses to investigate power quality (PQ) issues, such as voltage regulation, harmonics and power factor, at two typical medium-sized abattoirs, one in Western Australia and another in Queensland. Finally, an economic assessment of the use of VO in the red meat processing industry was undertaken to identify the potential electricity savings and payback periods. From the case study analyses, it is evident that power quality issues, such as under voltage, overvoltage, and harmonic distortion, can be reduced and significant energy savings can be achieved with the optimum selection of VO technology and voltage level. The outcomes of this study will enable engineering and operations staff to be better informed about the economic and technical benefits of (and possible issues with) using VO technologies in an abattoir.
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