The Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has approved a scholarship for the Australian Power Quality & Reliability Centre (APQRC) to assess the impact of supply voltage magnitude on consumer appliance lifespan. The project, with a total value of $192,500 will be undertaken in collaboration with the DELWP.
The integration of distributed energy resources (DER) in Australia is increasing the range of voltage conditions that network operators need to manage. This challenge has brought aspects of voltage management, like the magnitude of the supply voltage, into focus. So, there is now interest from Australian regulators, network operators, and consumers in what will occur when voltages are raised and lowered. To address these issues, the APQRC will take an innovative approach to comprehensively investigate the impact of supply voltage magnitude on consumer appliances. This project is the first that we know of that aims to provide an assessment of supply voltage magnitude on consumer appliance lifespan in real dollar terms.
The APQRC looks forward to conducting a technical assessment of a selection of appliances, covering all major load types, including audio-visual, information technology, refrigeration, lighting, motor, PV inverter and heating and cooling loads. The project will be undertaken by a team of APQRC researchers alongside a DELWP representative.
Earlier this year DELWP consulted on Voltage Management in Distribution Networks and set out an objective that voltage management in the future electricity grid should be efficiently managed to maximise consumer benefits in a high DER future. The project's findings will ultimately inform policy and regulatory reform to achieve that objective.
APQRC expects the project outcomes will allow electricity network operators to develop evidence-based business cases for voltage management in Australia. The findings will also benefit consumers by working towards APQRC's primary focus of improving the quality and reliability of electricity supply for the benefit of all consumers.