Comtest Laboratories is a NATA-accredited lighting laboratory that performs testing for voltage reduction units (VRUs) to the requirements of the Victorian VEET and NSW ESS (IPART) Emerging Lighting Technology Schemes.
Voltage reduction units reduce the amount of electrical energy delivered to a lamp once the lighting is turned on. Some VRUs reduce the voltage after allowing the lamps to be activated at the nominal voltage.
VRUs are available in two types: Units that provide a fixed voltage reduction similar to tapping down on a transformer, and units that track or automatically reduce the voltage to maintain it at a pre-programmed level.
The approval process for VRUs for Government Energy Efficiency and Emerging Lighting Technology Schemes requires details of the technical and operational characteristics of the VRUs and lighting equipment to be provided.
To calculate the benefit, the output voltage and other electrical characteristics of each VRU must be specified and appropriate evidence such as independent testing performed by a NATA lighting laboratory must be provided. Comtest is NATA accredited for these measurements.
The NSW ESS advises that energy savings can be significantly impacted by the operational characteristics of VRUs. In order to better understand the proposed VRU use, the following should be provided/ noted:
- Maximum load applicable
- Types of lamps and control gear in the VRU lighting circuit
- The processes in place to ensure that the VRU output voltage setting is not altered if the unit is adjustable
- The bypass switch, if fitted, is kept open after installation and returned to the open position when closed for lamp replacement
- VRUs connected to lights with electronic ballasts are not eligible because they do not result in energy savings