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Voltage Optimisation vs Step Down Transformers

Voltage Optimisation vs Step Down Transformers

Voltage optimisation and step-down transformers are often mistaken for the same technology, yet they serve distinct purposes. In essence, while a step-down transformer merely converts voltage from high to low or vice versa, a voltage optimisation unit goes beyond actively refining the power supply.

Below, we discuss the two technologies in more detail and summarise the best solution.

Step Down Transformers

A step-down transformer primarily alters voltage output from one level to another; for instance, equipment coming from the US requires a lower voltage to work within the UK voltage conditions ( i.e. 230V to 120V).

For switchgear systems in the UK, step-down transformers facilitate voltage transformation from 11,000V to 400V for HV distribution transformers. However, it’s crucial to note that using a step-down transformer in this context escalates the current of the LV transformer, thus amplifying magnetisation.

Step-down transformers deliver energy using a secondary winding with fewer turns than the primary winding. Nevertheless, the outcome doesn’t necessarily translate to energy conservation due to the heightened current during voltage conversion, leading to additional energy wastage.


Voltage Optimisation Unit

Unlike step-down transformers, voltage optimisation units are more intricate, offering many advantages such as enhanced power quality, improved power factor, and mitigated harmonics and transients.

These units harness voltage from the grid, extracting any surplus and redirecting it to the supply. Consequently, only the necessary voltage is reduced from the input, thereby transforming only a fraction of the total power. This results in substantial energy savings as it diminishes both voltage and current. Termed as “negative voltage feedback,” this process can yield significant cost reductions for businesses compared to step-down transformers.

At Johnson & Phillips, we specialize in crafting bespoke voltage optimisation units tailored to your specific voltage requisites, boasting a satisfied clientele nationwide.


While various methods exist to regulate site voltage, the voltage optimisation unit is the best technology for maximising energy savings. Voltage regulators and fixed-ratio voltage-reduction transformers represent alternative approaches to voltage management.

For any voltage-related inquiries or emergencies, Johnson & Philips stands ready 24/7 with a dedicated team to assist. If you have any queries regarding voltage management, feel free to contact us, and we will try to provide assistance where possible.