Whole house voltage regulation
A couple weeks ago, at an Engineering and Operations conference for the Northwest Public Power Association (NWPPA), I met the CEO of a startup company called Microplanet LTD, that is coming to market with a product that provides voltage regulation for an entire 200 amp residential service. The device is relatively inexpensive ($1,150), and maintains your voltage at 114.5 volts.
First off, I thought many audiophiles would find this to be an interesting possibility to improve the stability of their power supply, even if they already use other (probably more expensive) means of filtering/conditioning/regulating their power. Currently, there are no other commercially available products that do what theirs does.
Second, it raises an interesting question: What is the optimal regulated voltage for high-end audio equipment to provide the best performance? Is it enough to merely provide a stable voltage, or are the circuits typically optimized for a specific voltage, such as 120V? I use a PS Audio P300 to power my CD player, and Pre-amp, and varying the voltage from 115V to 120V to these low powered devices doesn't seem to affect performance (although I haven't really played with it extensively). However, I would be interested to know about the effect on an amplifier circuit of varying input voltages.
If you're half as nerdy as I am (admit it, most of you are), check out www.microplantltd.com , not only for more info on the voltage regulator, but some good basic info on electricity fundamentals and electric distribution practices. (BTW, I have no business affiliation with Microplanet, but I will probably buy one of their devices for my house!)