In recent years, the requirement for strong power grids has led to increased research & development for product innovation that improves the safety of digital substations. This has led to players in the market focusing on technologically-advanced protection relays to be used across applications on power grids. For instance, Siemens AG, a major player in the protection relay market, has developed several protection relays in the Spirotec range, which can also be used for high- and medium-voltage networks.
The increased demand for electricity, globally, and the growing need for transmission lines, have led to governments looking to establish newer and more efficient power grids to keep up with the pace of development. With smart power grids gradually gaining traction, the use of protection relays, a crucial application of power grid infrastructure, is also likely to sire. According to this report by Transparency Market Research on the protection relay market, this transition towards modern power grids is expected to offer opportunities for protection relays for the operational efficiency and reliability of grids.
The global protection relay market witnessed sales of ~11 Mn units in 2018, a figure that is projected to rise over the forecast period ending in 2027, and hit the 23 Mn units mark.
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Contactors More Popular than Protection Relays for High Voltage Applications
The use of protection relays is prevalent across applications and verticals, due to their versatility and efficiency. And while they are primarily used for small- and medium-voltage applications, off grid solar applications and power transmissions, and current high-voltage applications, they remain less preferred. Contactors, which are essentially electromagnetic switches, are increasingly being adopted in high voltage applications due to their high performance and reliability factors.
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However, with technological advances influencing research & development in the protection relay market, the high voltage segment, which lagged behind low and medium voltage applications, is set to grow at a rapid rate of 9.5% over the forecast period. The increasing deployment of high-voltage applications is expected to boost the growth of the protection relay market.
Asia Pacific – A Lucrative Regional Market
The global protection relay market is likely to grow at a steady pace over the forecast period, due to their increased adoption in transformer and line protection applications. The market in Asia Pacific held the highest share of over one-third of the market by way of revenue in 2018, and this is likely to hold, as APAC remains the fastest-growing regional market in the global protection relay landscape. This can be attributed to the growing population and subsequent increase in investments for the expansion and modernization of power grids, which is propelling the growth of the market. The developed markets of North America and Europe are also expected to hold significant shares during the same period, due to the establishment of smart power grids and increased penetration in these markets.
The global protection relay landscape can be considered as being fairly consolidated, with leading players such as ABB, Eaton, General Electric, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, and others holding over half of the global share. In order to strengthen their global presence, they are increasingly focusing on research & development into newer products and widening their product range. For instance, in April 2019, Basler Electric, a significant player in the protection relay market, introduced the BE1-11d DC power protection system for DC power applications up to 1,500 Vdc. Key players are also looking at strategic acquisitions to expand their product portfolios. For example, in January 2018, Littelfuse Inc., a major player in the global protection relay market, acquired IXYS Corporation, to widen its consumer base.
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