Latest trends in switchgear technology and maintenance, An innovative step forward in Arc Flash protection!

Latest trends in switchgear technology and maintenance, An innovative step forward in Arc Flash protection!

“Electrical switchgear rated upto 1 KV is termed as low voltage switchgear. The term LV Switchgear includes low voltage circuit breakers, switches, of...

“Electrical switchgear rated upto 1 KV is termed as low voltage switchgear. The term LV Switchgear includes low voltage circuit breakers, switches, off load electrical isolators, HRC fuses, earth leakage circuit breaker, miniature circuit breakers (MCB) and molded case circuit breakers (MCCB) etc i.e. all the accessories required to protect the LV system.”

The GE Arc Vault Protection System reduces building construction costs because it does not require exhaust chimneys or plenums to direct the arc flash energy outside of the building, when compared to traditional arc resistant switchgear.

If an arc flash incident occurs during normal operation and maintenance, the GE Arc Vault Protection System can be operational again within a working day, assuming appropriate replacement parts are available, which improves your overall system uptime when compared to traditional arc resistant switchgear.

 Switchgears are the switching devices designed to protect meter and control power generation, transmission and distribution equipment and an electric motor control systems. Switchgears are located on both the low-voltage and high-voltage sides of large power transformers in substations. Switchgear includes circuit breakers, fuses, and isolators etc.

The switchgear market outlook:

Switchgears market is expected to grow from an estimated USD 89.40 Billion in 2016 to USD 144.41 Billion by 2021, at a CAGR of 10.07% from 2016 to 2021. Increasing investments in transmission & distribution network development and growing needs for efficient & reliable power are driving the global switchgear market.

The overall market for the switchgear is segmented  based on the current rating, voltage, insulating mediums, construction types, interrupting devices, type of currents, application and purpose as well as on the basis of the geography to provide overall picture of switchgear market. The global demand driven by the substantial investment in the T&D infrastructure and increasing demand for renewable sources energy is expected to boost the growth of the switchgear market. However, increasing raw material prices are expected hamper the growth of switchgear market.

Presently, Asia Pacific accounts for the highest demand for the Switchgears. The increasing demand for medium and high voltage switchgears is expected to drive the growth in this region.

China is expected to be the leading market for global switchgears. The demand is driven by increasing investment in alternative sources of the energy. In North America and Europe, the demand for renewable power generation is expected to create new market opportunities in medium-voltage switchgears market.

Indian Market

The Indian electrical equipments industry comprising of multinationals, large medium & small players is fully geared up producing, supplying and exporting a wide variety of electrical equipment including switchgear and control gear items need for the expanding industrial and power sector on which we focus in this article. Switchgears industry sector in fact manufactures the entire voltage range from 250 V to 2 900 KV. 1500 kV equipment is under indigenous development for the 1500Kv Test station at Bina, MP. The current technology levels in India are Contemporary. It is estimated that the present size of the Indian switchgear industry is around Rs. 15,000 Crores. The industry grew about 25% in volume terms in 2015-16. Overall exports decreased by 8%, whereas imports increased mainly for MV/HV by more than 25%. Weight age of Switchgear industry based on IEEMA electrical industry Index is 16.2%. The population of IEEMA members from switchgear industry is around 150 members. Currently, the MV & HV segments are suffering from overcapacity due to lack of the orders. Inadequate demands could be due to the insufficient planning of the users and delay in the finalizing tenders. Unfortunately bunching of orders also creates supply and delivery problems, Also L1 ( lowest quoted price) procurement system followed by all the utilities i.e. procuring products at lowest price creates a hurdle for bringing good quality material in this system. Further insistence on repeated type testing of products in spite of an inadequate type testing laboratories poses additional delays and harms to the equipments.

The country’s developing infrastructure in various sectors including residential, commercial, transport has been the prime factors that have resulted to growth in the demand for switchgears in India. Growth in sectors including oil and gas, petrochemicals, steel, cement, and telecom has provided a significant impetus to the growth of the market particularly the industry’s HV segment.

The present scenario of the transmission capacities in India has become almost saturated and the distribution infrastructure is becoming obsolete, leading to the significant technical and commercial losses. Thus, indicating an immediate need for the improvement in the country’s T&D system, to meet the growing demand for uninterrupted energy. As most of the HV and MV switchgears installed in substations are old and become outdated, there tends to be huge requirements for the replacement of old switchgears with modern and advanced switchgears. Replacement of switchgears is another important factor which is expected to propel the growth in the country’s HV and MV switchgear market in the coming years. The overall switchgear market in India including LV, MV, HV circuit breakers is expected to reach USD ~ million in terms of revenue, growing at a CAGR of 15.7% from 2016-2020.

The present installed capacity of Indian Power Sector is about 2,02,990 MW. It is proposed to add about 200,000 MW more by 2020 to have installed capacity of India more than 400,000 MW. The length of Transmission lines at various voltages up to 765 kV is about 3,00,000 circuit kms with transformation capacity of about 4,55,000 MVA. It is proposed to add about 2,50,000 circuit kms. transmission line and about 7,00,000 MVA by 2022. Construction work on 900 kV AC and DC lines is also in progress in our country. 1100 kV UHV transmission technology has been developed for the first time in India at Bina MP. As above vast expansion will require latest technology in different areas and lot of development on Switchgear Technology has been carried out in respect of Design, Erection, Testing, and Operation & Maintenance. In an electric power system, Switchgear is the combinations of electrical disconnect