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Smart grid sensor market to double by 2014

Posted: 03 Jun 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:smart grid sensor? smart utility? fault circuit indicators?

According to the latest report from IHS, the market for smart grid sensors in North America is forecast to grow dramatically in the next two years. By 2014, IHS predicted that the smart grid sensor market will more than double from estimated 2012 levels, with annual revenue reaching $100 million for the first time in 2015, added the market analytics company.

"The market for feeder line sensors is undergoing radical change now," said Michael Markides, associate director of the smart utility infrastructure group at IHS. "Older devices are being replaced by next-generation technologies that are offered by new market entrants. There are numerous takeaways from this including the continued growth in distribution-level electronic devices, the continued push towards decentralizing grid intelligence and automation, as well as showing the evolving habits and behaviours of utilities in North America as they adopt new technology from a set of new vendors."

Presently, market growth for smart grid sensors is coming from the replacement of older-style fault circuit indicators (FCIs). These older devices have been sold for decades to utility companies, which have been installing them on vulnerable overhead lines. But new technology, which is rapidly meeting the existing price point of the older technology, is swiftly gaining market share.

"This year is a transitional time for the feeder line sensor market," Markides observed. "New suppliers are taking share away from traditional sensor suppliers, through product offerings which are future-proofed, easily upgradeable, and more dependable and accurate at detecting faults on overhead lines than legacy FCIs."

While the short-term forecast shows dramatic growth for the new generation of smart grid sensors, long-term market growth is expected to be buoyed by the implementation of Volt/VAR Optimisation (VVO) schemes across North America. Utilities are currently implementing varying levels of VVO in North America, even though significant market growth of VVO equipment (including sensors) is not expected until 2015. (See Volt/VAR optimisation market to double in 5 years.)

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