Protective Relay Market Energized

  • Asia-Pacific is estimated to hold the largest market share.
  • Feeder protection relays to lead the protective relay market.
  • Utilities the largest end user of protective relay.

The global protective relay market is projected to reach $4.54 billion by 2021, growing at a CAGR of 6.5% from 2016 to 2021. The increasing investments in transmission & distribution infrastructure including substations and transmission & distribution lines, coupled with the increasing urbanization in developing nations, have propelled the growth of the protective relay market.

Substations in developed nations are being modernized to ensure uninterrupted power supply with minimum loss. This is achieved by replacing the traditional electromagnetic and static relays with advanced numeric and digital relays. These relays also retain the data, which allows utilities or other users to track power outages caused by faults. Furthermore, investments in smart grid technologies are increasing, especially in developed countries. Protective relays are an integral part of the power system, and are therefore being continuously improved to increase protection levels.

Protective relays play a crucial role in several segments, including power generation, transmission & distribution, and equipment protection. Relays are installed in the circuit to minimize electrical failures caused by the transients and fault currents that flow through the circuit, and to mitigate their effects. These high-intensity fault currents can damage equipment or devices in the circuit. The protective relay market is segmented on the basis of voltage, protection mechanism, end-user, and region.

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Asia Pacific: The fastest-growing market for protective relay

Asia-Pacific is estimated to hold the largest market share, followed by North America and Europe. In terms of individual countries, the market is dominated by China. This can be attributed to the extensive electrical infrastructure upgradation and new transmission & distribution lines being installed in the country. China held the largest share of the global protective relay market in 2015. Rapid economic growth in BRICS nations is expected to drive the protective relay market in these nations. Protective relays will likely be used extensively in the new electrical transmission & distribution networks of BRICS countries.

Feeder protection relays to lead the protective relay market

The protective relay segments on the basis of protection mechanism as follows feeder, transmission line, motor, transformer, generator, breaker, capacitor bank, and busbar. Protective relays are primarily used in feeder protection that is, to protect the feeders in the switchyards by transmission & distribution companies. Feeder protection relays occupied the largest share of the protective relay market in 2015.

Feeders are the current loading points of the transmission of distribution lines. They are present in the transmission network, distribution network, switchyards, and substations. The protection of feeders is essential to ensure uninterrupted power supply and to protect the lines along with the feeders. The growing transmission & distribution network across the globe will likely result in a consistent increase in the number of substations, which would boost the demand for feeder protection relays. Asia-Pacific currently houses the largest number of transmission & distribution expansion projects.

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Utilities: The largest end user of protective relay

The protective relay segments on the basis of end-users into utilities, industries, marine, and renewables. Protective relays are used by utilities and industries to protect expensive instruments such as transformers and motors. Utilities are estimated to hold a substantial share in the protective relay market.

The use of protective relays in utilities is expected to increase as utilities around the world continue to expand their transmission & distribution network. Utilities held the largest market share in 2015. However, given the extensive industrialization across the globe, the adoption of protective relays in industries is expected to increase rapidly.

Leading players in the protective relay market include Eaton Corporation (Ireland), General Electric (U.S.), ABB Ltd. (Switzerland), Schneider Electric (France), and SEL Inc. (U.S.). Some of the other companies operating in the market are Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (Japan), Toshiba Corporation (Japan), Fanox Electronics (Spain), and Basler Electric (Illinois).

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Siddhant Patil

Energy & Power Consultant

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