Soaring Energy Prices driving Medium Voltage Drives sales | Automation.com

Soaring Energy Prices driving Medium Voltage Drives sales

February 23, 2011 - Energy efficiency regulations and soaring energy prices have increased awareness among end users and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) about the benefits of medium voltage (MV) drives. Supported by MV drive manufacturers and regulators, OEMs are also currently focusing more on ROI, which is generally around two years in most cases and even less in others. New Frost & Sullivan Strategic Analysis of the European Medium Voltage Drives Market finds that the market earned revenues of $ 176.9 million in 2010 and estimates this to reach $287.2 million by 2016.

The following product categories are analysed in this research: AC and DC MV drives. Oil and gas, power generation, metals and mining, marine, cement and aggregate, water and wastewater treatment are the end-user industries covered in the research.

“The urgent need to reduce energy costs and boost energy efficiency will spur the demand for MV drives in Europe over the period 2011 to 2016,” notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Sahitya Yerramreddy. “It is estimated that MV drives can save up to 60.0 per cent of energy compared to motors running at full speed, by varying the speed under no load conditions.”

The adoption rate of MV drives stood at 13.0 per cent in 2009 and is projected to reach 20.0 per cent by 2012, which still represents a huge untapped potential in the market. MV drives ensure that the pump/fan/compressor driven by a motor operates at maximum efficiency under different load conditions by varying the flow and pressure controls. They are, therefore, expected to contribute to significant energy savings.

Reduction in harmonics remains an important challenge for MV drive manufacturers, as end users and regulators prefer drives that yield maximum output with minimum harmonics. Manufacturers are increasingly trying to reduce harmonics through newer technologies, such as multi-pulse converters and active front-end solutions.

“Wastage of energy in the form of harmonics has always been a problem for end users who are pressing MV drive manufacturers to provide solutions that reduce harmonics,” adds Yerramreddy. “Further, as more applications start using drive controls, there is likely to be greater emphasis by utilities on the need to reduce the magnitude of harmonic currents and comply with harmonic standards such as IEEE 519-1992, IEC/EN 61000-2-4 and G5/4 [3]-[5].”

With most end users shifting their base to Eastern Europe, drive manufacturers need to augment their penetration in these regional markets.

“In Eastern Europe heavy investments are being made to expand industrial and production bases, modernise and refurbish plants in power generation, wastewater treatment and other discrete industries and ensure their compliance with EU standards,” concludes Yerramreddy. “This, in turn, has had a positive impact on the uptake of MV drives to accompany new motor installations.”


About Frost & Sullivan
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