A SMES system stores energy in the form of a magnetic field in a superconducting coil. The magnetic flow is created by the flow of DC through the coil which produces the stored energy. The stored magnetic energy can be easily converted back to electricity and utilized by power consuming devices. This system primarily comprises of three major parts: the coil, cooling system and the power conditioning system. There is an increasing need of energy storage devices due to focus on large scale integration of new renewable energy technologies with the grid. As the concept of distributed utility is slowly being adopted, the market for SMES systems is also anticipated to grow along with it. For research on SMES, public and private organizations are willing to offer funding support. Various labs and universities are focused on developing new and improved devices based on this technology. As the demand for large scale energy storage applications is rising, vendors are investing in developing improved SMES systems with greater power storage capacities.
The primary demand for the SMES is driven by their ability to recharge and discharge in a faster period without degrading the magnet. In addition, the escalating global demand for power driven by the growing concerns over climate change, rapidly increasing global population, and depleting non-renewable energy resources is expected to boost the demand for SMES market. The ability of SMES systems to provide carryover energy to meet power needs during critical load conditions is another major factor influencing the demand for energy storage devices. Superconducting magnetic energy storage is an efficient wire architecture which can effectively reduce a significant amount of energy loss.
The main parts installed in SMES are motionless; this makes this device highly reliable. However, the technical challenges associated with the use of SMES may hamper the growth in this market. The initial installation cost is also very high which hinders the growth of the SMES market. In addition, the unpredictability associated with power generation through various renewable energy sources such as solar and wind are expected to open new opportunities of growth in this market.
The overall market for the SMES can be segmented on the basis of application such as low-energy storage & high-energy storage and on the basis of the end users, to provide the overall picture of the market. The energy storage solutions which have the ability to store large amounts of energy usually have slow reaction times. On the other hand, small energy storage devices have fast reaction times. The superconducting material used in this device can also be broadly segmented into two categories as high temperature superconductors and low temperature superconductors.
The Asia Pacific region is expected to be an opportunity area for SMES technology on account of increasing focus on renewable integration, distributed energy storage and smart grid in this region. Government initiatives and regulatory support announced to develop SMES system is anticipated to drive the growth of energy storage technologies. In North American countries such as the U.S. the power utilities are the major drivers for adoption of SMES systems.
Some of the key players in Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage (SMES) System market segment are SuperPower Inc., Southwire Company, Nexans SA, GE Corporation, Bruker Energy & Supercon Technologies, Babcock Noell GmbH, Columbus Superconductors SpA, ASG Superconductos SpA, and ABB.
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- North America
- Asia Pacific
- Rest of the World
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