A major infiltration of renewable energy generation into the existing generation mix within the next few years is likely to trigger the solid state transformers (SST) market. These transformers, composed of mainly power electronics based components can also be referred to as a type of power device. These devices are extremely effective in regulating the magnitude of voltage, current or frequency according to the application wise requirements. New technology proliferation in power electronics has significantly reduced the size of these transformers hence making them more flexible for customer use.
A multitude of market drivers, especially major capacity addition and installation of renewable generation capacity is backing the solid state transformers market. Major R&D initiatives are underway to bring the SST’s from prototyping and research phases to commercial deployment and installation phase. These solid state transformers are likely to replace or moderately substitute the erstwhile distribution transformers being used currently.
These solid state transformers are capable of performing a large number of functions which can bolster the power delivery quality and stability of the electrical grid simultaneously. Not only do these transformers provide higher flexibility and efficiency, but are also capable of providing reactive power support to the grid according to demand.
As a result these solid state transformers provide power at a better power factor and quality. As the overall market sentiment gradually moves from centralized power generation systems to distributed systems, duly backed by smart grid infrastructure, these transformers will become increasingly necessary.
Once decentralized solar PV generation penetrates the renewables market significantly, the grid stability might be compromised owing to the highly erratic nature of generation. Solid state transformers will go a long way in maintaining voltage regulations and grid stability in this scenario. Silicon carbide semiconductor components which are extensively used for making such transformers are highly dependent on economies of scale for cost reduction.
As massive up-scaling of production capacity for these semiconductors commences, volume based cost reduction are inevitable. These will drive down component costs and ultimately the cost of these solid state transformers. Increasing adoption of smart grid infrastructure is likely to bolster demand for such transformers in the future. Two way meters which both draw and feed-back power to the grid would require such transformers to ensure quality of power and grid stability. However without large scale commercial deployment and manufacturing, one can’t be sure that on what scale these SST’s will replace the erstwhile distribution transformers being used. The market can be segmented on the basis of four major parameters. Solid state transformers may be segmented on the basis of applications, end-use and technology used. The market is extremely niche in nature with very minimal commercial deployment. However it is likely that prototype testing and deployment will commence within the next few years.
SST’s are finding major applications in traction transformers, which have already reached small scale deployment in certain countries. SST testing has been done in some countries in Europe and North America. It is likely that these geographies will come out with the first fully commercial SST designs suitable for commercial use. Smart grid expenditures are the highest in the Asia-Pacific region, especially China which accounts for nearly a quarter of the global investment. As the SST technology reaches its commercial phase, major adoption is likely to be observed in the Asia Pacific region. Some of the key market players include Varentec and Transphorm among others.
This research report analyzes this market depending on its market segments, major geographies, and current market trends. Geographies analyzed under this research report include
- North America
- Asia Pacific
- Rest of the World
This report provides comprehensive analysis of
- Market growth drivers
- Factors limiting market growth
- Current market trends
- Market structure
- Market projections for upcoming years
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