With an increase in smart grid infrastructure deployment across the world, the demand for automatic circuit breakers is likely to show a marked increase in the future. Apart from smart grids, these automatic circuit breakers are also being deployed in other forms of advanced grid infrastructures such as micro grids and super grids. An automatic circuit breaker is a device which protects electrical circuits from damage brought on by load imbalances, fluctuations or other factors. An automatic circuit breaker functions by detecting any faulty condition and subsequently interrupting or stopping the power flow through an electrical circuit. The power transmission sector is one of the largest markets for automatic circuit breakers currently. According to the general trend of the power industry, transmission wires with higher power transfer capacities are being preferred. The conventional power transmission lines are gradually being upgraded to high voltage alternating current (HVAC) and high voltage direct current (HVDC) lines.
High voltage lines provide an array of advantages over low voltage ones. The primary one among these is the fact that a single high voltage line has multiple times the power transfer capacity of low voltage lines. However with an increased power transfer capacity, the cost of these transmission cables also increases significantly. As a result transmission operators find it highly necessary to employ efficient and preferably automatic circuit breakers to protect these expensive equipments. At high voltages, fluctuations in loads and frequencies might have dire consequences on the equipments; this risk is significantly mitigated by the presence of automatic circuit breakers. One of the major applications of automatic circuit breakers is in islanding. In the event of a cascading failure of generators connected to the electrical grid, these automatic circuit breakers trip and island off healthy parts of the grid from the effected ones.
This significantly ensures grid safety by allowing healthy portions of the overall grid to continue functioning without interruptions. If these automatic circuit breakers were not in place, the gradual tripping of generators would have ultimately culminated in a complete grid failure, affecting all users drawing power from it. The adaptive islanding system is especially useful in the modern day micro grids being deployed across the world. Micro grids feature a decentralized form of power generation which caters to users connected within the micro grid. However these micro grids are also mostly connected to the utility grid in order to draw power in times of short supply and to feed power back to the grid in times of oversupply. In the event of a utility grid failure, the presence of automatic circuit breakers in the micro grid ensures that the system is islanded from the utility grid.
This allows the micro grid to continue functioning without interruptions. A similar case is observed in smart grids, where renewable energy generation sources are intricately integrated with the utility grid as well as to their local demand center. The automatic circuit breakers help ensure safety of the smart grid by reducing chances of over drawl of power both from or by the utility grid. Overall the market for automatic circuit breakers is likely to exhibit attractive growth rates in all regions of the world. With a rapid development of smart grid infrastructure coupled with the ramping up of the power transmission sector, the Asia-Pacific is likely to remains one of the most attractive markets throughout the forecast period.
Some of the major players in the automatic circuit breakers market include Mouser Electronics Inc., Kirloskar Electric Company Ltd. and E-T-A among others.
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