Distribution automation is a group of technologies that includes sensors, switches, processors, and information & communication networks. Through these technologies, a utility can collect, analyze, automate, and optimize, in order to enhance the operational efficiency of its distribution power system. Apart from that, DA devices also provide operational and maintenance benefits like improved reliability by reduction of outage duration by using an auto restoration scheme. They also provide better fault detection and diagnostic analysis. Financial benefits of implementing DA are from the increase in revenue due to quick restoration, the system capacity utilization also improves, and due to the improvement in the quality of supply, the customer can also be retained.
The global distribution automation market is expected to surpass US$ 36,918.4 Mn in terms of value by the end of 2028.
Reduced power outage times are expected to propel the global distribution automation market growth over the forecast period. Majority of power outages are caused by weather-related damage to overhead power lines. Vehicle accidents, human error, animal contact, and equipment failure also contribute to power outages. Furthermore, strong winds and ice can cause trees to power lines or poles, and sever Distribution automation plays a critical role in outage prevention. The communication devices and sensors associated with distribution automation facilitate early detection of equipment that might not be working properly, thus preventing outright failure and allowing the utility company to replace them. In terms of service restoration, electric devices with distribution automation capability identify that an outage has occurred as well as pinpoint the faulty devices.
Rising smart city projects in developed and emerging economies can present lucrative growth opportunities. Governments of many countries have launched smart city projects in the recent past. For instance, in June 2015, the Government of India introduced the ‘100 Smart Cities Mission’ project, allotting a fund of US$ 14 billion for it. Such projects have increased the demand for distribution automation worldwide. Key companies in the market can capitalize on these opportunities by introducing novel products and gain a competitive edge in the market.
Global Distribution Automation Market: Recent Developments
In September 2021, Dominion Energy, has proposed the largest expansion of solar and energy storage project for customer benefit. Upcoming solar and energy storage project will 1000 megawatt power that are enough for more than 250,000 homes.
In April 2021, Siemens has launched 8DJH 24 switchgear, a line main unit that can handle line voltages up to 24 KV, and free of fluorine.
In October 2020, Siemens partners with Netze BW to make distribution grids sustainable and smarter.
Risk associated with cybersecurity attacks is expected to hamper the global distribution automation market growth over the forecast period. Although distribution automation offers numerous advantages, cybersecurity challenges remain a major obstacle. Typical risks could be unwanted operation of switchgear or setting change-making transfer automatism not operational. Besides, handling and operation of cybersecurity requires skilled personnel and are not available in emerging regions such as Latin America and Middle East and African.
Global Distribution Automation Market - Impact of Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic
The global distribution automation market witnessed significant decline due to the outbreak of COVID-19. The pandemic has put forward many challenges for numerous industries and markets, rendering slow economic growth globally. Following the outbreak in China in December 2019, many countries suspended international travel and trade, leading to temporary halt in various industries. Since manufacturing activities were suspended, the demand for electricity in many parts of the world decreased significantly. This also led to sharp decline in economic output. Besides, the global supply chain industry witnessed massive disruption due to various challenges. The market is expected to regain its lost traction with several countries relaxing the regulations.
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Major companies in the market are focused on business and capacity expansion, in order to gain a competitive edge in the market. For instance, in September 2013, Cooper Power Systems expanded its distribution automation capabilities with New Yukon feeder automation software. The software improved operational efficiency for circuit reconfiguration and fault isolation. Furthermore, in December 2012, Dominion Virginia Power announced that it would construct and operate the largest fuel cell project in North America which would generate 14.9 megawatts of electricity.
Key companies in the market are focused on research and development activities, in order to enhance the market presence. For instance, in September 2013, Cooper Power Systems launched the Grid Advisor Series 2 smart sensors that help to improve outage management and capacitor bank monitoring while providing real time critical information not previously available in the marketplace.
Key companies operating in the global distribution automation market are American Electric Power (AEP), Schneider Electric SA, Cooper Power Systems, General Electric Corporation, Dominion Virginia Power, Siemens AG, Électricité de France (EDF), S&C Electric Company, and Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
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