Shunt Capacitors - Enable Efficient Operation of Power System

Published On: March 2018

Market Overview:

A shunt capacitor is a device, which improves the quality of electricity supply and enables efficient operation of the power system. Shunt capacitors are mainly installed to provide capacitive reactive compensation or power factor correction. It is also called power factor correction capacitors.  The growing application of the shunt capacitors, is due to its low cost, easy and quick installation and convenient virtual deployment, anywhere in the power network.

Many organizations especially in Europe and Asia Pacific region have their own manufacturing units, while, some organizations outsource their facility of manufacturing to other organizations. Asia Pacific being one of the fastest growing markets, companies are grabbing opportunity and are keen on expanding their units in this region. Moreover, there are other small and medium scale players that are able to generate revenue from the local markets. ABB Ltd. (U.S.), Schneider Electric (France), General Electric Company (U.S.), and Siemens AG (Germany) has been recognized as the global leaders with serving the broad range of shunt capacitor products.

Increase in power consumption across the globe

The strong growth in economy and the population, have led to the increase in the power consumption. Due to the development of the countries and the improvement in the standard of living, the demand for energy consumption has increased. With the nation experiencing higher economic growth, the demand for improved housing will also grow, which will also increase the requirement for energy for the construction purpose. Hence, many countries around the world are expanding and upgrading their electric grid infrastructure, so as to fulfil the growing demand of power and margining of grid to form inter grid connection. According to World Bank, the consumption of electric power has been increasing consistently. In 2014, the consumption of electricity was 3,144.4 kWh per capita as compared to 2,956.6 in 2010.

Future Trends in T&D network

Major economies around the world are highly focused on developing the renewable energy power generation so as to reduce their dependency on conventional power generation through fossil fuels. Renewable energy currently holds a substantial share in total global energy production. The tremendous yearly addition (in capacity) of renewable energy requires strong transmission and distribution network. Europe is developing an interconnected grid that can transfer electricity between countries such as between the UK, Germany, Poland, France, and Sweden. The benefits of such interconnected systems include the improvement of grid reliability, and combining reserves & reduction in the investments in power-generating capacity.

In the U.S., growing demand for electricity, and decades of under-investment in the transmission grid has resulted in pent up demand for replacement of aging infrastructure. Additionally, targeted government initiatives to improve the existing T&D grid; and the proliferation of renewable power generation sources, such as wind and solar, require greater T&D investment.

In Germany. the introduction of law on the Expansion of Energy Lines in 2009 simplified permitting procedures for new power lines, thus slowly leading to an increase in investments into the power grid and new transmission lines. This process was significantly accelerated by the introduction of the Grid Development Plan and the Federal Requirements Plan Act, which included the most important grid extensions for the next ten years.

In India, the rising participation of the private sector in power generation, transmission and distribution sectors, is leading to the rapid development of robust and healthy domestic electrical equipment (EE) industry. The expected investment of the Indian government in the 12th Five Year Plan period in the generation and T&D segment would be 6.39 lakh crore in generation, 1.80 lakh crore in transmission and 3.06 lakh crore in distribution.

Recently, The European Investment Bank (EIB) provided a USD 477 million (Euro 450 million) loan to Red Eléctrica de España to extend and improve its electrical transmission network in Spain. The project includes a new high-voltage power line connecting Asturias and Galicia in the north, and another between Extremadura and Andalusia in the south.

Expansion – Growth strategy

Extensive research in this market has brought to light that expansion is a key strategy adopted, extensively, by the players with a share of more than 75% to spread their product’s geographical presence and achieve operational efficiencies. Recently, General Electric Company opened the new Capacitor and Instrument Transformer Advanced Manufacturing Facility in Clearwater, Florida. The company invested USD 60 million in the facility, where they will produce instrument transformers and capacitors for the global market. The factory has created 275 new jobs in the Tampa Bay region, training its employees to operate the latest technologies and digital platforms.

New product developments, are also major strategies adopted by the major players in the global shunt capacitor market. This strategy is widely adopted to increase the number of offerings to the customer. Recently, Aerovox Corp. has developed a class of toughand long lasting power factor correction capacitors (PFCs) for 50 Hz applications. Use of PFC capacitors in industrial or manufacturing settings, result in significant cost saving and longer equipment life.

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