Newton-Evans Research Co. has completed a six-month research study and survey of protective relay usage patterns in the world community of electric power utilities. Findings from 114 large and mid-size utilities in 28 countries point to some newer trends in adoption and use of protection and control technology.
Among the key findings reported in the four-volume study are these:
- Most new and retrofit relay units being purchased are digital relays, but in some of the protection applications studied, such as motor protection and large generator applications, and in installations where electrical interference is strong, electro-mechanical and older solid state relays continue to have a niche market position.
- The annual world market for protective relays and related power systems protection devices continues to grow at a moderate pace that exceeds many other categories of electric utility investments for grid modernization.
- Manufacturers of protective relays continue to expand their market coverage, with more than 20 firms each enjoying at least some share of the global market.
- Real-time analysis of synchrophasor data is becoming a major application for the emerging field of operational analytics.
- Communications protocol usage patterns continue to serve as a key differentiator between large and mid-size North American electric utilities and their international counterparts, as shown in the accompanying chart.