A four-volume Newton-Evans study conducted in 2016 of the worldwide protective relay marketplace showed a steady increase in factory shipments of protective relays between 1996-2016. If this pattern continues, relay shipments could exceed $700 million by the end of this year.
According to the study, the average annual growth rates for protective relays at 4% to 6% continued to outpace the low-level increases experienced by most other transmission and distribution infrastructure and grid modernization categories at 2 % to 3%. The outlook for shipments of protective relays over 2016-2018, based on survey data and manufacturer discussions, turned out to be positive.
In the North American marketplace, hundreds of thousands of older electromechanical relays and relay-centric devices are currently in service in the utility, industrial and commercial electric power delivery operations. These units are embedded in or integral to the operation of motors, generators, switchgear and circuit breakers among other devices. As these installed units age in place, upgrades to, and replacement with, digital relays will form a substantial portion of P&C industry growth, according to a study by Newton-Evans.
A small electromechanical share of the overall protective relay market will continue for some years--for as long as such units continue to be manufactured. Worldwide, $90 million to $110 million of electromechanical relay units are shipped annually.
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