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Sunday, June 12, 2016

Smart grid key to growth of powerline technologies

By Nick Flaherty

The global powerline carrier market is expected annual growth over 9% over the next four years, driven by the expansion of smart grid technology, says a new report on EETimes Europe.

Market research by Technavio showed that in 2015, smart grid applications accounted for over 55%  of revenue and this is expected to grow significantly to 2020. One of the major reasons for the growth is the rise in emphasis on renewable power energy sources, such as solar photovoltaic wind and hydro power. The global renewable energy market was valued at $625.3bn in 2015 and expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.12% during 2015-2020.

“Another major factor that aids in market growth is the implementation of advanced metering infrastructure by government utilities. In June 2015, Netz Burgenland Strom, an electricity distribution system operator in Austria, awarded a contract to Landis+Gyr for the installation of smart meters across the country by leveraging its G3 PLC technology,” says Sunil Kumar Singh, a lead analyst at Technavio for embedded systems research.

The report, titled ‘Global Powerline Carrier Market 2016-2020’, divides the global powerline carrier market into smart grid, indoor networking, street lighting, machine-to-machine (M2M), and others, with the top threee segments being smart grid, indoor networking and street lighting

Indoor networking is being driven by the fact that the majority of new offices are designed with a combination of wired and wireless networks to capitalize on both types of connectivity and powerline technology does not require new wire installation, making it more cost-effective wireless technologies. However, the analysts expect that the market share of this segment will decline during the forecast period because of the implementation of bring your own device (BYOD) and corporately owned, personally enabled (COPE) devices in business organizations. This is has resulted in a rise in the adoption of wireless computing devices, such as smartphones and tablets, for indoor networking. As these devices have high computational power and require a high data transfer rate, wireless networking is gaining traction for indoor networking.

Unlike residential places, which require light for a few hours per day, industrial facilities consume light for almost 24 hours, and smart lighting systems provide an essential tool for reducing electricity bills and maintenance costs. For example, in November 2015, China announced plans to invest $31bn in building smart grid infrastructure in the northwest province of Xinjiang. “The growing demand for intelligent lighting systems across industries has benefited PLC technology. This is because the environment in industrial areas is harsh and the presence of various automated industrial equipment make data transmission over wireless networks unreliable. Therefore, the market share of this segment will increase during the forecast period,” said Sunil.

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