Line Arresters: Demand Prospect Analysis in Modern Electrical Systems

A line arrester, also known as a lightning arrester or surge arrester, is a device used in electrical systems to protect equipment from voltage spikes caused by lightning strikes or other transient voltage events. Its primary function is to divert the excess voltage safely to the ground, thereby preventing damage to sensitive electronic equipment or electrical systems. Line arresters are commonly installed at points where power lines enter buildings or sensitive equipment, such as data centers, to provide protection against sudden voltage surges. According to a study by Allied Market Research, the line arresters market is expected to witness a CAGR of 7.6% between 2023 to 2032.

Line Arrester Selection Criteria

For line arresters, a comprehensive review of the power system is necessary. This review should include an analysis of:

  • Voltage Ratings: Determined by whether the system is grounded or ungrounded and the specific grounding method used.
  • System Stresses: Evaluating the different stresses the system might encounter.
  • Switching Surges: Considering the impact of switching operations on the system.
  • Grounding Method: Understanding the grounding configuration to ensure appropriate arrester selection.
  • Maximum Continuous Operating Voltage (MCOV): Ensuring the arrester can handle the maximum voltage it will be exposed to during normal operation.

By carefully considering these factors, an appropriate line arrester can be selected to ensure the protection and reliability of the power system.

Key Roles of Line Surge Arresters in Electrical Protection

Voltage Spike Protection: Line surge arresters are designed to divert excess voltage safely to the ground, thereby preventing damage to connected equipment caused by lightning strikes, power surges, or other transient voltage events.

Equipment Protection: By limiting the voltage that reaches sensitive electronic equipment, lightning arresters help to extend the lifespan of devices and reduce the risk of premature failure or damage. This is particularly important for costly equipment such as computers, servers, telecommunications devices, and industrial machinery.

Improved Reliability: Protection from voltage surges reduces the likelihood of unexpected downtime or disruptions in electrical systems and equipment due to damage from transient voltage events. This leads to improved system reliability and operational continuity.

Cost Savings: The use of these arresters can result in saving costs by reducing the need for repairs or replacements of damaged equipment, as well as minimizing downtime and associated losses in productivity.

Safety: By dissipating excess energy safely to the ground, surge arresters help to mitigate the risk of electrical fires, shocks, or other safety hazards associated with voltage surges.

Compliance: They are often required or recommended by electrical codes and standards to ensure the safety and reliability of electrical installations, especially in areas prone to lightning strikes or frequent voltage fluctuations.

Versatility: These devices come in various configurations and voltage ratings, making them adaptable solutions for protecting a wide range of electrical systems and equipment across different applications and installation requirements.

Also, with growing environmental concerns, the demand for renewable power is increasing considerably. Transmission lines are needed to transfer the renewable power from generation sites to end-users. Hence, with new transmission line projects, the demand for line arresters is also expected to increase gradually in the coming years. Observing and analyzing specific parameters is essential to gain insights into the demand perspective and the growth of line arresters.

New Transmission Line Projects

Transmission lines are the most efficient method for transferring electricity from the generation site to end-users. Transmission lines are the most efficient method for transferring electricity from the generation site to end-users. Line surge arresters and insulators are some of the major components which are used for the safety of the transmission lines. Transmission lines carry high voltage electrical currents and can cause disastrous consequences due to any untoward incident. Hence, for protection of these equipment, line arresters are used at equal distances in transmission lines. Below are some of the major transmission lines projects in the USA and India:

The table above showcases some noteworthy transmission line projects in the USA and India. These transmission lines have long circuit routes along with high voltage electric currents, i.e., 765 kV, 1200 kV and so on. Transmission lines may also experience voltage surges due to various factors such as switching operations, faults in the network, or switching off large loads. These voltage surges can damage equipment and disrupt the operation of the transmission line. Line arresters are effective in suppressing these voltage surges by providing a low-impedance path to ground, thereby preventing damage to connected equipment.

Rising Global Electricity Demand and Grid Expansion Highlight Growth Opportunities for Line Arresters

In the above image, electricity generation through different sources is showcased. In 2022, 28,844.6 TWh electricity was generated, with coal-based electricity accounting for the largest share. While in 2023, the electricity generation witnessed a growth of 2.2%, rising to 29,480.7 TWh. Solar electricity witnessed the highest growth of more than 23% between 2022 and 2023. China, the USA, India, Russia, and Japan are the world's leading electricity producers, and they also possess some of the largest transmission grids globally. For instance, the USA has a grid network of more than 12 million circuit KMs, while China has more than 10 million circuit KMs. Maintenance and upgradation of transmission grid portrays high growth opportunities for line arresters.

Substitute Product Analysis

Line arresters are produced from polymer, glass, and ceramic. Polymeric line arresters are preferred over traditional alternative as mentioned before. Polymeric materials, such as silicone rubber, exhibit excellent hydrophobic properties, which help in preventing the accumulation of water on the surface. This reduces the risk of flashover, a common issue with ceramic or glass arresters. Also, Polymeric materials are more resistant to impact damage and mechanical stress, thus showcasing high strength property. They are less likely to shatter or crack, an issue witnessed in porcelain or glass arresters. Polymeric line arresters offer significant advantages in terms of safety, reliability, ease of installation, durability, maintenance, electrical performance, environmental impact, and design flexibility. These benefits make them a preferred choice over traditional porcelain or glass arresters in modern electrical infrastructure.

Strategic Initiatives Undertaken

  1. Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation (Japan) expanded its production capacity of polymer housed surge arresters in April 2022. The company has tripled its production capacity, for grid applications in Japan. This has served in renewable electricity transmission mainly in Japan.
  2. In January 2021, Hitachi ABB Power Grids inaugurated a new manufacturing facility for line surge arresters in Xiamen, China. The facility incorporates the latest manufacturing technology for the production of line arresters. This new facility aims to cater the transmission and distribution demand of renewable energy in China.

Manufacturers of line arresters do have the opportunity to expand their research initiatives into different materials. This expansion is driven by the goals of reducing costs, improving properties, and enhancing their functionality. The utilization of computer models and AI tools in product design and material selection is expected to significantly influence the advancement of Line arrester technology in the near future.

In our role as Allied Market Research, we are dedicated to equipping vendors with crucial knowledge and insights to leverage the emerging trends in line arresters. Through our in-depth market research and analysis, we offer organizations comprehensive perspectives associated with integrating line arresters and other safety equipment into their product strategies. To know more about the potential investment opportunities in the Energy and Power industry, feel free to talk to our experts today!

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