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Smart grid equipment market set for revenue boom

By Max Burkhalter
April 23, 2013

Smart grid demand is heating up in North America. Mounting reliability problems in the region have combined with a variety of other industry conditions to promote considerable investments in smart grid solutions. IMS Research, a branch of IHS, recently found that investments in smart meters and distribution automation solutions will expand considerably during the next few years as the smart grid market continues to rise.

Taking a look at the rising smart grid sector
A recent Renew Grid report analyzing the IMS Research study, a variety of industry trends are leading to the enthusiasm surrounding the smart grid industry.

Summarizing the conditions leading to market expansion,Donald Henschel, senior analyst, metering and energy managementfor IHS, told the news source that developments in natural gas and microgrids are fueling investments in smart meters and distribution automation solutions.

"Natural gas is optimal for use in smaller distributed-generation operations, which can form the basis of microgrids," Henschel told Renew Grid. "The rising attractiveness of flexible, adaptive microgrids will help the smart grid grow to overcome the serious challenges faced by this region's utility sector, and will drive growth in sales of required equipment in the coming years."

IMS Research expects the smart meter market to begin returning to a healthy position before long. Just a few years ago, the smart meter sector thrived because of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Since then, smart meter purchases have declined substantially. That is about to change. The recession in the smart meter sector should begin to run out of steam in 2015 and the sector as a whole could grow substantially from that point. Combined, the distribution and smart meter markets will climb 3 percent year-over-year from 2014 to 2015. The sector will be valued at $3.2 billion in 2016. By 2017, the revenues will hit $2.6 billion.

Supporting smart meters and distribution automation
Terminal server systems play a vital role in maximizing the value of smart meters and other smart grid systems. Media conversion solutions are vital to supporting smart grid systems because the technology is built around real-time data transit between grid-specific solutions and a variety of consumer and IT endpoints. As a result, serial-to Ethernet connectivity is a vital consideration in the smart grid. Capitalizing on the benefits of distribution automation and smart meter investments depends heavily on effective terminal server deployment.

Perle offers a range of cost effective serial-to-Ethernet converters to help meet NERC-CIP compliance for the protection of critical cyber assets in substations. The IOLAN SDS HV/LDC Terminal Server is designed to meet harsh environments associated with Power Substations with attributes such as support for substation AC and DC voltage ranges, extended operating temperatures and meeting emission, immunity and safety approvals associated with substation IT equipment.


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