Solid-State Transformers Harnessing Renewable Energy Production
The solid-state transformer market is valued at US$158.820 million for 2020 and is expected to grow rapidly during the forecast period of 2020 to 2027.
SSTs (Solid-State Transformers) are made up of control circuits, high-power semiconductors, and high-frequency transformers. It is sometimes referred to as a smart transformer or an intelligent universal transformer. Smart transformers enable seamless AC-DC and DC-AC conversions as needed, providing for greater control over power distribution networks. When linked to the power grid, solid-state transformers manage voltage variations independently. The smart grid can receive voltage data, and remote administration can be used to carry out corrective operations. A well-designed power supply is essential for operations like the production of alternative energy using solar and wind turbines. A solid-state transformer has a number of advantages over conventional transformers, including being more robust and reliable, efficient in use, and relatively less expensive.
The market for solid-state transformers is expected to grow as a result of factors such as the increasing integration of renewable energy sources into the mix of power generation and growing investment in smart grid technology. The technological advantages of solid state transformers over conventional transformers are also going to be a driving force for the solid state transformer market. Solid-state transformers are most commonly used in alternative power generation, which is propelling the market expansion. Additional factors propelling expansion in the global solid-state transformer market include the increasing usage of renewable energy sources like solar and wind energy as well as traction locomotives. Furthermore, it is anticipated that the ageing transmission and distribution infrastructure will support growth in the solid-state transformer market in addition to the increased adoption of renewable energy sources. Inadequate SST testing infrastructure and expensive initial investment costs, however, are projected to impede the expansion of the solid-state transformer market.
Solid-state Transformers are being used increasingly in the production of Renewable Energy
Power generation from wind, solar, and tidal energy frequently makes use of solid state transformers. The market for solid-state transformers is growing as more developed nations place a focus on these efficient energy-generating solutions. Since they may serve as STATCOMs and step-up transformers, solid state transformers are frequently used in wind farms. Such elements have impacted the market growth for solid state transformers in recent years. According to estimates, the market for solid-state transformers will continue to expand as more people start using these alternative energy sources. For the installation of solar or wind energy, solid-state transformers are required. Grids are connected to electricity sources using solid-state transformers.
New renewable power plants and rising energy consumption will drive the solid-state transformer market. Additionally, renewable energy sources have been stressed by the government, research institutions, and other organisations as a way to produce electricity. The World Economic Forum reports that a total of $14.5 billion was invested in renewable energy, an increase of 125% from the fiscal year 2020–21. It is anticipated that this trend will persist across different economies. For instance, the Indian government announced an excess capital infusion of Rs. 10 billion for the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and Rs. 15 billion for the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) as part of the Union Budget for 2021–22. Additionally, it is anticipated that demand would increase throughout the estimated period due to the growing deployment of smart transformers based on SST technologies in electric car and renewable energy stations for electric flows controllability and DC connectivity.
Key market developments
Technological advancements, research and development, new product offerings, increased mergers and acquisitions, partnerships and collaborations, and market investment will thereby increase the demand for solid-state transformers. For instance,
- March 2021: In order to accelerate advancements in Solid State Transformer (SST) technology, Hitachi ABB Power Grids and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, a renowned research-intensive university, have decided to collaborate. The project is a component of the Singapore Government’s major Energy Grid 2.0 initiative, which aims to develop the next-generation grid system and revolutionise the way energy is managed by combining various energy sources into a single, intelligent network that is more effective, sustainable, and resilient. The agreement is expected to help with Singapore’s problems with land scarcity.
- October 2021: The SPX Corporation’s SPX Transformer Solutions division has been acquired by GE-Prolec Transformers, Inc. Subject to a net working capital adjustment and other customary adjustments, the contract purchase price was $645 million. By acquiring SPX Transformer Solutions, a company well-known for its Waukesha transformers, components, and services, Prolec GE will be able to provide a wider range of cutting-edge and environmentally friendly solutions for the transmission of electrical energy to the expanding American market.
- December 2021: The US Department of Energy has given Eaton a $4.9 million grant to find methods to simplify the installation of direct current (DC) fast electric vehicle charging infrastructure EVCI). Eaton stated that in order to support its EVCI solution, it will create a special solid-state transformer design and flexible chargers packaged on a small skid. This will speed up installation, use less equipment, and reduce deployment costs and footprint. By enabling direct connection to the utility’s medium-voltage distribution system, Eaton solid-state transformer technology will do away with the need for extra power conversion equipment and the related commissioning.
- October 2022: In a demonstration for its U.S. DOE grant programme partners General Motors (GM), NextEnergy, DTE Energy, Virginia Tech’s Center for Power Electronics Systems (CPES), and the American Center for Mobility, Delta Electronics showcased a 400kW extreme fast EV charger based on a next-generation SiC MOSFET solid state transformer (SST). Key representatives from all the programme partners presented at the event discussed how the extremely fast EV charging solution from Delta, which enables an industry-leading charging current of up to 500 Amps, is anticipated to accelerate the adoption of e-mobility in North America.
The Asia-Pacific region is expected to hold a significant share of the market in the coming years.
During the forecast period, Asia-Pacific is anticipated to contribute significantly to the solid-state transformer market. When compared to other nations, China is the one that contributes the most to the market. India and Japan are gradually expanding their markets. Additionally, as the population grows, there is a corresponding rise in the need for energy production. As a result, the Asia-Pacific area has a higher population density, which has resulted in a sharp spike in demand for solid-state transformers. Due to the region’s increased need for energy production, governmental organisations are investing in the production of energy from renewable sources like wind, solar, and tidal energy. In order to generate energy, power grids are heavily used, which has a significant impact on the growth of the solid-state transformer market.
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