Growing renewables deployment to bolster capacitor bank market outlook

A robust demand for reliable and uninterrupted power supply and ongoing electrical infrastructure development and refurbishment projects are fueling capacitor bank industry trends worldwide. Earlier, the applications of capacitor banks were limited to low-tech, isolated, high-fenced public power units.

However, in recent years, these systems have found their way into an array of new use-cases, ranging from nano-sized MEMS devices to offshore wind farm substations. Regardless of the application, they perform the same functioning of storing and smoothening of electrical energy.

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As per a research report by Global Market Insights, Inc., global capacitor bank market size is slated to exceed an annual valuation of over US$4.4 billion by 2026, with growing integration of renewable energy into grid infrastructure and refurbishment of existing electrical networks. ABB Limited, Eaton Corporation, General Electric, Siemens AG, American Superconductor, Schneider Electric, Hitachi ABB Power Grids, CIRCUTOR, SA and Larsen &Toubro Limited are among the notable names in the industry.

Integration of renewable energy into grid networks

A capacitor bank is basically a series of capacitors of the same rating which may be connected in series or parallel depending upon the required output rating. They are mainly used to store electrical power and regulate the flow of electricity. Larger the number of capacitors in a bank, greater will be the capacity of energy that can be stored on a single device.

Today, banks of capacitors are extensively used in a range of energy and power applications including power factor correction, voltage regulation, harmonic filter, renewable integration, data centers, and other industrial applications. With numerous renewable deployment and expansion projects in progress worldwide, these systems are poised to witness a substantial demand in the near future.

Capacitor banks can play a prominent role in storing, conditioning, and regulation of renewable power. For example, Golden Plains wind project by EDF Renewables is a recent 200 MW onshore wind farm located in the U.S. state of Iowa. The project commenced commercial operation in March 2020 and began complete operation in May 2020.

Some of the major components used for power transmission in the project include a 150 MVAr switched capacitor bank, a 100 MVAr switched capacitor bank, a 50 MVAr switched capacitor bank, and two 25 MVAr switched capacitor banks, among other components.

Capacitor bank suppliers worldwide are set to witness promising opportunities, with similar new emerging projects across the globe, growing investments in renewables deployment, and grid expansion.

Some key challenges for global capacitor bank industry

The exponential spread of the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide during the first half of 2020 had severely disrupted electrical equipment manufacturing as well as transportation and supply chain. These trends along with social restriction imposed by governments globally had created a massive shortage of workforce. In addition, the pandemic had forced many countries to temporarily halt or postpone electrical network expansion, grid deployment, and upgradation projects.

Consequently, overcoming the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic and slow-paced technological development in emerging economies will be key challenges for market players in the near future. However, an increasing demand for high peak load capacity, deployment of new and upgradation of existing electrical infrastructure, and growing integration of clean energy into grid networks will bolster capacitor bank market trends.

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