Tech View

LV Switchgear market: An overview

The market for LV switchgear is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.1 per cent during 2016-2020 and is expected to reach Rs 7,609 crore by 2020.

Switchgear is defined as an assembly of switching and interrupting devices, providing control, metering, protection, and current regulating applications. The primary components of a switchgear include switching and interrupting devices that are used for turning the power on or off, control devices, used for checking and/or regulating the flow of electric current, metering devices, used for measuring the flow of electric current and protective devices, used to protect power service from interruption and prevent or limit damage to equipment.

Primary types of LV switchgears
• Air circuit breaker: These are circuit protection devices with air as the insulating medium. They are used when there is a need for high ampere ratings
• MCCBs: These are circuit protection devices, whose current carrying components, mechanisms, and trip circuits are completely enclosed within a moulded case of insulating material
• Changeover switches: These are meant to move a circuit from one set of connections to another
• Contactors and relays: A contactor is a type of relay that can handle high power required to directly drive an electric motor and a relay is an electrically operated switch, used where it is necessary to control a circuit by a low-power signal or where several circuits must be controlled by one signal
• MCB: Is a small trip-switch operated by an overload and is used to protect an electric circuit, especially, in a domestic circuit as an alternative to a fuse
• Residual current devices: They monitor residual current and switch off the circuit quickly if it rises to a preset level and can be broadly classified into earth leakage circuit breaker and residual current circuit breakers
• Distribution board: it is a component of an electricity supply system, which divides an electrical power feed into subsidiary circuits, while providing a protective fuse or circuit breaker for each circuit in a common enclosure with a main switch

Innovation in switchgears is primarily in terms of the aesthetics and customized features offered by the products rather than technological changes in the product, such as improving the product life cycle, tamper-proofing, increasing safety and handling, improving user-interface and focus on multi-functionality and niche functionality. Multinational companies and established manufacturers usually spend more on product improvement and the frequency of updating product features is usually two to three years.

The market for LV switchgear
LT or low voltage (LV) electrical equipment is a rapidly evolving industry segment, traditionally driven by demand from the industrial segment. The LV switchgear market primarily depends on the growth of end-user segments. The segment comprising residential and commercial development are expected to witness positive growth, whereas the segment comprising industries and power utilities are expected to show resilience on account of low capital expenditure and investment in the near term.
The market for LV switchgear is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.1 per cent during 2016-2020 and is expected to reach Rs 7,609 crore by 2020. Market players catering to the industrial segment have expanded their product portfolio to include modular switchgear devices increasing their reach to capture the residential market. Further, manufacturers of wires and cables continue to enter the market for modular switchgear devices enabled by sales and distribution synergies.

Key growth drivers
• Revival of the industrial segment
• Growth in the residential segment
• Government initiatives and reforms for expansion and development of the transmission and distribution
• network and power capacity augmentation
• Increased demand from the renewable energy segment

Raw material constitutes around 70 per cent of the aggregate cost of production of LV switchgears and copper, steel and silver are the key raw materials used therein, constituting almost 75 per cent of the total raw material cost. Manufacturing cost includes factory expenses, power and fuel, repair and maintenance.

HPL Portfolio- LV Switchgear
HPL Electric & Power Ltd has further strengthened its switchgear range by bringing a new and upgraded line of its Electrical Operated Switches, AV ATS- Advance Version Automatic load Transfer Switch. The new variant is a highly sophisticated and technologically advanced which is simple and easy to use and has been designed keeping the safety of the customers in mind. In terms of application, AV ATS is relevant for healthcare, Internet data centres, commercial buildings, industrial buildings, telecom central office, process manufacturing, distribution power or load management, HVAC, telecommunications and BMS.

At nearly 50 per cent share of the entire market for the manual changeover switches, HPL Electric is one of the oldest manufacturers of LV switchgear in India. Over the years, HPL Electric has increased its presence across switchgear products in the industrial and residential segments.

(Source: HPL Electric & Power Ltd.)

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