With Super Bowl-scale grid failure making headlines in the U.S. this week, attention has turned to smart grid technologies that offer electric utilities greater reliability, efficiency and predictability. While the cause of the Super Bowl outage continues to be debated, GTM Research today publishes its latest smart grid market report on transformer monitoring; the smart grid transformer market is a cocktail of monitors, sensors, software, diagnostics and analytics solutions that promises to guard against outages and better protect utility grid assets. GTM Research expects strong growth from the U.S. market for transformer monitoring hardware, increasing from its current valuation of $112 million annually to $755 million by 2020.

At nearly 150 pages, Transformer Monitoring Markets, 2013-2020: Technologies, Forecasts, and Leading Vendors is the first report of its kind to analyze both the technology and competitive landscape of transformer markets in the U.S. This definitive report offers technology-specific analysis to 2020 for:

  • Transformer monitors and sensors
  • Dissolved-gas analysis (DGA) monitors
  • Bushing and partial discharge systems
  • Power and distribution transformer software
  • Secondary transformer software solutions
  • Geospatial analytics software solutions

The report also contains deep vendor analysis, comparison and rankings at the individual product level for many of the components listed above for power, distribution and secondary transformers.

FIGURE: Transformer Technology Definitions and Report Scope

Transformer Monitoring Markets, 2013-2020

“Utilities must invest in monitors, sensors and software for their new and aging transformers,” said Ben Kellison, the report’s author and a smart grid analyst at GTM Research. “They are the backbone of the U.S. alternating current grid, and they range from one of the most expensive utility assets to low-cost street corner devices manipulating power to ensure our toasters work properly.”

In the U.S., a variety of factors, including an aging workforce, aging assets, and the increasing volume of data created by smarter devices on the grid such as smart meters and distribution automation hardware, is creating the need to invest in intelligent transformers and software. The outfitting of new and the retrofitting of old power, distribution and secondary transformers with additional sensors and monitoring equipment will take quite some time, as they are replaced gradually as they fail or are phased out due to perceived or verified insulation aging.

According to GTM Research, transformer technologies are not typically rolled out in waves at utilities, but over the last few years notable exceptions have arisen in North America, including San Diego Gas and Electric’s 2020 Reliability Plan, Arizona Public Service’s TOAN program, American Electric Power’s adoption of ABB’s Asset Health Center Solution, and Toronto Hydro’s pilot secondary transformer monitoring program. Instead, monitoring is generally added at the most critical or expensive assets or added into specifications during the acquisition of new transformers.

“We see transformer monitoring and software markets as high-growth areas driven by the strength of the secondary transformer market,” said Kellison. “Grid giants like ABB, Alstom, GE, Schneider and S&C Electric Company have already caught on to the opportunity that transformer technology offers and are well positioned to lead the market.”

Kellison noted that power transformer sensor hardware continues to consolidate toward wider vendor ecosystems that can provide a utility with options, as well as a more complete solution with “a single throat to choke.”

In addition, the software for both power and secondary transformer monitoring continues to see new entrants leveraging different strengths and sales channels to gain a quick path to market.

FIGURE: Transformer Monitoring Taxonomy 2013

Source: Transformer Monitoring Markets, 2013-2020

Companies analyzed in the report include: ABB • Alstom Grid • Ambient • BPL Global • Cooper Power Systems • Doble Engineering • Dynamic Ratings • Echelon• Elster • General Electric • GRIDiant • GridSense • Infosys • LumaSense • Morgan Schaffer • Qualitrol • S&C Electric Company • Schneider Electric • Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories • Siemens • Space-Time Insight • Ventyx

For more information on this report and to purchase a copy, visit http://www.gtmresearch.com/report/transformer-monitoring-markets-2013-2020.