Technology trends: Protective relay use on the rise


By: SGN Staff

A new report from Newton-Evans Research Company says adoption of protective relays continues to grow with steady increases in the percentage of digital relays used by utilities. The trend is reflected in the numbers: the annual world market for the relays and related power systems continues to grow as well.


The report, The Worldwide Study of the Protective Relay Marketplace in Electric Utilities, is based on a five-month research study and survey of protective relay use patterns by more than 100 utilities. Among the other key findings from the report are:

·         The vast majority of new and retrofit units being bought also are digital relays, but in some of the protection applications studied, such as motor protection and large generator applications, and in installations where electrical interference is strong, electromechanical and older solid state relays still have a niche market position

·         Manufacturers of utility systems protection equipment continue to expand their market coverage, with more than 20 firms enjoying at least some share of the global market

·         Real-time analysis of synchrophasor data will become a major application for the emerging field of operational analysis

·         Communications protocol usage patterns continue to be a differentiator between the majority of large and mid-size North American utilities and their international counterparts


The study is a series of four reports geared to the planning needs of protective relay suppliers, power industry consultants and utility protection and control departments. The volumes cover the North American market, the international market, supplier profiles and global market assessment and outlook.