Contractor is an electrically controlled switch used for switching an electric power circuit. It comprises three parts, namely Contacts as the current carrying component, electromagnet as the driving force to close the contacts, and enclosure is a frame enclosing the contact and electromagnet. Vacuum contactors utilize vacuum bottle encapsulated contacts. Vacuum contractors are widely used at medium voltages i.e. 1000 V-5000V, as effective circuit breakers in various applications. Vacuum contactors are only applicable for use in AC systems. These contactors are used in conveying and elevator systems, pumping stations, air conditioning systems, as well as in systems for reactive power compensation, and can therefore be found in almost every industrial sector.
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The power sector growth is a major driving factor for the medium voltage vacuum contractors market
Vacuum contactors are very efficient at disrupting the energy of an electric arc and are used when relatively fast switching is required, as the maximum break time is determined by the periodicity of the AC waveform. For example, in the case of 60HZ power (U.S. standard), the power will discontinue within 1/120 or 0.008333 of a second. Medium voltage vacuum contactors are load breaking devices with a limited short-circuit making and breaking capacity for applications with high switching rates of up to 1 million operating cycles. Advantages associated with using a vacuum as a switching medium are long electrical and mechanical life, extremely compact size and no arc chutes or blow out coils. Thus, the market of medium voltage vacuum contactor is expected to grow with growth of the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioners (HVAC) application.
The rapid growth of the power sector, owing to the increasing power consumption across the globe, is also expected to fuel growth of the medium voltage vacuum contractors market. For instance, according to a 2016 publication by University of Oxford, the global primary energy consumption increased to 151,548.48 Terawatt-hours (TWh) in 2016, up from 150,307.8 TWh in 2015. Vacuum contactors enable safe and efficient switching capability at power plants, as compared to air break contactors, which makes them a relatively more feasible solution in power generation, transmission and distribution substations.
Medium Voltage Vacuum Contractors: Regional Insight
The market for medium voltage vacuum contractors is segmented on the basis of six regions into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East, and Africa.
Asia Pacific is the largest and fastest-growing market for the medium voltage vacuum contactors, owing to the growing electrical equipment and power generation sectors in the region. Asia Pacific encompasses some of the fast-growing economies such as China, India, and Japan, that will majorly contribute in the growth of Medium Voltage Vacuum Contactors. India is will majorly contribute to the medium voltage vacuum contactors market in the region, owing to the growth in its growing power sector. For instance, according to May 2018 report by India Brand Equity Foundation, India ranked fifth in the world for its power generation capacity. In May 2018, India ranked fourth in the Asia Pacific region, out of 25 nations on an index that measures overall power. Electricity production in India reached 1,201.543 Billion Units (BU) during 2018, accounting for 55.72% growth, compared to that in 2017. Medium voltage vacuum contactors are favoured in typical load equipment, such as transformers, which is majorly used in the power sector. Thus, growth of the power sector in Asia Pacific in turn, is expected to fuel grow of the medium voltage vacuum contactors, over the forecast period.
North America is the second-largest market for medium voltage vacuum contactors due to increasing generation and consumption of power in this region. For instance, according to Enerdata’s Global Energy in 2017, the rate of energy consumption in North America was 4,365 TWh, accounting for around 21% of the total consumption in the world. Similarly, the region generated 4,970 TWh in 2016. Medium voltage vacuum contactors are suitable for application that require large transformers or large motors, such as applications in the power generation and transmission industry. Thus, growth of the power sector in the region is expected to boost growth of the medium voltage vacuum contactors in North America.
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Medium Voltage Vacuum Contractors: Competitive Insight
Some of the key players operating in the medium voltage vacuum contactor are Eaton, ABB, Toshiba, Siemens, General Electric, Joslyn Clark, Mitsubishi Electric, Arteche, and Tavrida Electric.
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