Volt/VAR control architectures market set to grow

Worldwide revenue from dynamic voltage and volt-ampere reactive technologies will grow from $734 million in 2014 to $2.9 billion by 2023, according to a report from Navigant Research.

As electricity loads become more variable and intermittent sources become a larger portion of the energy supply, the power grid will need to become more flexible and more efficient. Dynamic voltage and volt-ampere reactive (VAR) control architectures (DVCAs) are increasingly essential to achieving cost-effective performance expectations.

“Most of the technology needed to realize DVCA already exists, as rapidly increasing levels of intelligent electronic devices, communications, and information technology are already being leveraged in distribution systems,” says James McCray, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “DVCA will relieve congestion and effectively free up capacity in a more predictable and manageable fashion, without service interruptions.”

While dynamic and integrated volt/VAR control (VVC) is not in place in its entirety anywhere in the world yet, there are development and standardization initiatives. Many major utilities have one or more forms of DVCA solution in pilot scale, according to the report, while others are embarking on system-wide implementation in the medium-voltage network, and a few are already tuning DVCA systems for full production.

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