The huge investments pouring into the electric grid infrastructure provide an economical opportunity for power grid owner/operators to include an asset condition monitoring infrastructure from the onset of these projects.  This will fundamentally change the way that grid assets are managed and maintained.  “With smarter electric grids, operators will be able to take a more proactive role to ensure the seamless flow of power.  Smart maintenance technology solutions will enable operators to identify problems quickly, preventing equipment failures and subsequent power outages,” according to Analyst Allen Avery (email: aavery@arcweb.com), the principal author of ARC’s “Smart Maintenance Technology Solutions for Power T&D Worldwide Outlook” (www.arcweb.com/res/smt).

Increased Energy Demand Pushing Grid to Its Limit

The rising demand for electricity in North America continues to strain the aging electricity infrastructure in both the US and Canada, with more businesses and homeowners struggling with surges, outages, and weather-related power losses.  While demand rises, fewer new generating plants are being built, and utilities are pushing the electric grid to its capacity and beyond.  Keeping the grid operating smoothly and reliability has become more difficult than ever as the industry is forced to grapple with the aging, less reliable infrastructure, and an aging workforce that is approaching retirement.

Aging Power Grid Needs Closer Monitoring

The average age of equipment on the grid in North America is between 40 and 50 years old, and much of it on the distribution segment, has little or no automation, particularly in remote areas.  By some estimates, more than half of the installed transformers are nearing the end of their operation lives, or have already exceeded them.  Effective SMT solutions could allow utilities to prolong the lives of their transformers by keeping them operating within safe tolerances that do not push them beyond their limits.

Developing Regions Will Drive SMT Growth

Asia and the Middle East will see the strongest growth as these developing regions work to build up their power infrastructures to meet the ever growing electricity demand of their growing industrial base and burgeoning middle classes as they acquire appliances and electronic consumer goods.  Deploying SMT solutions in Greenfield installations can be more easily accomplished by designing the necessary infrastructure during the planning stages of the project.

For more information on this study, go to: www.arcweb.com/res/smt

About ARC:  Founded in 1986, ARC Advisory Group is the leading re-search and advisory firm for industry.  Our coverage of technology from business systems to product and asset lifecycle management, supply chain management, operations management, and automation systems makes us the go-to firm for business and IT executives around the world.  For the complex business issues facing organizations today, our analysts have the industry knowledge and first-hand experience to help our clients find the best answers.  Further information can be obtained from ARC Advisory Group, Three Allied Drive, Dedham, MA 02026 USA, 781-471-1000, Fax 781-471-1100, E-mail info@arcweb.com, Web www.arcweb.com.

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