A smart grid sensor is a small and lightweight node that serves as a detection station in a sensor network. Smart grid sensors enable the remote monitoring of equipment such as transformers and power lines, and the demand-side management of resources on an energy smart grid. Smart grid sensors are generally used to monitor weather conditions and power line temperature, which can then be used to calculate the line’s carrying capacity. This process, known as dynamic line rating, helps in increasing the power flow of existing transmission lines for power companies. A smart grid sensor can also be used within homes and businesses to increase energy efficiency. A smart grid sensor can be of four types: microcomputer, transducer, power source, and transceiver .
Transducers can be used to generate electrical signals based on phenomena such as power-line voltage. Microcomputers can be used to process and store the sensor output. The transceiver receives command from a central computer and transmits data to that computer. The power for each sensor can be derived from the electric utility or from a battery. Smart grids require monitoring, control functions, and multiple sensing at various levels. Smart grids can solve various problems in managing current electric grid infrastructure by enabling broad knowledge and control of operations at all levels, from generation to transmission and distribution to end use. All these functions, such as monitoring, control functions, and multiple sensing, depend on real-time collection and communication of a wide range of data throughout the grid, which creates significant opportunities for various types of sensors.
Based on the sensor type, the global smart grid sensor market is divided into four segments: energy conservation sensors, humidity and temperature sensors, current sensors, and oil moisture sensors. On the basis of application, the global smart grid sensor market is divided into four segments: advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), smart meters, SCADA, lead management, and others .
In terms of geography, North America dominates the global smart grid sensor market. The U.S. represents the largest market for smart grid sensor, followed by Canada in North America. In Europe, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the U.K. hold the major share of the smart grid sensor market. However, Asia Pacific is expected to witness high growth rates in the next five years in the smart grid sensor market. China and Japan represent the largest markets in Asia Pacific.
Convergence of severe weather, growing interest in green technologies, ageing infrastructure, and inefficient power balancing are some of the major driving forces for the global smart grid sensor market. Smart metering and meter data analytics, grid management, and renewable energy grid integration create opportunities for the global smart grid sensor market.
Some of the major companies operating in the global smart grid sensor market are Alstom, Atmospheric Systems, Corp. (ASC), AT&T, ABB, Axiom Power, IUS Technologies, Toshiba, Ford, Elster Solutions, GE’s Digital Energy, Silver Spring Networks, Cisco, Google, FreeWave Technologies, Honeywell, Honda, Schneider Electric, Mitsubishi, Eaton, and Siemens.