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Rising energy prices propel sales of MV drives

01 March, 2006

The global market for medium voltage variable speed drives will expand from $530.9m in 2004 to $827.7m by 2011, a recent report predicts. The World Medium Voltage Drives Market survey, published by Frost & Sullivan, says that the growth is being driven by the rising price of energy, and by a wider acceptance of MV technology.

During the 1990s, says F&S, a lack of confidence in the relatively new MV technology limited its acceptance by end-users, many of whom felt happier using low-voltage drives with step-up and step-down transformers. More recently, however, the technology has been winning a growing number of converts, especially in Europe and North America.

"With the focus on energy savings and increasing efficiency across all industries, medium voltage drives are increasingly being accepted and installed," says Frost & Sullivan research analyst, Arjun Bagri.

The drives` benefits include high reliability and efficiency, and low servicing and running costs. "The long lifecycles and low maintenance costs of MV drives reduce the operating costs in comparison to rival technologies," Bagri adds.

But the message has not reached everyone. "Some end-users are still not aware of the benefits of MV drives," Bagri reports. "This is particularly true in the Asia-Pacific market, where awareness is spreading slowly."

He suggests that drives-makers need to educate end-users about the total costs of owning MV drives and to help them understand the benefits of using these drives.

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