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Analysis of the Load Bank Market in Southeast Asia

  • January 2014
  • 53 pages
  • Frost & Sullivan
Report ID: 1993672


Table of Contents

Scalability and Modularity Drive the Market toward Smaller-rated Load Banks with Increased Data Interpretation Intelligence

This research covers the load bank market in Southeast Asia. Demand in Southeast Asia for load banks with remote monitoring and controlling features that enable users to deploy technicians faster is leading to outsourcing of emergency power services including installations, maintenance, testing, inspection, modifications, and upgrades. There is also demand for subject matter experts, which encompass uninterruptable power supplies/diesel generator original equipment manufacturers, contractors, and power rental companies.

Key Findings

•There is demand in Southeast Asia for load banks with remote monitoring and controlling features that enable users to deploy technicians faster. This trend is leading to the momentum to outsource emergency power services including installations, maintenance, testing, inspection, modifications, and upgrades.
•There is also demand for subject matter experts, which encompass uninterruptable power supplies (UPS)/diesel generator (DG) original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), contractors, and power rental companies.
•Countries like Singapore are witnessing the application of load banks in data centers for testing system setup and maintenance to ensure continued verification and desired product life.
•Large-scale industries are the largest end-user groups in the rental power market, especially petroleum in Malaysia, mining in Vietnam, and refineries in Singapore.
•The data center in Southeast Asia is exploring various options with an objective to optimize productivity and minimize downtime. Remote monitoring and a proactive approach toward power system uptime is gradually paving the way for permanent load banks equipped with such features, thereby integrating emergency power systems management with remote monitoring.
•The load bank industry operates on multi-layer competition wherein manufacturers, third-party energy companies, and rental power companies work against each other and sometimes complement each other.
•Most markets use load banks for testing annually or when there is an issue, as customers generally prefer to source a load bank from testing services or a rental power provider.
•Because back-up emergency power systems are an integral part of mission-critical infrastructures across all major market verticals, the need to match those systems with load requirements is creating tremendous opportunity for load bank suppliers.
•Power disruptions are inevitable and required to be backed up by on-site power generation systems, though diesel back-up generators are the most common and reliable option for this purpose.
•Uptime reliability is critical, while load testing is essential, in order to ensure a sustainable power supply system that supports operations. Interruption in operation is, however, unacceptable. This leads to a roadblock: setting up a redundant power system.
•Outsourcing of maintenance services that may incorporate load testing services is pushed by economics and specialization.
•Load bank testing opportunities emerge out of a set of new criticalities that encompass the following criteria: zero interruptions, zero downtime is forbidden, increased productivity, and customer satisfaction.
•In a new competitive environment of data centers and other mission-critical applications, new set of challenges are coming into play that include increasing power density, increasing electricity consumption, and increasing demand for high reliability and high efficiency, which calls for new approaches to design, installation, commissioning, and maintenance.

Market Overview—Product Definition

•Load banks are useful in tackling the issues pertaining to power source capacity, efficiency, and used in an uncertain business environment. Depending on the issues, load banks can be the most or the least useful tool in such a business environment, depending upon the customer's purpose for using the load bank.
•There are 3 major stakeholders in the load bank value chain:
oLoad bank manufacturers,
oRental solution companies, and
oTesting and commissioning services providers.
•These 3 stakeholders are positioned in the load bank market in their unique industry spaces. The Asia-Pacific region offers great opportunities for load bank manufacturers who are responsive to market needs. Rental solution companies are a must for the market at present, as the companies have less capital to invest, giving rise to the need for short-term hiring, which is often the most competitive low-cost option. Testing solution providers come into the picture as the new installation or change to the system requires a commissioning service. These stakeholders hold a strong position in the value chain as they offer comfort for the business with regards to warranties and guarantees.
•Emerging economies in Asia-Pacific are witnessing business expansion across the market vertical, including data centers, power generation, oil & gas, and other energy-intensive markets. This can prove to be the biggest driver for load bank industry growth in the next X to Xyears. The most sought-after features and benefits of the load banks are that they should be cheaper, easier to install, and less space-consuming. Load banks can gain acceptance in the market if they are suitable for installation with a back-up, peak lopping, or prime/continuous power generator system. Such technological advancement in load banks can alleviate their significance in the overall electrical infrastructure in any business.
•The rental business model affects the total addressable market of load bank sellers in scenarios where there is intense pressure on capital expenditure. Generally, load banks constitute the non-core component of the electrical infrastructure in any business setup. Given the nature of the usage of load banks, manufacturers face challenges in justifying their ROI. It is essential for load bank manufacturers to offer more added value as opposed to just having new technology to sell.
•The major competitive strategies observed in the industry in order to win market share in 2013 were pricing and aftermarket service responses.

Load Banks
Load banks are used to simulate real-life, high-power dummy loads in order to test emergency power and cooling systems including generators, uninterruptible power supplies, turbines, battery systems, CRAC systems, and regenerative power absorption of large motors and other load applications.
Load banks are used for commissioning and maintaining emergency power systems through a consistent and repeatable electrical load that can be controlled, measured, and recorded. The testing exercise helps verify the real-life demands of emergency power.

Load Bank Test
A load bank test is an essential part of any commissioning and preventive maintenance practice to ensure that power supply systems function to the required horsepower level in the event of a power failure. A generator or any other back-up power equipment typically operates in under-load condition, which is less than the unit’s rated output capability. Such a working practice may lead to a high degree of uncertainty in handling emergency situations, wherein the equipment will be required to operate at its full rated capacity. Generators that are lightly loaded for a certain time period tend to develop wet-stacking and carbon buildup in the combustion chambers and exhaust system, causing increased oil and fuel consumption and poor engine performance. Load tests can play a crucial role in averting any risks arising out of the equipment’s failure in emergencies by providing an artificial load that brings the engine to an acceptable operating temperature.
Various user groups from across the market verticals need to perform load testing at varying frequencies, either manually or by using a load bank, to improve the life of the engine and alternator.

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