The power electronics market is booming at all voltage ranges!
More importantly, power devices for application markets >1.7kV like wind power converters, electricity transportation and distribution (T&D), rail traction and ship & vessel propulsion correspond to high added-value businesses.
It is sure that their total 2010 expected market size of $405 million (including power devices and power modules) is small compared to lower voltage markets, but they remain very dynamic and offer the potential of high margins.
These market developments are primarily driven by energy saving considerations and green technology developments. They are actively supported – e.g. electricity T&D – by several governments and leading companies are working to improve their technology.
As such, IGBTs, thyristors (GTOs and IGCTs) and diodes will get access to more and more technological improvements like transition to 8’’ wafer platforms and use of silicon carbide (SiC) materials among others.
However, the long time period of order contracts, the low volume production they imply and the issues to increase voltage to use SiC-based components induce quite light competition between the well-established players of those markets.
Total market for high power devices and modules (including IGBTs, thyristors and diodes) was $390 million in 2009 and is expected to ramp up to more than $570 million by 2015.
Rail traction will contribute more than 65% of this value because of the high level of production it represents and the number of inverter units per locomotive.
Electricity T&D will benefit from the strongest CAGR between 2010 and 2015: 11.1%. Indeed, we expect plenty of work to be realized for HDVC transportation, and ABB to provide an important contribution to HVDC light architecture by making IGBTs.
Wind turbine converters have not suffered so much from the 2009 crisis, and their growth is expected to be the second strongest, with 2010 – 2015 CAGR of more than 9%.
Finally, ship and vessel markets have been impacted unevenly in 2009. Military vessels have kept on growing – relatively to the long time period of ship manufacturing – whereas passenger yachts acquired for private use have drastically decreased. As a consequence, we estimate the global IGBT module market for ships and vessels to resume in 2013 and reach $26 million by 2015.
Power electronics represent a daily challenge in several systems today (photovoltaic inverters, hybrid electric and electric vehicles, cameras, white goods,…) from a market point of view, but also from a technology development aspect.
Plenty of companies are pushing R&D efforts hard in order to provide the most cost-effective, efficient and reliable materials, devices and systems. And some more “hidden” applications, like the over-1.7kV segment described in this report benefit from those efforts.
The 4 following segments have been investigated in this report:
- Wind turbine converters,
- Electricity T&D,
- Rail traction,
- Ships and vessels.
Due to diversified utilization, low interest in pushing marketing efforts and flatness of market revenue evolution, we have not described industrial motor drive and UPS markets.
With deep understanding of these application markets, Yole Développement provides a detailed analysis for each of them on:
- The technical developments provided by the leading companies
- The architectures of inverter units
- Market data of macro market: wind turbine installed base, shipments of vessels and trains, and number of existing power installations for electricity T&D
- Market metrics of related power devices and modules: IGBTs, thyristors and diodes
- Market estimation of silicon wafers and SiC substrates penetration
- Deep understanding of the value chains
- Market shares of leading companies