Containerized substations consist of solutions completely coordinated, assembled and tested in the controlled environment of its own premises. The thermal adjustment of the containers is carried out according to the internal thermal dissipation of the housed equipment as well as to the climatic and environmental conditions in which they will operate. Containerized substations solution offers a lot of advantages, both technical and economical. It makes the overall dimensions more compact and the maneuverability easier during the transportation and positioning on site. Moreover it permits to interface with only a responsible subject and reduces the installation costs. The use of containers guarantees the reduction of the installation time and requires few civil works. The ease of loading and offloading activities allows the positioning also in the most hostile environments.
The market for containerized substations is driven by certain micro and macro factors that greatly influence the sale of the equipment. One of the major factors is the surge in population, which has prompted in increased use of electricity and power by domestic users as well as the Commercial and Industrial (C&I) Market. Construction of new buildings and facilities requires installation of new electrical substations for that particular grid/area. Another driver for this market presently is the gradual shift of the transformer market from Oil Filled Distribution Transformers (mainly using ester as a filling) to Dry Type Distribution Transformers which requires the users/utility companies to replace the older versions with the new ones and also installing porta-containers to contain such units.
Certain substations also need to be retired as they wear out over the years, which drive up the sales for new ones. Moreover, one of the major reasons to install substations at certain points is that it minimizes power wastage and curbs the cost of energy loss. On the other hand, the key market actors, those being the vendors, electrical contractors and distributors lack awareness of the most efficient substations, which acts as a constraint in most regions. The lack of split incentives also acts as a barrier for the installation of efficient substations as the initial cost of installation and equipment purchase is being borne by the project/building owner but the incentive of low power bills is being enjoyed by the tenant. Therefore the owner/construction contractors install low-cost substations to reduce their up-front costs, thereby sacrificing efficiency. Furthermore, energy-efficient electrical substations are rarely a stock item. In most cases, they need to be custom-made depending on the requirement of the project or geographical area.
Some of the major companies involved in the manufacturing of containerized substations are General Electric, Kirloskar Electric Company Ltd., Crompton Greaves Ltd., Siemens AG and Eaton Corp.