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Replacing SF6 in high-voltage equipment a ‘world first’

Home Infrastructure Energy – Power Generation Replacing SF6 in high-voltage equipment a ‘world first’

HITACHI Energy and National Grid have teamed up in a UK pilot project to replace Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6) in installed high-voltage gas-insulated lines with an eco-efficient fluoronitrile based gas mixture as part of Hitachi Energy’s EconiQTM portfolio.

National Grid, one of the world’s largest investor-owned transmission and distribution utilities, has said it aims to remove all SF6 from its fleet by 2050. In this pioneering project, it has replaced SF6 from 420-kilovolt (kV) gas-insulated lines installed in 2016, eliminating 755 kilograms of SF6. According to the company, this is equivalent to taking approximately 100 passenger cars1 off the road.

For decades, SF6 has been used in the electrical industry due to its excellent insulation and current interruption properties. However, it has a high Global Warming Potential (GWP) and requires careful handling. Markus Heimbach, Managing Director of High Voltage Products business in Hitachi Energy said they are continuously reducing the use of SF6.

“We have a responsibility to help our customers like National Grid to accelerate the energy transition. Innovative EconiQ retrofill technology for installed gas-insulated lines along with the new EconiQ switchgear and breakers portfolio will enable our customers and the industry as a whole to reduce carbon footprint and rapidly transition to eco-efficient solutions.”

Chris Bennett, Acting President of National Grid described climate change as the greatest challenge of our time. “This new transformational green technology will help achieve wide-scale decarbonisation on our electricity transmission network. The retrofill solution replaces SF6, cutting emissions and network outages at the same time as saving costs by avoiding the need to spend on costly replacement equipment.”

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