Alternative Insulating Gases as SF6 substitute
Focus on the environment
SF6 is an excellent quenching and insulating gas which has been used in the energy sector worldwide for more than 50 years. The energy related development in the high and extra high voltage range would have been impossible without the use of SF6 with its excellent dielectric stability and good electric arc quenching properties.
However, due to its high greenhouse global warming potential with a GWP index of approx. 22,800, SF6 is the most potent known greenhouse gas, with an atmospheric dwell time of around 3,200 years. For this reason, politics are loudly calling for Alternative Insulating Gases. Agreements and regulations such as the Kyoto protocol, the EU F-gas regulation and the Paris climate protection treaty of 2015 have one global goal in common: the reduction of F-gas emissions.
Industry has implemented these requirements and several switchgear manufacturers now offer the first eco-efficient solutions with Alternative Insulating Gases after several years of development. In certain applications – with new units – they can even replace SF6 in the high voltage range. These gases have a significantly reduced GWP value and therefore show a noticeably reduced global warming potential.