1. Moving towards Carbon-neutral HV Switchgear by Combining Eco-efficient Technologies
The transition towards a carbon-neutral energy system requires sustainable equipment and services for the power grid. Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) technology has been very successful by enabling compact, reliable, and scalable high-voltage (HV) switchgear. In more than a decade of research and development, Hitachi Energy Ltd. has developed an alternative technology to SF6 for the EconiQ high-voltage portfolio. EconiQ metal-encapsulated switchgear uses an innovative gas mixture with 99% lower carbon dioxide (CO2)-equivalent, while retaining the compact footprint, low material consumption, and scalability of modern SF6 equipment. With excellent dielectric and arc quenching properties, the gas mixture of fluoronitrile, CO2, and oxygen represents the solution for a complete platform of HV switchgear including circuit breakers. It can lead the way to an industry standard for new equipment. The gas mixture enables manufacturers and users to build on decades of experience with SF6 in dielectric design, gas circuit breaker technology, material choice, operational health and safety, and gas handling. Additionally, an optimal service was developed and implemented for the installed base using the mixture of fluoronitrile, nitrogen, and oxygen. Large volumes of SF6 in 420-kV gas-insulated lines can be “retrofilled” in existing installations, significantly reducing future CO2-equivalent emissions.
(Hitachi Energy Ltd.)