EU funding accelerates GE’s development of world’s first SF6-free 420 kV circuit-breaker

EU: GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions business has been awarded $2.4 M through the European Commission’s LIFE climate action program to help fund the development of a sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)-free, 420 kV 63 kA gas-insulated substation (GIS) circuit-breaker.

The new circuit-breaker will rely on GE’s industry-leading “Green Gas for Grid” – or “g3” – technology, resulting in the same high performance and compact size as a traditional SF6-insulated circuit-breaker, but with a gas mass having more than a 99% reduced CO₂ equivalent value. Upon completion in 2022, the g3 circuit-breaker is expected to be the first SF6-free 420 kV gas-insulated substation circuit-breaker in the world.

Due to its strong insulating and arc-quenching properties, SF6 is widely used in substation equipment with the transmission industry accounting for approximately 80 % of the world’s usage.

“Our g3 technology is a game-changing alternative to SF6 for high-voltage equipment and is part of GE’s broader efforts to help the electric transmission and distribution industry reduce its greenhouse gas emissions,” said Vera Silva, Chief Technology Officer at GE’s Grid Solutions.

“Because 420 kV is the highest voltage level used in most European countries, a proven g3–insulated 420 kV circuit-breaker will demonstrate that g3 technology can be applied to other high-voltage levels, as well as all other gas-insulated substation components, such as disconnectors, earthing switches, voltage transformers,” said Yannick Kieffel, Grid Solutions’ Materials and Eco Design Team Leader and Project Leader for the EU-funded g3 project.

Currently, GE offers the following g3 products: live tank circuit-breakers and gas-insulated substations up to 145 kV, gas-insulated lines up to 420 kV and instrument transformers up to 245 kV.

 

Source: Yahoo Finance