The Electrical Industry’s Shift Away from SF6 and Towards a Sustainable Future

From Workhorse to Environmental Threat

Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) has been the champion of electrical engineers working with high-voltage equipment. Its exceptional insulating properties and ability to quench electrical arcs made it ideal for applications demanding both isolation and arc interruption. For decades, SF6 reigned supreme as the gas of choice for high-voltage switchgear, transformers, and other equipment.

However,  the very qualities that made SF6 so effective also raised concerns about its environmental impact. SF6 boasts exceptional stability and inertness, meaning it persists for a very long time in the atmosphere. Even minor leaks from power transmission and distribution equipment can lead to SF6 accumulating in the atmosphere, contributing significantly to global warming.

Recognizing this environmental threat, the electrical industry has embarked on a crucial mission: to reduce or eliminate the use of SF6 in electrical equipment. This movement prioritizes lower-voltage applications, where  the number of devices is high and alternative solutions are more readily available.

The Electrical Industry Moves Towards a Sustainable Future

At the forefront of this transition  is INDISOL, a leading manufacturer of epoxy insulators. Working hand-in-hand with its clients, INDISOL is actively involved in redesigning and modifying components of switchgear (medium voltage bushing, Epoxy insulator, epoxy fuse tubes) and circuit breakers to meet the requirements of SF6-free equipment. This process demands careful consideration of various factors, including  thermal, partial discharges, leakage and environmental requirements. INDISOL’s extensive experience in designing and manufacturing insulation components proves invaluable in this endeavor.

Furthermore,  the shift towards SF6-free equipment necessitates a complete redesign of various components, including conductors, insulators, and enclosures. INDISOL, with its over 35 years of expertise in producing insulators for electrical switchgear and protection equipment, is well-equipped to tackle these design challenges.

The move away from SF6 presents an exciting opportunity  to integrate other advanced technologies into electrical equipment. These advancements can enhance equipment intelligence, functionality, reliability, and even introduce self-healing capabilities.

INDISOL stands firmly committed to developing and manufacturing sustainable electrical equipment that minimizes environmental impact. The company’s efforts align with a shared goal: to ensure that future generations inherit a planet in the best possible condition, free from the lasting environmental marks of our actions.

In conclusion,  the environmental impact of SF6 has driven the electrical industry to reduce or eliminate its use in equipment. INDISOL is actively involved in redesigning and modifying electrical components for equipment with a SF6-free operation. This transition presents an opportunity to integrate advanced technologies, and INDISOL remains committed to developing sustainable electrical equipment for a greener future.