In keeping with its sustainability policy international energy company E.ON has decided to install ABB’s (NYSE: ABB) latest eco-efficient 72.5 kV high voltage circuit breaker at its hydropower plant in Ledinge, in the north of Sweden. This circuit breaker is the first of its kind to use carbon dioxide (CO2) instead of traditional SF6 gas as the insulating and arc extinguishing medium.
“As part of our mission, we are committed to investing in new technologies that helps us to reduce the environmental impact and this decision is very much in line with the approach”, said Torbjörn Tärnhuvud, Country Director Hydro at E.ON in Sweden.
Reducing CO2 equivalent emissions over the product’s life cycle by up to 18 percent
Pressurized SF6 gas is used for the safe and reliable operation of gas insulated switchgears as it has a much higher dielectric strength than other insulation media, making it possible to significantly reduce the product footprint and enable its installation in constrained spaces. However, ensuring that SF6 gas is used in a safe and reliable way is a costly challenge for utility and industrial users, particularly when decommissioning aging substations.
By using carbon-dioxide as the insulating and arc extinguishing medium instead each new 72.5 kV breaker has the potential to reduce overall CO2 emissions by 10 tons through the product life cycle – which is 18 percent less than its predecessor.
“Developing eco-efficient technologies that help mitigate the environmental impact across the product life cycle is one of the key thrust areas in ABB’s R&D efforts said Giandomenico Rivetti, head of ABB’s High Voltage Products business, a part of the company’s Power Products division.
“This includes aspects such as materials used, lower electrical losses and a more compact footprint.”