Siemens Energy and Mitsubishi Electric have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to conduct a feasibility study on the joint development of high-voltage switching solutions that substitute greenhouse gases with clean air for insulation.
According to Siemens Energy, in most of the world’s substations, sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) – the most potent greenhouse gas in the world with a potential for global warming roughly 23,500 times greater than CO2, – is still the insulating gas of choice.
The demand for alternatives is growing as operators seek future-proof technologies that significantly reduce the carbon footprint of their systems. Furthermore, regulations to reduce or prohibit the use of fluorinated gases in the electrical industry are being reviewed and implemented in various parts of the world.
In response to this, both companies will research methods for scaling up the application of clean-air insulation technology to higher voltages. They’ll start with a 245-kV dead-tank circuit breaker that will speed up the availability of climate-neutral high-voltage switching solutions for customers around the globe.
Both Siemens Energy and Mitsubishi Electric have been working on the development of SF6-free gas-insulated switching solutions that replace the greenhouse gas with clean air, a pure mixture of nitrogen and oxygen, in order to contribute to global carbon-neutrality goals and decrease health and safety risks. According to the companies, in conjunction with vacuum interrupters, a higher performance for switching applications is ensured, even compared with all known SF6 circuit breakers.
Siemens Energy’s Blue Portfolio offers F-gas-free gas-insulated switchgear, circuit breakers, and instrument transformers. The combination of vacuum-switching technology and clean-air insulation enables a significant reduction of emissions without any impact on the lifetime of the products.
Mitsubishi Electric provides vacuum-interruption and dry-air insulation technology, high-quality vacuum tubes and started providing its 72.5-kV vacuum interrupter in 2002.
Both partners will continue to manufacture, sell, and service switchgear solutions independently.