E.On has announced plans to eliminate greenhouse gases from its gas insulated switchgear (GIS).
The German energy company and VC Fund Technoligie Berlin are investing in nuventura, a start-up that develops switchgear free of sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) gas.
SF6 is a potent greenhouse gas and is used in GIS as a protective layer enclosing the conductors. Nuventura’s technology uses dry air instead, offering environmental benefits as well as better efficiency and profitability, E.On said.
The companies are planning to launch a pilot project testing the SF6-free technology with German grid operator E.DIS at Ketzin substation, the site of E.DIS Energy Transition Lab.
“Our collaboration with nuventura is an active contribution to climate protection,” said Alexander Montebaur, E.DIS AG Chairman. “In nuventura, we have found a partner with the potential to make a key technical asset in our grids emission-free.”
Fabian Lemke, commercial director at nuventura, adds, “We should do everything in our power to achieve a complete ban of SF6. That is why we are making our technology available to all switchgear manufacturers via licenses.”
SF6 is 23 500 times more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2) as a greenhouse gas. It is a synthetic gas that is extremely long-lived – its atmospheric lifetime is estimated at over 3000 years.
In the long term, nuventura’s technology will make SF6 obsolete in switchgear insulations, which currently use 85 per cent of all globally produced SF6. Currently, the annual greenhouse effect of SF6 emissions equals that of 100 million cars emitting CO2, E.On said.