France/Switzerland – GE Renewable Energy and Hitachi ABB Power Grids have entered into an agreement for the use of an alternative gas to sulfur hexafluoride (SF₆) used in high voltage equipment.
This fluoronitrile-based gas mixture has a significantly reduced impact on the environment compared to SF₆.
Under this landmark agreement both companies will share complementary intellectual property related to their respective SF₆-free solutions. This will help accelerate the use of fluoronitrile-based eco-efficient insulation and switching gas in high-voltage equipment as an alternative to SF₆.
This historic agreement paves the way for a standard SF₆-free solution for high-voltage equipment in the coming years. This would enable utilities and industries to accelerate their reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, while facilitating their ability to plan, as well as operate and maintain their networks thanks to standardized services and the use of the same auxiliary equipment.
For almost half a century, SF₆ gas has been the norm in the electrical power transmission and distribution industry due to its unique physical properties. It is, however a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming if leaked. For this reason, GE and Hitachi ABB Power Grids have been investing in the development of better alternatives to SF₆.
The two companies will keep the product development, manufacturing, sales, marketing and service activities of their gas solutions fully independent. Each company will continue to independently grant and set terms of licenses to its respective intellectual property, hence preserving supplier base diversity for the industry and fair competition.