GE Unveils World’s 1st 420 kV SF6-free g3 Circuit-Breaker for Gas-Insulated Substations

Source: 3/29/2022, Location: Europe

- GE’s gł 420 kV gas-insulated substation (GIS) circuit-breaker prototype demonstrates that gł technology can be used at Europe’s highest voltage level, as well as other global voltage levels
- The use of g3 switching and insulation gas to replace SF6, a potent greenhouse gas, helps reduce the global warming potential (GWP) by more than 99%
- The LifeGRID project, co-funded by EU’s LIFE Programme, puts GE’s Grid Solutions at the forefront of the industry’s effort to create a cleaner grid

In a historical milestone for the power industry, GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions (NYSE-GE) unveiled the world’s first 420 kV, 63 kA gł gas-insulated substation (GIS) circuit-breaker prototype. The gł circuit-breaker was presented to a group of leading transmission utilities from across Europe, at a recent virtual roundtable event. The performance achieved by the prototype means that the industry will soon have a viable SF6-free alternative for high voltage products. GE’s 420 kV fully g3 gas-insulated substation (GIS), which includes the g3 circuit-breaker, is expected to be commercially available in 2023.

A circuit-breaker is protective equipment that is critical to any substation and mainly used to cut or redirect power through another path if there is a problem on the electrical grid. This new circuit-breaker relies on GE’s game-changing g3 (pronounced “g”-cubed) gas-insulating and switching technology. g3 technology allows GE to build electrical equipment with the same high performance and compact size as traditional SF6 products, along with a gas CO2e impact reduced by 99%.

“The development of GE’s 420 kV g3 circuit-breaker is a historical milestone for the power industry as it will allow utilities to accelerate the decarbonization of their electrical grids. Until today, there was no viable alternative to SF6 for GIS at the 420 kV level, the highest voltage level in Europe. This means that the g3 technology can also be applied to all existing main voltage levels around the world. We are proud to be at the forefront of the effort to create a cleaner grid and are currently developing other g3 circuit-breaker types, according to our roadmap,” said Vera Silva, Chief Technology Officer at GE’s Grid Solutions.

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