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Features 04-03-2024

3 min read

North America leads the way in the journey toward an SF₆-free world

Since its launch in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania, in June 2023, the eco-efficient 420-kilovolt Dead Tank Breaker has seen a significant uptake in North America.

Hitachi Energy has booked orders for over 65 units of its groundbreaking EconiQ™ 420-kilovolt Dead Tank Breaker and the world is taking note.

Imagine a world where large amounts of electricity are transmitted across vast distances without leaving a detrimental carbon footprint. Hitachi Energy has turned this vision into a reality with its revolutionary EconiQ™ technology. Unlike standard equipment, EconiQ high-voltage switchgear does not require the use of sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), the most potent greenhouse gas.

The world’s first EconiQ 420-kilovolt (kV) dead tank breaker (DTB) was delivered to a customer in North America in June 2023, and the technology quickly gained momentum. Since then a paradigm shift in high-voltage technology has been underway, and North America is leading the charge with over 65 orders for the game-changing SF6-free circuit breaker secured in just months. This is more than just a commercial success; it's a resounding vote of confidence from utilities, recognizing EconiQ as a cornerstone of the energy transition. EconiQ enables a cleaner, more sustainable grid while retaining the same performance and size as their conventional counterparts, proving that sustainable solutions can go hand in hand with uncompromised reliability.

While the North American market may be seen as serving somewhat as a springboard, the impact of EconiQ extends far beyond regional borders, with key European customers actively embracing this transformative technology, further demonstrating its global relevance.

EconiQ represents a holistic transformation across diverse voltage ranges, equipment types, and services. In addition to the DTB, the company has developed SF6-free Live Tank Breakers (LTA) for 72.5 kV and 145 kV voltages, Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS) for 72.5 kV, 145 kV and 420 kV voltages, Gas-Insulated Lines (GIL) for 420 kV voltage, and Retrofill for GIL for 420 kV voltage. This comprehensive approach empowers utilities to integrate sustainability into their existing infrastructure, paving the way for a truly decarbonized future.

Markus Heimbach, Managing Director of the High Voltage Products business at Hitachi Energy, reiterates the company’s unwavering dedication to driving the energy transition agenda forward. “We are thrilled to celebrate the milestone of over 65 DTBs sold in North America and prouder even to have reached it in such a short time. It demonstrates that our customers prioritize eco-efficient switchgear technology and trust that our EconiQ portfolio will deliver the resilient energy future the world needs. We remain steadfast in our vision to be a global leader in innovative energy solutions and to develop our EconiQ offering further.”

Hitachi Energy's EconiQ is a technological advancement and a catalyst for change. By fostering a world where environmental responsibility and energy security coexist, EconiQ marks a defining chapter in the evolution of power grids, shaping a cleaner, more sustainable future for generations to come. The rapid adoption across continents, symbolized by the North American milestone, underscores the rapidly growing demand for sustainable high-voltage solutions, solidifying Hitachi Energy's position as a frontrunner in the global energy transition.