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Finland’s national grid operator, Fingrid plans to stop the use of SF6 gas in its new 110 kV gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) substations by 2025 and it’s taking steps towards the decarbonization of outdoor breaker installations. One such project starts this year in the city of Heinola, with the refurbishment of a 46-year old substation. The project will feature Hitachi Energy’s EconiQ Live Tank Breaker - LTA that contains no SF6 to improve the reliability of electricity supply and enable the grid expansion in the region.
"It is very important for us at Fingrid that the EconiQ LTA breakers do not contain SF6, but have the same operating characteristics and 100% reliability as SF6 breakers. The option of SF6 free circuit-breakers by Hitachi Energy met Fingrid's requirements, which led us to seek experience in outdoor breaker installations such as Heinola with the new technology," says Joonas Hurtta, Project Manager at Fingrid.
EconiQ LTA is identical in size, breaking capacity and rating compared to conventional SF6 breakers. It can be also used in environments where temperatures are 50 degrees Celsius below zero.
For decades, SF6 has been used in the electrical industry due to its excellent insulation and current interruption properties. However, it has a high Global Warming Potential (GWP) and requires careful handling. Hitachi Energy is continuously reducing the use of SF6, improving its lifecycle management, and accelerating the development of eco-efficient products.
"The eco-efficient EconiQ™ LTA is part of Hitachi Energy’s EconiQ portfolio where products, services and solutions are proven to deliver exceptional environmental performance. We have nearly 200 installations of EconiQ LTA to our customers around the world," says Andreas Brautsch, Head of Global Product Group Switchgear at Hitachi Energy.
Heinola's new substation will be operational in autumn 2023.
EconiQ LTA for 145 kV uses carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen (O2) as insulation gas mixture instead of the conventional SF6. As part of the roadmap for EconiQ released last year, EconiQ high-voltage portfolio eliminates SF6 with scalable solutions for the lowest carbon footprint.
Hitachi Energy has placed sustainability at the heart of its Purpose and is advancing a sustainable energy future for all.