SF6: The Perfect Gas for the Albany Utilities Industry


Noble Gas Solutions has emerged as a major provider of dielectric gases – also called insulating gases – for the Albany electrical utilities industry. Gases of this type are employed most often to either avoid or quickly put an end to electrical discharges, for which their dielectric attributes make them most suitable. The most prominent of these gases and the one most sought from us is sulfur hexafluoride (SF6).

Utilities apply SF6 to electrically insulate high-voltage transformers, sulfur hexafluoride circuit breakers, switchgear, and other such hardware.

Where SF6 circuit breakers are concerned, they’re generally swapping out oil-filled circuit breakers (OCBs), which, because of the fear of their containing now-banned, environmentally hazardous polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), are no longer favored.

The common use of SF6 under pressure in gas-insulated switchgear is because of its exhibiting a dielectric strength substantially higher than air or dry nitrogen (the latter another gas in wide use by our utilities industry customers).

One major advantage of SF6’s high electronegativity and density is that it enables the utilities industry to reduce the size of electrical gear. This, in turn, enables positioning such gear in more-practicable indoor environments, as opposed to air-insulating it outdoors. Gas-insulated gear situated indoors is, of course, less subject to the damages inflicted by climate and pollution. Besides that, a controlled environment also helps assure greater system dependability and longevity.

If for whatever reason you’ve never used SF6 and would like to know more about its benefits in utilities industry application, contact Noble Gas Solutions, your Albany PurityPlus® Partner, today.