SF6: The Perfect Gas for the Auburn Utilities Industry


Spec Air Specialty Gases has become a crucial provider of dielectric gases – also called insulating gases – for the Auburn electrical utilities industry. Gases of this type are employed most often to either avoid or quickly extinguish electrical discharges, for which their dielectric qualities make them most suitable. The most notable of these gases and the one most in demand from us is sulfur hexafluoride (SF6).

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

In the matter of SF6 circuit breakers, they’re pretty much replacing oil-filled circuit breakers (OCBs), which, given the fear of their harboring now-banned, environmentally dangerous polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), are no longer favored.

The predominant use of SF6 under pressure in gas-insulated switchgear is the result of its having a dielectric strength signally higher than air or dry nitrogen (the latter one more gas used extensively by our utilities industry customers).

One important perk of SF6’s high electronegativity and density is that it lets the utilities industry diminish the size of electrical gear. This, in turn, allows positioning such gear in more-governable indoor environments, instead of air-insulating it outdoors. Gas-insulated hardware located indoors is, of course, less prone to suffer the damages wrought by climate and pollution. Besides that, a controlled environment also helps assure greater system reliability and longevity.

If for some reason you’re unfamiliar with SF6 and would like to understand more about its advantages in utilities industry application, speak with Spec Air Specialty Gases, your Auburn PurityPlus® Partner, today.