Stay informed with our
free newsletters

EE Supports GE's Development of a 245 KV G3 Circuit-Breaker to Accelerate Decarbonization of EU's Electrical Grid

  • EU's LIFE program recognizes potential of GE Renewable Energy's g3 insulating and switching gas as an alternative to sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) to help significantly cut global greenhouse gas emissions
  • This is the second GE g3 gas project to be co-funded by the EU within two years
  • New g3 gas 245 kV circuit-breaker will be scalable to other high-voltage levels across Europe's electrical grids and help utilities get ready for stricter fluorinated (F)-gas regulations

GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions business (NYSE-GE) has been awarded €2.5 million through the European Commission’s LIFE  climate action program to help fund the development of a sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)1-free 245 kilovolts (kV) g³ live tank circuit-breaker2. The new circuit-breaker will rely on GE’s industry-leading g3 (pronounced “g”- cubed) gas technology to deliver the same high performance and compact dimensional footprint as a traditional SF6 circuit-breaker.  

The co-funding reflects the EU’s commitment to accelerate the decarbonization of Europe’s electrical grids and help them get ready for the EU’s stricter fluorinated (F)-gas regulation, which aims to cut F-gas emissions by two-thirds by 2030. GE’s g³ gas is a game-changing alternative to SF6 - a potent greenhouse gas - with a global warming potential (GWP) that is about 99% less compared to SF6.

The new GE air-insulated 245 kV g3 live tank circuit-breaker, which will be based on International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards, is the second g3 gas project co-funded by the EU. In 2019, GE received funding for a g3 gas-insulated 420 kV circuit-breaker, also as part of the EU LIFE Program.

Smart Meters Market - Global Forecast to 2026

Smart Meters Market - Global Forecast to 2026

by Type (Electric, Gas, Water), Communication Type (RF, PLC, Cellular), Component (Hardware, Software), Technology (AMR, AMI), End user (Residential, Commercial, Industrial), and Region

Download free sample pages

“The EU’s co-funding of a g3 245 kV live tank circuit-breaker will help demonstrate the applicability of GE’s g3 gas for this commonly used voltage level by transmission operators around the world, as well as outdoor applications down to -30°C,” said Vera Silva, Chief Technology Officer at GE’s Grid Solutions. “The new g3 245 kV live tank circuit-breakers, once ramped up together with  420 kV voltage level, will help avoid the addition of some 52,000 tons of CO2 equivalent annually on to the European grid alone and more – as we expect other continents to adopt our g3 gas technology.”

GE’s Grid Solutions teams will work with several European partners on this second EU-funded g³ gas project, including Germany’s Leibniz Institute for Plasma Science and Technology, which will build a scientific database of g³ gas properties. Industrial partners will help optimize the environmental impact of the new circuit-breaker throughout its entire life cycle.

A recent EU Commission report concluded that fluoronitrile-based gas mixtures – such as g3 gas - may be the only insulating and switching gas alternative to SF6 when space is a constraint, such as in urban areas. That’s because fluoronitrile-based gas products feature the same compactness and performance as traditional SF6 equipment, unlike other SF6-free solutions.

Today, 25 leading electrical utilities have already adopted GE’s g3 products for their high voltage networks, avoiding the addition of more than a million tons of CO2 equivalent to the grid. That’s the equivalent of removing about 476,000 petrol cars from the road for one year.

GE’s g3 gas-insulated products are currently available for live-tank circuit-breakers and gas-insulated substations (GIS) up to 145 kV, as well as gas-insulated lines (GIL) up to 420 kV.

Source: General Electric (GE)
Date: Jul 22, 2021

Share this news: