SF6: The Perfect Gas for the Riverside Utilities Industry


Elite Air is today acknowledged as a crucial producer of dielectric gases – also called insulating gases – for the Riverside electrical utilities industry. Such gases are used routinely to either avert or rapidly extinguish electrical discharges, for which their dielectric characteristics make them ideal. The most prominent of these gases and the one most sought from us is sulfur hexafluoride (SF6).

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

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

The extensive use of SF6 under pressure in gas-insulated switchgear is due to its manifesting a dielectric strength markedly higher than air or dry nitrogen (the latter another gas used almost universally by our utilities industry customers).

One very real “side benefit” 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 installing such gear in more-practicable indoor environments, instead of air-insulating it outdoors. Gas-insulated equipment located indoors is, of course, less prone to suffer the damages done by climate and pollution. In addition, a more-governable environment also promote greater system reliability and longevity.

If for whatever reason you’re unfamiliar with SF6 and would like to know more about its advantages in utilities industry application, get hold of Elite Air, your Riverside PurityPlus® Partner, today.