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SF6 Insulation Assessment

Hexafluoride (SF6) gas insulation

Testing SF6 gas for impurities will therefore indicate potential issues with the switchgear.

Decomposition products arise during operation of SF6 gas-insulated switchgear through arcing in moist or impure SF6 gas. Testing the gas for impurities will therefore indicate potential issues with the switchgear. In addition, while SF6 containers are designed to be gas-tight to ensure no environmentally hazardous SF6 gas escapes, it is important to monitor SF6 gas pressure both to ensure no leaks are present and also to ensure the switchgear is adequately insulated.

EA Technology is an accredited expert in all aspects of working with this valuable but potentially environmentally hazardous gas.

A typical survey would include:

  • provision of a Standard Operating Procedure for carrying out the work in accordance with the current European standard for the handling of SF6 gas.
  • leak detection tests on selected equipment (including outdoor), with the capability to detect leaks as small as 1ppm.  If a leak is present, the location on the equipment will be identified.  Repairs will be recommended for any leaks identified.
  • gas analysis test to assess quality and compliance of SF6 gas to IEC60480.  The following would be measured: purity; acidity; and moisture content.
  • gas recovery service which can be used for: decommissioning; disposal of non-compliant gas; or prior to gas replacement.
  • If SF6 pressure is low for reasons other than a leak (e.g. age, sample taking, tampering, etc.) equipment can be refilled with new SF6 gas where necessary, and provide records of the mass of gas supplied in accordance with European regulations.

The option is also available to take away a gas sample for laboratory chemical analysis.  This would provide a more detailed analysis of the gas content, providing additional information on any ongoing degradation of the equipment.

Test results will be provided in a written report with recommendations.

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David Russell
Project Manager
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