SF6: The Perfect Gas for the Portland Utilities Industry


Cryo-Source seen as a prime provider of dielectric gases – also called insulating gases – for the Portland electrical utilities industry. These gases are employed most often to either avoid or quickly tamp down electrical discharges, for which their dielectric qualities make them most suitable. The most notable of these gases and the one most purchased from us is sulfur hexafluoride (SF6).

Utilities work with SF6 to electrically insulate high-voltage transformers, sulfur hexafluoride circuit breakers, switchgear, and other similar kinds of equipment.

Where SF6 circuit breakers are concerned, they’re pretty much singularly taking the place of oil-filled circuit breakers (OCBs), which, because of the fear of their harboring now-banned, environmentally hazardous polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), are no longer favored.

The extensive use of SF6 under pressure in gas-insulated switchgear is due to its exhibiting a dielectric strength signally higher than air or dry nitrogen (the latter one more gas in broad use by our utilities industry customers).

One major “side benefit” of SF6’s high electronegativity and density is that it lets the utilities industry reduce the size of electrical gear. This, in turn, allows locating such gear in more-tractable indoor environments, instead of air-insulating it outdoors. Gas-insulated gear placed indoors is, of course, less prone to suffer the damages inflicted by climate and pollution. What’s more, a controlled environment also helps insure greater system trustworthiness and longevity.

If for any reason you’re still not acquainted with SF6 and would like to understand more about its advantages in utilities industry application, talk with Cryo-Source, your Portland PurityPlus® Partner, today.