What is SF6?
Sulphur Hexafluoride (commonly referred to as “SF6”) is a man-made, colorless, odorless, non-flammable, heavy gas that has many uses including medical, manufacturing, and footwear.
Where is SF6 used?
- Used to hold detached retina in place during healing
- Has been used in Nike Air Jordans because the molecules are large
- Used as an etching gas in the manufacturing of semiconductor devices
- Noise reducer in windows
- And, most importantly, in switchgear
Why is SF6 used in switchgear?
SF6 is mainly used in Gas Insulated Switchgear (or GIS) to insulate high voltage circuit breakers to quench the arc formed when an energized circuit breaker is opened.
This means conductors and contacts can be much closer together and this reduces the size of switchgear compared to air-insulated equivalents.
Where is switchgear installed?
Common locations for switchgear include power plants, substations, solar and wind farms, data centers, heavy industry, and water treatment facilities.
Why monitor for SF6?
The main issue with SF6 gas is that it is the most potent and persistent greenhouse gas in existence with a global warming potential (GWP) of 22,800. For reference, CO2 has a GWP of one. SF6 has an atmospheric lifetime of approx. 3200 years.
Another concern is that while SF6 is an inert gas during normal use, the electrical discharges that occur through the operation of high-voltage equipment insulated with SF6 produce highly toxic byproducts that pose a serious health threat to workers.
Q5 B5 Series - SF6 Gas Detection
- Infrared senor
- 5,000 ft2 coverage area
- Low mounting height
- Analog output (Q5 version)
- BACnet MS/TP (B5 version)