Alstom breakthrough attacks greenhouse gas in the UK

Fri, 2015-04-17 06:00 -- Kevin Ebi

When you think of greenhouse gases, you tend to think of the stuff that comes out of a vehicle’s tailpipe. At power plants, you may think only of emissions at facilities that burn fuel. But all electrical facilities use them. They’re used as insulation for high-voltage equipment.

Council Lead Partner Alstom Grid, however, is changing that. Less than a year after introducing the first viable alternative to SF6, a potent greenhouse gas, Alstom has unveiled its first two high-voltage applications for it.

Pilot project in United Kingdom
Alstom’s alternative is known as g3, which stands for green gas for grid. The company says it can replace SF6 in high-voltage air-insulated and gas-insulated switchgear. G3 has 98% less greenhouse gas impact while delivering similar performance. It talked about its first two applications at the recent Hanover Fair.

The first involves a network reinforcement project by the United Kingdom’s National Grid. It will use g3 in a gas-insulated busbar in a facility in Sellindge, Kent that’s due to come online in the middle of next year. National Grid aims to cut its greenhouse gas emissions in nearly half by 2020, and by 80% in 2050. This project will help with that.

The second application is a current transformer, which protects substations by measuring currents. Alstom showed it off at the fair.

Expanding its global reach
These innovations come as Alstom is dramatically expanding its global reach, helping an ever-growing number of utilities worldwide.

Alstom is providing Empresa de Energía de Bogotá in Columbia with its first 500 kV substation. The substation, which is due for completion in mid-2017, is part of the efforts to improve energy reliability in the capital city of Bogota, while reducing environmental impact.

It is also building a new master receiving substation for the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in India. When completed, the facility will be the third largest in India.

Alstom is also helping to add capacity to Thailand’s electrical grid. It’s supplying geared reaction steam turbine (GRT) generators, auxiliaries and condensers to Gulf MP Co for 12 power plants.

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Kevin Ebi is a staff writer and social media coordinator for the Council. Follow @smartccouncil on Twitter.

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