ABB launches carbon reducing high-voltage breaker

Latest Live Tank Breaker technology with AirPlus™ is an eco-friendly alternative to sulfur hexafluoride gas (SF₆)-based products

ABB launches carbon reducing high-voltage breaker

Latest Live Tank Breaker technology with AirPlus™ is an eco-friendly alter-native to sulfur hexafluoride gas (SF6)-based products

On average, Earth’s temperature has risen about 0.9 degrees Celsius since the late 19th century. In the last decade alone, ice losses have tripled in Antarctica.1 Therefore, across utilities and industries there’s a rising and urgent need to combat global warming.

In the electrical power industry, the sulfur hexafluoride gas (SF6) has been used extensively for decades because of its excellent insulating and arc-extinguishing properties. However, it is a greenhouse gas and for long ABB has been working on finding alternatives.

On April 2019, during Hannover Fair 2019, ABB will launch the Live Tank Breaker (LTB) 145-kilovolt (kV) AirPlus™ and which represents a breakthrough in eco-efficient innovation. The LTB uses a carbon dioxide (CO2)-based gas mixture as the insulation and switching medium, instead of SF6. Designed to protect electrical networks and prevent power outages, the technology will minimize environmental impact.

The new LTB AirPlus™ is reduces almost 100 percent of the global warming potential (GWP), compared with SF6. The GWP, expressed as CO2 equivalent, measures the amount of heat a gas traps in the atmosphere over a time horizon of 100 years. Based on ABB’s well-proven high-voltage breaker technology, and which has been already in operation for decades, the LTB AirPlus™ offers excellent switching performance within the same space requirements. Unlike SF6 where lifecycle management requires careful handling and reporting of inventory, the LTB AirPlus™ is future-proof and complies with environmental regulation changes.

“This technology is the latest addition to our eco-efficient high-voltage platform, and another milestone in our efforts toward lowering environmental impact,” said Markus Heimbach, head of ABB’s High Voltage Products business unit within the company’s Power Grids division. “We have already deployed various - climate-friendly solutions such as the 72.5 kV LTB and 170 kV gas-insulated switchgear in projects around the world.”

The technology is also available as a disconnecting circuit breaker (DCB), which means the disconnecting function is integrated with the breaker. This enables high equipment availability and reliability in a compact footprint.

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