Eco-efficient circuit-breakers help Danish island reduce carbon footprint

Eco-efficient circuit-breakers help Danish island reduce carbon footprint

Bornholms El-Net will install ABB’s CO2 circuit-breakers as an SF6 alternative

Bornholm is a Danish island in the Baltic Sea known for its rocky coastline, white beaches and long hours of summer sunlight. In preservation of its natural beauty, it’s on a mission to be sustainable and carbon neutral by 2025. At present, 25 percent of the electricity generated within the island comes from renewable sources such as wind, solar and biomass. Bornholm’s Energy Strategy targets to further increase the use of renewable energy and lower greenhouse gasses, and ABB is playing a part.

For almost 40 years, sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) has been used extensively in the electrical industry for dielectric insulation and current interruption due to its physical properties. However, it is a greenhouse gas and its lifecycle management requires careful handling and can entail substantial costs, particularly when decommissioning aging substations. In addition, the European Union has issued stricter legislations on the control and handling of SF6 gases.

An eco-efficient solution

In keeping with its energy strategy, the island’s energy provider, Bornholms El-Net, chose ABB’s Live Tank circuit-breaker (LTA) with carbon dioxide (CO2) to replace an aging SF6 filled switchgear installation at Åkirkeby substation. When fully operational, the LTA technology will enable Bornholms El-Net to achieve an almost 100 percent reduction in global warming potential (GWP) as compared to SF6 without any compromise on equipment quality and reliability. The regulatory procedures for SF6 such as gas handling, monitoring and inventory are avoided.

“For years, we have been searching for environmentally-friendly switchgear and we are pleased to work with ABB which is leading the technology in this field,” says Torben Vesth Hansen, engineer, Bornholms El-Net. “This brings us one step closer to achieving our target of being a green and CO2-neutral society.”

Similar installations

Eco-efficient, compact and almost maintenance-free, ABB’s LTA technology has been helping two other Swedish municipalities achieve their sustainability goals. Located in the rolling hillsides of western Sweden, Stensta substation delivers electric power to the town of Kristnehamn which has a population of 10,000 people. Close by is a wind park that produces 30 megawatts of power, which feeds into the substation and provides the town with a third of its electricity. Tranås Energi has been minimizing its environmental impact in all areas of its operations in Tranås, a village in the south of Sweden that is surrounded by green meadows, clear lakes and lush forests and a population of 15,000 people.

The LTA product portfolio represents ABB’s vision of a robust, sustainable and efficient alternative to conventional circuit breakers. It includes a 72.5 kV live tank breaker and disconnector circuit-breaker that combines both functionalities within a single compact unit. ABB has the widest range of high-voltage circuit breakers on the market and is the first to develop eco-efficient alternatives to SF6 gas. LTA products join a vast portfolio of high-voltage products that make ABB the partner of choice for a stronger, smarter and greener grid.

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