Enel to Provide Reliable and Sustainable Electricity across its Networks with world’s first 24kV SF6-free GIS Ring Main Units

  • Leading Multinational Energy company Enel installs SF6-free SafePlus AirPlus™ Ring Main Units from ABB
  • ABB designed the low pressure 24kV solution to meet Enel’s requirements
  • Reducing global warming potential of insulating gas by almost 100 percent while improving safety and ensuring reliability and availability
Leading Multinational Energy company Enel installed first SF6-free SafePlus AirPlus™ Ring Main Units from ABB
Leading Multinational Energy company Enel installed first SF6-free SafePlus AirPlus™ Ring Main Units from ABB

Enel Global Infrastructure & Networks will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide reliable and sustainable power across its networks in Italy and Spain thanks to the installation of ABB’s innovative SF6-free Ring Main Units (RMUs), specifically designed for Enel’s requirements.

The project represents an important step towards delivering increasingly sustainable power grids, as ABB’s low pressure 24kV solution has the same footprint, safety and reliability as traditional SF6 solutions. The pilot installation involves 20 new ABB SafePlus AirPlus™ Medium Voltage (MV) RMUs in Enel’s secondary substations across Italy and Spain and will contribute to minimize their global warming potential, while making switchgear operation and maintenance safer for personnel.

Gas insulated switchgear, widely used in MV secondary substations, conventionally contain SF6 – which has excellent dielectric and arc extinguishing properties, but at the same time is the world’s most potent greenhouse gas, with a global warming potential 25,200 times that of CO2.

The new SafePlus AirPlus, part of ABB’s ecoGIS family of products, features innovative Load Break Switches (LBS) optimized for SF6-alternative gases. Unlike traditional alternatives, the switch is based on puffer interrupter technology and functions as both a load break and disconnector switch for maximum safety. ABB’s SafePlus AirPlus low-pressure design with its 0.4 bar relative pressure, reduces the risk of leaks and accidents due to electrical arcs and makes it very safe to operate, even in the case of abnormal gas leakages where high pressure alternatives would need be switched off immediately. Therefore, in the unlikely event of a leakage, ABB’s low-pressure design based on AirPlus as an eco-friendly SF6 alternative, ensures highest availability and reliability of the network.

Alessandro Palin, Division President of ABB Distribution Solutions, comments: “The installation of the world’s first SF6-free SafePlus AirPlus™ Ring Main Units is another example of ABB working in partnership with customers to create sustainable solutions that are better for our planet and our society. With ongoing political discussions about a complete ban of SF6 in new installations, including the EU’s latest proposal, this proves that migrating to a more certain future with SF6-free alternatives, which practically offer the same known and proven benefits, is possible, and possible now.”

“To reach our Net-Zero goals, sustainability must be at the core of our present and future business. For this reason, at Enel we started integrating new principles in all our processes, including sustainable specifications together with technical and economical parameters already in place,” added Francesco Amadei, Head of Engineering & Construction, Enel Global Infrastructure and Networks for Enel. “The collaboration with innovative partners such as ABB is key to accelerating the delivery of sustainable grids worldwide, a challenging path forward that must include all components and assets of the value chain. Innovative solutions like ABB’s SF6-free technology will help us to minimize our global warming impact and support our commitment to the 13th SDG goal – Climate Action. They will also help to make our networks increasingly safe and reliable, ensuring continuity and quality of the electricity supply to our customers.”

For more information on how ABB ecoGIS technology has been supporting customers for over five years, visit the ABB website, or to discover more about Enel here.

Due to the compact footprint as well as the reliable and safe design ABB’s SF6-free SafePlus AirPlus™ Ring Main Units were installed in the existing switchgear room next to the sea.
Due to the compact footprint as well as the reliable and safe design ABB’s SF6-free SafePlus AirPlus™ Ring Main Units were installed in the existing switchgear room next to the sea.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a leading global technology company that energizes the transformation of society and industry to achieve a more productive, sustainable future. By connecting software to its electrification, robotics, automation and motion portfolio, ABB pushes the boundaries of technology to drive performance to new levels. With a history of excellence stretching back more than 130 years, ABB’s success is driven by about 105,000 talented employees in over 100 countries. www.abb.com

ABB’s Electrification BusinessArea is a global leader in electrical products and solutions, operating in more than 100 countries, with over 200 manufacturing sites. Our 50,000+ employees are dedicated to transforming how people live, connect and work by delivering safe, smart and sustainable electrification solutions. We are shaping the future trends of electrification, differentiating through technological and digital innovation while delivering an outstanding experience through operational excellence for our customers across utilities, industry, buildings, infrastructure and mobility. For more information visit https://go.abb/electrification

Enel, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, is a multinational power company and a leading integrated player in the global power and renewables markets. At global level, it is the largest renewable private player, the foremost network operator by number of end users and the biggest retail operator by customer base. The Group is the worldwide demand response leader and the largest European utility by ordinary EBITDA1. Enel is present in 30 countries worldwide, producing energy with over 90 GW of total capacity. Enel distributes electricity through a network of over 2.2 million kilometers to more than 75 million end users. The Group brings energy to around 70 million homes and businesses. Enel’s renewables arm Enel Green Power has a total capacity of more than 54 GW and a generation mix that includes wind, solar, geothermal, and hydroelectric power, as well as energy storage facilities, installed in Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Oceania. Enel X Global Retail, Enel's global advanced energy services business line, has a total capacity of around 6.6 GW of demand response managed globally and has installed 59 MW of behind-the-meter storage capacity. In addition, Enel X Way is the Group’s new global business line fully dedicated to electric mobility, managing nearly 350,000 public and private EV charging points worldwide, both directly and through interoperability agreements.

1Enel’s leadership in the different categories is defined by comparison with competitors’ FY 2020 data. Publicly owned operators are not included.


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