The greenhouse effect of SF6 is 23,500 times higher than that of CO2 and the partnership reduces E.ON’s global greenhouse gas emissions.

6June - Eon

Image: Switchgear equipped with nuventura’s solution is easier to operate than SF6-based technology. Photo: Courtesy of E.ON SE.

Germany-based electric utility company E.ON and the VC Fund Technologie Berlin, managed by IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft, are investing in nuventura, a start-up that develops switchgear without the potent greenhouse gas sulfur hexafluoride (SF6).

A gas-insulated switchgear is a fundamental component of any electricity grid and it uses SF6 as a protective gas layer to enclose the conductors.

In addition, SF6 is a synthetic gas with a property of long atmospheric lifetime estimated at over 3,000 years.

nuventura’s technology replaces SF6 in gas-insulated switchgear with dry air

Nuventura has developed a technology that replaces SF6 in production of gas-insulated switchgear with dry air to offer significant environmental benefits, along with increased profitability.

E.ON, in a statement, said: “In the long term, nuventura’s technology will make SF6 obsolete in switchgear insulations, which currently use 85 percent of all globally produced SF6. Currently, the annual greenhouse effect of SF6 emissions equals that of 100 million cars emitting CO2.”

The company said that the switchgear equipped with nuventura’s solution is easier to operate than SF6-based technology and facilitates sensors within the gas container.

The sensors monitor the equipment and capture valuable operating data for smart grid applications, based on which the operators could optimize maintenance cycles and anticipate required actions to ensure smooth operations.

nuventura commercial director Fabian Lemke said: “We should do everything in our power to achieve a complete ban of SF6. That is why we are making our technology available to all switchgear manufacturers via licenses.”

E.ON and nuventura are planning to launch a pilot project with the E.ON’s German grid operator E.DIS at Ketzin substation, the site of E.DIS Energy Transition Lab.

E.DIS chairman Alexander Montebaur “Our collaboration with nuventura is an active contribution to climate protection. In nuventura, we have found a partner with the potential to make a key technical asset in our grids emission-free.”