Hitachi ABB Power Grids announces EconiQ High-voltage Roadmap at CIGRE 2021


A new 420-kilovolt eco-efficient gas-insulated switchgear has been announced at CIGRE 2021, which will be the world’s first commercial alternative to sulphur hexaflouride (SF6) for the transmission network.

Hitachi ABB Power Grids is taking the next steps in its journey towards a sustainable energy future, and entering the transmission voltage level with its EconiQ eco-efficient high-voltage portfolio. EconiQ is the company’s eco-efficient portfolio for sustainability, which, they say, is proven to deliver exceptional environmental performance.

Four months since the global technology leader first launched EconiQ, the company continues to drive forward the pace of eco-efficient innovation. Its EconiQ high-voltage switchgear and breakers portfolio contains no SF6, and has been proven to significantly reduce the carbon footprint throughout the total lifecycle.

According to the UK National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (NAEI), SF6 is a greenhouse gas which has a very high radiative forcing effect, and a GWP of 22,800 compared with a figure of one for carbon dioxide. Emissions occur due to its use in a small number of applications, mainly in the manufacture and filling of electrical switchgear, and from leakage during maintenance of equipment throughout its lifetime. The use of SF6 for this application has only occurred on a large scale for the last 30 years, and little of the equipment has been decommissioned to date.

EconiQ High-voltage Roadmap 

In conjunction with CIGRE 2021, Hitachi ABB Power Grids has announced the acceleration of its development of eco-efficient solutions. The EconiQ Roadmap outlines the extensive portfolio of switchgear and breakers in various voltage levels in the R&D pipeline. This includes live tank breakers, dead tank breakers, hybrid switchgear and gas-insulated switchgear.

A key milestone is the EconiQ gas-insulated switchgear at 420-kilovolt (kV), expected for release at the end of 2022, demonstrating the scalability and robustness of its technology. It will be the world’s first commercial alternative to SF6 for gas-insulated switchgear that includes circuit-breaker for power transmission networks, therefore significantly lowering the environmental impact.

“The EconiQ High-voltage Roadmap is one key pillar of our Sustainability 2030 strategic plan that combines innovative solutions to contribute towards a carbon-neutral society,” said Markus Heimbach, Managing Director, Hitachi ABB Power Grids. “The upcoming launch of the EconiQ GIS 420 kV will be the breakthrough in the industry for SF6-free solutions for higher voltage levels. This will enable our customers and the industry as a whole to reduce carbon footprint and rapidly transition to eco-efficient solutions”.

Following more than two decades of intensive R&D, Hitachi ABB Power Grids has been deploying high-voltage technology with SF6 alternatives, including the world’s first SF6-free GIS. Through EconiQ, the company is making a deeper contribution to a sustainable energy future aligned with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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