Thursday, April 18, 2024

Korean Scientists Developed an Alternative to SF6 named K6

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Korean scientists have developed an eco-friendly insulating gas called K6 as a groundbreaking alternative to SF6 (Sulfur Hexafluoride), a potent greenhouse gas extensively used in electric power equipment for over 50 years. This innovation, named K6, is expected to change the power equipment industry, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and contributing substantially to climate change reduction efforts.

About KERI

The Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute (KERI) is a government-funded research institute under the National Research Council of Science and Technology of the Ministry of Science and ICT. KERI is dedicated to conducting new research and developing innovative electrical and electronic engineering technologies.

The Need for an Alternative to SF6

SF6, while offering excellent insulation and arc-extinguishing performance, is a primary environmental concern due to its exceptionally high global warming potential, approximately 23,500 times that of carbon dioxide. Moreover, SF6 has an atmospheric lifetime of up to 3,200 years, increasing its impact on climate change.

KERI’s Development

The Korean Electrotechnology Research Institute (KERI), a government-funded research institute, started a mission to develop a sustainable alternative to SF6. After extensive research and development, KERI successfully developed K6, an eco-friendly insulating gas with a global warming potential of less than one without any harmful toxic ingredients.

Key Advantages of K6

K6 offers several advantages over SF6, making it an ideal alternative to SF6, the environmentally harmful gas:

Low Global Warming:

K6’s global warming potential is less than 1, significantly lower than SF6’s 23,500.

Environmentally Friendly:

K6 does not contain any hazardous toxic ingredients, ensuring environmental safety.

Wide Applicability:

K6’s low boiling point of -26°C makes it suitable for various power devices across diverse regions.

Ultra-High Voltage Circuit Breakers

KERI further demonstrated K6’s capabilities by successfully applying it in ultra-high voltage (145kV) transmission-level circuit breakers, considered the most challenging application for insulating gasses. K6 passed the International Electrotechnical Commission’s (IEC) international standards, validating its performance and safety.

Future Plans and Impact

KERI plans to expand K6’s application to various power devices, including breakers, transformers and switches, across the distribution and transmission sectors. Dr. Yeon-ho, head of KERI’s Eco-friendly Power Apparatus Research Center, suggested that the gas is superior in performance and environmental friendliness compared to other alternative to SF6. Given Korea’s leading position in the global power device industry, he highlighted the potential economic and industrial impact.

The development of K6 marks an essential step toward addressing the environmental challenges posed by SF6 and making the way for a more sustainable future in the power equipment industry. KERI’s commitment to technology transfer and industry collaboration will further accelerate the adoption of K6, contributing to a cleaner and more environmentally responsible energy infrastructure.

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