GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions has unveiled the world’s first 420 kV, 63 kA g3 Gas-Insulated Substation (GIS) circuit-breaker prototype. The g3 circuit-breaker has been presented to a group of leading transmission utilities from across Europe, at a recent virtual roundtable event. The performance achieved by the prototype means that the industry will soon have a viable SF6-free alternative for high voltage products. GE’s 420 kV fully g3 GIS, which includes the g3 circuit-breaker, is expected to be commercially available in 2023.
This new circuit-breaker relies on GE’s g3 (pronounced ‘g’-cubed) gas-insulating and switching technology. g3 technology allows GE to build electrical equipment with the same high performance and compact size as traditional SF6 products, along with a gas CO2e impact reduced by 99%.
Commenting on the significance of the development, Vera Silva, Chief Technology Officer at GE’s Grid Solutions, said, “The development of GE’s 420 kV g3 circuit-breaker is a historical milestone for the power industry as it will allow utilities to accelerate the decarbonization of their electrical grids. Until today, there was no viable alternative to SF6 for GIS at the 420 kV level, the highest voltage level in Europe. This means that the g3 technology can also be applied to all existing main voltage levels around the world. We are proud to be at the forefront of the effort to create a cleaner grid and are currently developing other g3 circuit-breaker types, according to our roadmap.”