Eco-efficient puffer-type load break switch for medium voltage applications

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Conference name
CIRED 2019
Conference date
3-6 June 2019
Conference location
Madrid, Spain
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Attar, Elham, ABB AS, Norway
Saxegaard, Magne, ABB, Norway
Hyrenbach, Maik, ABB AG, Germany
Homayonifar , Pouria, ABB, Norway
Bratsberg, Tor , ABB, Norway
Granhaug, Ole, ABB, Norway
Støa-Aanensen, Nina , Sintef, Norway
Jonsson, Erik, Sintef, Norway
In the recent years, significant efforts have been made to develop SF6-free switchgears to reduce the use of greenhouse gases in the electrical industry. Up to now, vacuum switching technology is being used as the possible solution in SF6-free load break switches (LBS) and thereby most of the efforts have been focused on dielectric and thermal challenges. This paper presents the next generation of SF6-free load break switches based on a puffer interrupter technology for medium voltage (MV) application. In puffer-type switches, the interrupting capability depends on the contact geometry and the gas flow pattern. In general, replacing SF6 with alternative gases reduces the interruption performance. The presented arrangement of flow pattern around the arcing zone enables a significantly better thermal interruption performance in SF6 alternatives. Innovative solutions have been implemented to tailor the flow pattern of the hot gas to prevent arc re-ignition. This paper summarizes different challenges in developing the new LBS module with references to both simulations and full-scale tests. The LBS panel comprises a puffer switch for current interruption and a knife switch for earthing function. The interrupter works in either synthetic air for 12 kV or AirPlusTM, i.e., a mixture of synthetic air with C5F10O fluoroketone (C5-FK), for 24 kV applications. This switch is a cost-effective and easily operated alternative to the LBSs using vacuum interrupters for load current switching application. The new LBS panel meets the same technical requirements as the corresponding SF6 product with the same physical outer dimensions. 
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