What is SF6 and why is it utilized in Circuit Breakers?

Sulfur hexafluoride, or SF6, is an essential gas in high-voltage circuit breakers, switchgear, & other electrical equipment.

It works as both

  • An insulator &
  • An arc-quenching medium,

ensuring that electrical currents are interrupted safely and efficiently.

SF6 gas is used in circuit breakers to insulate & extinguishing arcs that occur when the breaker contacts separate under high voltage.

Its unique features, including as non-flammability, chemical stability, and good electrical insulation, make it a perfect medium for this application.

Furthermore, SF6 allows circuit breakers to function at higher voltages and interrupt higher fault currents than alternatives.

Despite its effectiveness, SF6 is a major environmental concern due to its thousands of times larger global warming potential than CO2.

As a result, there is a rising movement to reduce SF6 usage in electrical equipment and explore environmentally friendly replacements.

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