The Green Switching Forum is an initiative comprising stakeholders from across industry, academia and non- governmental organisations. The forum promotes research, data and expertise relating to environmentally friendly electrical power distribution systems including SF6-free medium voltage switchgear. Global power management company Eaton hosts the online forum which is intended as an open resource for those interested in learning more about SF6-free technologies with the ultimate objective of working towards a complete ban on SF6 in switchgear across Europe.
According to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) tops the list of the most harmful Greenhouse Gases (GHG) as it is 23,500 times more potent than CO2 and stays in the atmosphere for 3,200 years.
SF6 has been banned for most applications in Europe, but in recent years, there has been an increasing trend in the use of SF6 gas in switchgear, a trend that is likely to accelerate due to the progressive introduction of a decentralized electricity grid in Europe – unless something is done by regulators.
The use of SF6 gas for switchgear in the distribution network is not only undesirable, it is also no longer necessary as there are good alternatives available for switching applications. For instance, switching in vacuum combined with solid insulation is a safe and environmentally friendly solution that has been used across Europe for many years.
The following organisations are supporters and contributors to the Green Switching Forum.