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ENERGIX-Stort program energi

New gases for GIS - long-term reliability and fundamental understanding of insulation properties

Alternative title: Nye gasser for koblingsanlegg - langsiktig pålitelighet og grunnleggende forståelse av isolasjonsegenskaper

Awarded: NOK 15.7 mill.

Gas insulated switchgear (GIS) are essential parts of a safe, robust, and flexible energy system. They are responsible for interrupting short-circuit currents when faults occur, isolating parts of the grid during maintenance or faults, and for redirecting power and changing the grid infrastructure when needed. The most common gas used as an insulation medium in GIS today is sulfur hexafluoride, SF6. However, SF6 is the most potent greenhouse gas in existence with a global-warming potential 23 000 times higher than CO2. Replacing this gas would reduce the national and global use of SF6, making GIS-technology more sustainable. "New gases for GIS" will investigate the long-term insulation properties of the most promising SF6 alternatives for medium- and high-voltage GIS. The project will obtain fundamental knowledge on discharge behaviour of the alternative gases and gas mixtures through experimental and computational research, and contribute to: - The future's sustainable and resilient energy grid. - Reduce national and global use of SF6. - Increase reliability of energy supply, by developing tools for condition assessment for new gases. - Strengthening the national research and education institutes on topics highly relevant to Norwegian industry and society at large. - Increase collaboration of the whole value chain of medium and high voltage GIS by bringing together research institutes, industry partners and grid operators. New gases for GIS will contribute to a safe, considered introduction of new GIS technology, where maintaining security-of-supply in a long-term perspective is of the utmost importance. The project brings together gas producers, switchgear producers and switchgear end users. By facilitating collaboration along the value chain: SINTEF Energy Research, NTNU, ETH, ABB, GE Power, Hyundai Electric Switzerland, Hitachi ABB, Statnett, Elvia, Tensio, National Grid and 3M. Work on characterization of electrical discharges (WP1) started in the fall of 2021. So far, most of the work has been done by an institute PhD student at SINTEF Energy and a master student at NTNU. A setup consisting of a 400 L, 1.5 bar pressure vessel with custom made electrodes has been established and connected to a lightning impulse generator. An advanced high-speed camera captures the discharge development in the tank with up to 1 billion frames per second. A photo-multiplier tube detects the discharge light emission, and a high-frequency measurement system records the discharge current. The initial tests have been made in air, but equipment for filling of C5K gas is ready and available, so experiments with C5K will begin shortly. A conference paper on the initial tests is planned for NordIS 2022. There is also ongoing work on planning future experiments with gas pressure up to 5 bar and faster voltage transients. Development of computer-models for gas discharge simulations (WP2) was started in 2021 and will continue through Q1 2022. This work is a continuation of efforts to develop multiphysics plasma models and provides a foundation for the transient plasma simulations in the project. The efforts have so far led to a 4x reduction in the floating-point requirements, and furthermore lifted past restriction on mesh size and structure. Support for complex geometries have been added, and the results have been benchmarked on Betzy on up to 32,000 CPU cores. The computer-models are about to enter production mode where we can simulate problems consisting of billions of unknowns. The formulation of plasma-chemical models for discharge mechanisms in the new gases is already underway. In WP3, the electrical insulation performance of the most relevant gases will be tested as the new gases are aged with an electric arc or partial discharges. These experiments are being planned, and the test vessel for performing breakdown tests and aging of gas is being designed and constructed. The test vessel will be ready for use during Q2 2022, and first experimental results from WP3 are expected during the Summer of 2022. Workshop with all partners will be held 16 - 17 November. This is the first time all partners meet. The workshop will be a hybrid meeting where Norwegian partners come to Trondheim, and the foreign partners participate across Teams. In the meeting we will present our ideas and plans for the project, and all partners will present their experiences and their expectations for the project. The PhD position is advertised. We are screening the applicants and plan to hire a research fellow in January 2022. To get some publicity about the project, Nina Sasaki Støa-Aanensen was interviewed in the radio show, Studio 2 on Norwegian Broadcast P2 in January 2021. She talked about the challenges with SF6 in GIS.

Gas insulated switchgear (GIS) are essential parts of a safe, robust, and flexible energy system. They are responsible for interrupting short-circuit currents when faults occur, isolating parts of the grid during maintenance or faults, and for redirecting power and changing the grid infrastructure when needed. The most common gas used as an insulation medium in GIS today is sulfur hexafluoride, SF6. However, SF6 is the most potent greenhouse gas in existence with a global-warming potential 23 000 times higher than CO2. Replacing this gas would reduce the national and global use of SF6, making GIS-technology more sustainable. New gases for GIS will investigate the long-term insulation properties of the most promising SF6 alternatives for medium- and high-voltage GIS. The project will obtain fundamental knowledge on discharge behaviour of the alternative gases and gas mixtures through experimental and computational research, and contribute to: • The future's sustainable and resilient energy grid. • Reduce national and global use of SF6 (GWP > 23 000). • Increase reliability of energy supply, by developing tools for condition assessment for new gases. • Strengthening the national research and education institutes on topics highly relevant to Norwegian industry and society at large. • Increase collaboration of the whole value chain of medium and high voltage GIS by bringing together research institutes, industry partners and grid operators. New gases for GIS will contribute to a safe, considered introduction of new GIS technology, where maintaining security-of-supply in a long-term perspective is of the utmost importance. The project brings together gas producers, switchgear producers and switchgear end users. By facilitating collaboration along the value chain: SINTEF Energy Research, NTNU, ETH, ABB, GE Power, Hyundai Electric Switzerland, Hitachi ABB, Statnett, Elvia, Tensio, National Grid and 3M.

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ENERGIX-Stort program energi