The most common gas used to insulate switchgears in power grids is Sulphur Hexafluoride (SF6), the world’s most potent greenhouse gas. SF6 contributes 23,500 times more to climate change than carbon dioxide and can persist in the atmosphere for up to 3,200 years.1 The SF6 emissions generated in a year are roughly equivalent to annual CO2 emissions from 100 million cars2. Worldwide, the energy distribution industry contributes 80 per cent of all SF6 emissions.3 There is growing regulatory push to reduce and eventually ban the use of SF6.
As Asia’s electricity demand increases, power grid operators must continuously invest in gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) however it is important to find climate friendly alternatives to SF6.
Nuventura, has pioneered the world’s first SF6-free, dry-air, medium-voltage GIS technology. Nuventura replaces the SF6 insulating medium with pressurized air, maintaining the strength of traditional GIS switchgear while integrating smart sensors for continuous monitoring. The solution’s insulation medium has Nuventura’s product can reduce switchgear operations and maintenance costs by up to 30 per cent and has CO2 equivalent of zero, compared to a traditional SF6 one which has a CO2 equivalent of 75.6 tons4.
This innovative solution has high potential to scale globally including in Asia-Pacific markets, where it is already in use in the People’s Republic of China. Through this investment, ADB Ventures hopes to enable this tech transfer and support the company in scaling up its operations.
Nuventura is a developer of gas‑insulated switchgear technologies that replaces harmful greenhouse gases commonly used in power grids – with dry air, thereby contributing to a significant reduction in emissions. The company is now in the commercialization phase and looking to deliver 30 switchgears by end of this year. Nuventura’s technology has also been fully type-tested against International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards.
1 “Global Warming Potential Values”, Greenhouse Gas Protocol.
3 Diego De La Fuente, Rachel A. Meidel, and Michelle Michot Foss, “SF6 The Little Gas That Could…Make Global Warming Worse”, Forbes, 25 March 2021.