Detecting SF6, Insulation for High Voltage Circuit Breakers

Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6) is an inorganic compound most often used as an insulator in power generation, but it can also serve as a medical diagnostic tool, a tracer gas for mining, or a component of semi-conductors.

While SF6 is non-toxic, it has a global warming potential 24,000 times greater than CO2 over a 100-year period. Detecting and repairing leaks quickly and efficiently allows energy producers to avoid damage to circuit breakers and costly power outages while protecting the environment.

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Optical Gas Imaging: The Professional Guide


Gain a greater understanding of optical gas imaging (OGI) technology and how it can help you find and repair gas leaks quickly, saving time, money, and the environment. This new iBook offers:

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OGI Application Stories

FLIR GF306 helps improve environmental performance at Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution

Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6) gas is used in energy networks as an insulator in substations. Although SF6 is an excellent insulator, used all over the world, it is also a potent greenhouse gas. That’s why the careful management of SF6 assets is a key priority for Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution. The company regularly inspects equipment containing SF6 to prevent leaks, and act quickly when a leak is identified. SSEPD have found a tool that can help with its SF6 maintenance program: thermal imaging cameras from FLIR.

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Vattenfall detects hazardous gas leaks with FLIR GasFindIR LW

Vattenfall, Europe’s fifth largest generator of electricity and the largest generator of heat, is among the first power companies to invest in a FLIR optical gas imaging camera. Vattenfall uses the camera for inspection of high voltage circuit breakers in interlocking installations in order to detect leakage of the environmentally-hazardous gas, sulfur hexafluoride (SF6).

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Czech utility company uses FLIR GF306 optical gas imaging to check for SF6 leaks

Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6) is used as an insulating gas in the distribution of high voltage electrical power. It allows substation equipment to be more compact. SF6 is also a very potent greenhouse gas, however. Leaks in the equipment therefore not only endanger the continuity of power distribution, the leaks also have consequences for the environment.

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Ten tips to get the most out of your OGI Camera

Optical Gas Imaging (OGI) cameras use spectral wavelength filtering and Sterling cooler cold filtering technology to visualize the infrared absorption of VOC/hydrocarbon, SF6, refrigerants, carbon monoxide and other gases whose spectral absorption matches the response of the camera.

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Optical Gas Imaging Cameras for Sulfur Hexafluoride Gas Detection


Handheld: FLIR GF306

Detects and visualizes SF6 (Sulfur Hexafluoride) and 25 other harmful gases quickly from a safe distance and without the need to interrupt your plant's production process.


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