Its project for E.ON, which sought to achieve a more sustainable energy distribution network without greenhouse gases, has been awarded in the “Smart Grid” category.
E.ON, Sweden’s largest electricity distributor, is firmly committed to sustainability. Their goal of becoming a fossil fuel-free company by 2025 and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions stands out. To help achieve their objectives, E.ON launched a pilot project in the Swedish city of Norrköping that consisted of replacing its SF6 medium-voltage switchgear with SF6-free medium-voltage switchgear using innovative Shunt Vacuum Interruption (SVI)TM technology from Schneider Electric.
SF6 is a greenhouse gas with a global warming potential much greater than CO2. Widely used in the electricity sector for high and medium voltage equipment, current and future regulations prompt the adoption of alternatives that can reduce environmental impact. SF6-free technologies are now available and have characteristics and dimensions similar to those of traditional SF6-based switchgear available on the market. Schneider Electric’s new green and digital technology is featured in AirPacT, a load break switch, and SM AirSeT, a range of medium voltage switchgear – both of which use innovative vacuum interruption and pure air insulation.
“We are delighted that our project with E.ON has received an enerTIC award, which recognises companies that are committed to innovation, efficiency and sustainability”, said Martina Tomé, Vice President of Power Systems at Schneider Electric Iberia. “In the same way, we are proud to have been able to help E.ON with our new SF6-free, sustainable, digital medium-voltage technology to advance the achievement of their climate commitments, placing the decarbonisation of the network at the centre of its business strategy and digitisation as its key enabler.”
A more sustainable, safe, and reliable electrical distribution network
The scope of the pilot launched by E.ON and described in the award-winning project includes, in addition to the new SF6-free switchgear solution, Schneider Electric’s modular hardware and firmware platform for managing medium and low voltage distribution networks, the Easergy T300 RTU. It also included connected temperature and humidity sensors belonging to the company’s EcoStruxure architecture.
Schneider Electric SF6-free switchgear saves 2.4 kg of SF6 in medium voltage substations, the equivalent of 56.4 tons of CO2, thus meeting the company’s expectations regarding respect for the environment, remaining in line with the energy transition taking place in Sweden, and paving the way toward more green and digital installations.
The solution delivered by Schneider Electric also met E.ON’s expectations for interoperability with already installed equipment and safety. The latter, an especially important aspect, because medium voltage substations are located near public areas or within buildings.
Now E.ON, in addition to a more sustainable and greenhouse gas-free distribution network, has a greater understanding of operations, enabling it to detect faults early, optimise maintenance operations and operating costs, while improving reliability across the network. “What impressed us the most about the solution was the holistic idea of SF6-free technology with digital capabilities,” said Kim Sunnerberg, Technical Manager at E.ON. “We see EcoStruxure and the new SF6-free technology as a great opportunity for the future.”
A technology recognised for its innovation, efficiency and sustainability
Schneider Electric’s solution eliminates the cost of recycling SF6 or other gases and reduces equipment maintenance and replacement costs. In addition, thanks to the connectivity of digital equipment, which complies with communication and cybersecurity standards for remote or local control and supervision of substations, it helps provide a reliable and continuous power supply.
Schneider Electric’s SF6-free medium voltage switchgear technology has previously won two awards with SM AirSeT: an IF Design Award and the prestigious Industrial Energy Efficiency Award, in the Energy Economy category, delivered by the Hannover Messe. The technology has also been recognised as a Top 10 Innovation by the Innovation for Cool Earth Forum (ICEF).