Cergy-Pontoise, France – August 27, 2014 – Replacements for Sulfur Hexafluoride Gas (SF have long been sought after in order to provide the power industry with a more environmentally sustainable solution without sacrificing performance. SF is a potent greenhouse gas with a global warming potential of 23,500 times that of CO when compared over a 100-year period. In fact, it is the most potent greenhouse gas that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has ever evaluated.
Today, 3M is announcing its intent to commercialize innovative, novel and sustainable materials as replacements to SF These environmentally sustainable products will be commercialized under the 3M™ Novec™ brand – a line of products dedicated to balancing performance, safety and environmental properties. 3M’s innovative work began almost two decades ago with the development of segregated hydrofluoroether (HFE) technology. Sold under the 3M™ Novec™ Engineered Fluids name these revolutionary products solved the need for non-ozone depleting substances while addressing future environmental concerns such as atmospheric lifetime and global warming potential (GWP). Drawing on these sustainable technologies, 3M know-how has spurred the invention of an entire family of products for customers across a host of industries. The great expansion in the Novec product portfolio has continued to migrate into seemingly uncommon applications.
Novec products address the need for safe, sustainable, effective solutions in industry-specific applications, such as aerosol, movie film cleaning, precision and semiconductor cleaning, heat transfer, immersion cooling, protective coating, lubricant deposition, specimen preservation, fire suppression and now SF replacement for the medium and high voltage switchgear industry. “SF gas is recognized as one of the best insulating media for medium and high voltage power equipment,” said Joe Koch, business director for 3M Electronics Materials Solutions Division. “However, the GWP of SF is massive. 3M is in the unique position to provide a more sustainable solution to an industry that has been searching for alternatives for years. 3M™ Novec™ Dielectric Fluids are non-ozone depleting and offer low greenhouse gas potentials. They represent 3M’s ongoing dedication to the development of sustainable materials.” As an advanced insulation media, the Novec dielectric fluids combine excellent dielectric capability with desirable environmental properties. The combination of high dielectric performance with sustainable environmental characteristics provides the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from applications currently using SF. A new SF -free solution for high voltage switchgear was recently unveiled at the CIGRE 2014 Conference by Alstom, a global leader in the world of power generation, power transmission and rail infrastructure. The new SF -free solution is the result of collaboration between 3M and Alstom to evaluate gaseous materials for high voltage applications. Alstom prides itself in setting the benchmark for innovative and environmentally friendly technologies – making them an ideal collaborator for 3M. Their revolutionary solution for high voltage switchgear utilizes 3M™ Novec™ Dielectric Fluid and is part of Alstom’s “Clean Grid” Aprogramme.