A significant milestone has been reached by Hitachi Energy with the recent unveiling of the world’s first eco-efficient 420-kilovolt (kV) circuit-breaker1 in conjunction with CIGRE Session 2022. This is in accordance with the EconiQ™ high-voltage portfolio roadmap that was announced at CIGRE Session 2021.

For over two decades, the company has been investing in eco-efficient alternative solutions to sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) including the world’s first 170 kV eco-efficient gas-insulated switchgear (GIS). The EconiQ high-voltage portfolio uses a game-changing technology that eliminates sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), a greenhouse gas. Over time, it has been successful in continuously increasing the voltage levels of its EconiQ high-voltage portfolio.

EconiQ 420 kV circuit-breaker. Image credit: Hitachi Energy Ltd.

EconiQ 420 kV circuit-breaker. Image credit: Hitachi Energy Ltd.

Today, the EconiQ 420 kV circuit-breaker marks a key milestone in the industry to transmit large amounts of electricity over long distances while eliminating significant volumes of SF6.

This innovation is the key enabler to achieving a wide range of EconiQ switchgear applications, and will be used in both dead tank breaker (DTB) and gas-insulated switchgear (GIS). The EconiQ DTB and GIS are expected to be released at the end of 2022, on track with the company’s roadmap.

“This 420 kV breakthrough is a demonstration of our technology that is reliable and scalable to reach ultra-high-voltage levels with the lowest carbon footprint,” says Markus Heimbach, managing director, High Voltage Products within Hitachi Energy. “We are enabling our customers and the industry as a whole to rapidly transition to eco-efficient solutions to advance a sustainable energy future for all,” he added.

EconiQ is the company’s eco-efficient portfolio for sustainability, where products, services and solutions are proven to deliver exceptional environmental performance. Hitachi Energy has placed sustainability at the heart of its Purpose and is advancing a sustainable energy future for all. Its high-voltage portfolio also includes EconiQ Retrofill, another world’s first in replacing SF6 in existing high-voltage equipment and EconiQ gas-insulated current transformers. The EconiQ high-voltage technologies are widely adopted by key customers in Europe.

1 World’s first fully tested SF6-free 420 kV circuit-breaker where all relevant tests described in the IEC and IEEE standards for 63 kA, 5000 A, 50 and 60 Hz have been successfully performed.

Hitachi Energy EconiQ HV Portfolio Roadmap. Image credit: Hitachi Energy Ltd.

Hitachi Energy EconiQ HV Portfolio Roadmap. Image credit: Hitachi Energy Ltd.