Industrial natural air as an alternative insulation to SF6 in the electrical industry

New alternatives are emerging in the market to address a future free of SF6 and other fluorinated gases, as part of the commitment towards a sustainable energy transition

The need for greater electrification of our economy through a sustainable approach has intensified the already strategic importance of the electrical equipment industry, which is immersed in a moment of significant value contribution to achieving our society’s decarbonization goals. In this sense, and in light of the various directives driven by the European Union to reduce the impact of human activity on the environment, new regulations applied to fluorinated gases, including SF6, and their use by different industries and economic agents – among them electrical switchgear manufacturers, albeit in a smaller percentage compared to other industrial and economic activities – are leading this industry to adapt to a future scenario free of such gases.

These types of gases are used by the electrical industry as part of the dielectric solution to ensure the use and handling of certain electrical equipment such as distribution switchgears. This Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS) technology has been crucial for the industry for decades, guaranteeing both the safety of the electrical supply and grid operators, as well as the gas tightness and its recovery after the end of the product’s lifespan, and it is now evolving towards a scenario where alternatives to SF6 must take over.

The revolution of industrial natural air as a GIS insulation alternative to SF6

Among the main technological solutions presented by the most relevant companies in the market, those capable of ensuring the least possible changes and disruptions to grid operators, in addition to similar technical and operational characteristics, are the most crucial and competitive due to their ability to adapt the electrical grid to the future without making significant changes. It is here where insulation using industrial natural air comes into play, a type of insulation applied to the technology developed by Ormazabal, among other manufacturers, which utilizes gases existing in the atmosphere to, after an industrialization phase, serve as insulation for distribution switchgears, eliminating the presence of moisture in the environment and providing proper insulation to avoid overvoltages or electrical arcs.

The main industrial advantage of this technological alternative is that it is a patent-free option, allowing for scalability and accessibility for the electrical industry. Furthermore, the key aspect that makes this technological solution proposed by Ormazabal the most comprehensive for the grid is that Ormazabal has been able to implement it while maintaining the same design parameters, operation, and use as those used in SF6 insulation. Thus, Ormazabal’s range of fluorinated gas-free solutions for primary and secondary distribution grids up to 24 kV has become one of the most anticipated since the emergence of the first alternatives.

Ormazabal’s F-gas-free solution

La celda de Ormazabal -libre de de SF6- durante la feria Wind Europe 2024
Ormazabal´s switchgear -SF6 free- during the Wind Euorope 2024 fair

As part of its commitment to lead the sustainable transformation of electrical grids, Ormazabal has invested a decade of technological research in developing an innovative integral insulation alternative without using SF6 as a dielectric gas through the use of industrialized natural air – manufactured in a controlled and proven manner, solely with air components and commercially accessible and patent-free – guaranteeing a lesser environmental impact on our planet and adhering to the new European regulation on fluorinated gases in line with climate neutrality objectives.

Ormazabal’s technological alternative has been warmly received by the market thanks to its ability to maintain, after more than 10 years of continuous research, the design parameters, operation, and maintenance of current equipment that has enjoyed proven experience for over 30 years; making it one of the most comprehensive solutions in the market at all levels.

Main attributes of the F-gas-free solutions of Ormazabal

And indeed, Ormazabal’s technological proposal guarantees ZERO changes in design, operation, and maintenance parameters; as well as ZERO uncertainties in health, safety, reliability, and operation. Thus, in Ormazabal’s fluorinated gas-free solutions for secondary and primary distribution, the following characteristics stand out:

  • Natural origin gas
    • Natural air components
    • Industrially manufactured
    • Fully accessible
  • Minimum filling pressure
    • Well-known behavior
    • Proven tightness
  • Easy operation & exploitation
    • Innovative load breaker switch
    • Circuit breaker with proven technology
  • Dimensions
    • Similar footprint
    • Optimised dimensions
  • Digital native
    • Sensoring
    • Automation

This launch aligns with Ormazabal’s strong commitment to European climate neutrality objectives and population welfare, promoting the electrification of society. Challenges that are part of its DNA and in which they actively collaborate through the digitalization of the electrical grid, which facilitates the connection of electric mobility, storage, and renewable energy infrastructures.

Do you want to know Ormazabal’s ZERO solutions for the electrical grid?



Are you interested in learning more about our fluorinated gas-free solutions? Get in touch with us:

    Parque Científico y Tecnológico de Bizkaia, Edf. 614, Astondo Bidea,48160, Derio (Bizkaia) España

    +34 94 431 77 77