Pilot project: E.ON commissions SF6-free solution from Ormazabal

Switchgear cgm.zero24 in use for 24 kV secondary distribution

E.ON is relying on Ormazabal’s SF6-free technology as part of a pilot project in Germany. The aim of the joint project is to drive forward the energy transition and modernize the distribution grid. E.ON installed Ormazabal’s SF6-free digital native technology solution cgm.zero24 in a new walk-in type concrete substation in Bavaria. The solution was recently put into operation by E.ON subsidiary Bayernwerk Netz GmbH. It is fully gas-insulated and operates without F-gases.

The pilot project, which is carried out jointly by E.ON and Ormazabal, is based on a long-standing partnership. The energy supply company E.ON and Ormazabal, as a global expert in electrotechnical solutions, have been working together for many years in innovative projects in the field of energy distribution. In the course of framework agreements, both companies are cooperation partners and pursue the same intentions in terms of sustainability: to develop future-oriented solutions related to secure energy distribution and thus to promote the decarbonization of the economy as well as the energy transition.

The pilot project in the south of Germany is an example of this transformation. Here, an old transformer tower is being replaced by a new digital transformer station. The walk-in type substation model UF 2742 (2-room station up to max. 1000 kVA) was manufactured by Betonbau BBD GmbH and is equipped with Ormazabal’s cgm.zero24.

A future-oriented project

The aim of the project on the part of E.ON is to commission an SF6-free plant and thus to gain experience in the handling and maintenance of SF6-free switchgear at an early stage. Georg Koller, Material and Product Testing at Bayernwerk Netz explains: “In the course of the upcoming F-Gas regulation, the regulations for the use of fluorinated gases will be stricter in the future. We want to be prepared for the resulting adaptations and developments in medium-voltage compact switchgear at an early stage. This project will enable E.ON and Ormazabal to gain operational and application experience. These shared long-term analyses are of outstanding importance for future operations and the upcoming energy transition.”

cgm.zero24 convinces as digital native

Ormazabal has been developing technologies for electrical power distribution for decades and has been researching SF6-free technology for more than 10 years. To ensure a suitable SF6-free solution for the 24 kV public distribution market, the requirements and expectations of the main players such as E.ON were already exchanged at an early stage and taken into account by Ormazabal during the development phase. 

The efforts of both companies to make distribution networks more efficient and to lower emissions through clean energy and efficient processes go hand in hand with the EU’s goals to reduce emissions in the electricity sector and the corresponding regulations for F-gases.

The specific project in the Bayernwerk Netz GmbH grid has been realized with SF6-free insulation, digitized according to E.ON’s needs, thus incorporating all the intelligence necessary for grid automation and complying with E.ON’s currently applicable specifications.

Ormazabal fully meets these requirements with its motorized cgm.zero24. For the pilot project, the digital local substation is equipped with two feeder and one transformer panel. Thanks to the digital equipment, the system can be controlled and operated remotely, ensuring reliable power distribution in the grid.

Both Ormazabal and E.ON contributed their know-how during the planning and validation phase of the pilot project, which was followed by a factory acceptance test at Ormazabal in Krefeld and then at Betonbau in Kösching. Betonbau, with whom Ormazabal and E.ON have worked together in a trusted relationship for many years, was responsible for providing the factory-built transformer station in accordance with DIN EN 62271-202.

New technology ensures greater sustainability in the E.ON grid

The cgm.zero24 is the next generation of gas-insulated SF6-free solution for 24 kV secondary distribution. Its insulation is based on “industrial natural air”, which only consists of air components and is manufactured in a controlled and tested manner. “This keeps our customers on the safe side in case there are any restrictions or regulations regarding fluorinated gases in the future,” says Jurek Aengenvoort, Key Account Manager at Ormazabal, who accompanied the project.

The solution is a breakthrough as it is based on a similar overpressure as SF6 products that are already installed in the grid. Therefore, amongst other things, it is possible to draw on the many years of experience with regard to internal arc behavior and leakage rate.

Ormazabal’s SF6-free solutions have been developed with zero changes in design, operation and maintenance parameters to ensure zero uncertainties in terms of environment, health, safety and reliability. “We have achieved a development that is based on proven concepts experienced for more than 30 years with SF6 systems, so safety, performance and reliability aspects are well covered,” explains Jurek Aengenvoort.

cgm.zero24 is a digital native – which means that the solution has been developed with integrated automation systems and is therefore prepared for the use of sensors, protection and control components. This is of crucial importance for efficient grid management, as it enables a smoother integration of renewable energy generation, emobility and energy storage in the grid.

Milestone on the route to a future without SF6 gases

With the recent commissioning of its SF6-free technology for the distribution network in Germany, Ormazabal continues its “ROUTE TO ZERO” and lives up to its corporate philosophy, in which commitment to climate protection and investment in continuous research and development are firmly anchored. Jurek Aengenvoort explains, ” In future, Ormazabal will continue to work together with our customers, such as E.ON, to ensure a smooth transition to SF6-free products. From our point of view, this kind of cooperation has proven its worth both for the customers and for us as a manufacturer and solution partner.”

Georg Koller of Bayernwerk Netz adds, “To enable the energy transition, the distribution networks will have to be significantly extended in the coming years. This is only possible in close cooperation between switchgear suppliers and distribution grid operators. Only if it is ensured that the components that will be used meet future technical, operational, climate-neutral and legal requirements. it will be possible to expand and implement an energy supply that is efficient, reliable, secure and sustainable in all respects. The project is a milestone for driving forward and implementing the energy transition in compliance with legal requirements and climate protection goals.”