SF6: The Perfect Gas for the Fresno Utilities Industry


Fresno Oxygen & Welding Supplies/Barnes Welding Supply seen as a crucial provider of dielectric gases – also called insulating gases – for the Fresno electrical utilities industry. Such gases are used most often to either avoid or rapidly extinguish electrical discharges, for which their dielectric properties make them ideal. The most prominent of these gases and the one most in demand from us is sulfur hexafluoride (SF6).

Utilities work with SF6 to electrically insulate high-voltage transformers, sulfur hexafluoride circuit breakers, switchgear, and other such devices.

Where SF6 circuit breakers are involved, they’re pretty much singularly taking the place of oil-filled circuit breakers (OCBs), which, due to the fear of their being contaminated with now-banned, environmentally unsafe polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), are no longer favored.

The extensive use of SF6 under pressure in gas-insulated switchgear is because of its exhibiting a dielectric strength significantly higher than air or dry nitrogen (the latter one more gas in broad use by our utilities industry customers).

One very real “side benefit” of SF6’s high electronegativity and density is that it lets the utilities industry diminish the size of electrical gear. This, in turn, enables positioning such gear in more-governable indoor environments, as opposed to air-insulating it outdoors. Gas-insulated equipment situated indoors is, of course, less prone to suffer the damages wrought by climate and pollution. In addition, a controlled environment also helps ensure greater system trustworthiness and longevity.

If for any reason you’re unfamiliar with SF6 and would like to understand more about its benefits in utilities industry application, contact Fresno Oxygen & Welding Supplies/Barnes Welding Supply, your Fresno PurityPlus® Partner, today.