SF6: The Perfect Gas for the Pittsburgh Utilities Industry


Greco Gas has become a key producer of dielectric gases – also called insulating gases – for the Pittsburgh electrical utilities industry. Gases of this kind are employed most often to either avert or rapidly tamp down electrical discharges, for which their dielectric qualities make them ideal. The most prominent of these gases and the one most sought from us is sulfur hexafluoride (SF6).

Utilities apply SF6 to electrically insulate high-voltage transformers, sulfur hexafluoride circuit breakers, switchgear, and other equivalent kinds of devices.

Relevant to SF6 circuit breakers, they’re generally swapping out oil-filled circuit breakers (OCBs), which, because of the fear of their containing now-banned, environmentally dangerous polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), have fallen out of favor.

The extensive use of SF6 under pressure in gas-insulated switchgear is due to its having a dielectric strength signally higher than air or dry nitrogen (the latter one more gas used extensively by our utilities industry customers).

One very real “side benefit” of SF6’s high electronegativity and density is that it enables the utilities industry to shrink the size of electrical gear. This, in turn, permits installing such gear in more-practicable indoor environments, instead of air-insulating it outdoors. Gas-insulated hardware situated indoors is, of course, less prone to suffer the damages inflicted by climate and pollution. In addition, a controlled environment also promote greater system trustworthiness and longevity.

If for whatever reason you’re not yet familiar with SF6 and would like to learn more about its advantages in utilities industry application, consult with Greco Gas, your Pittsburgh PurityPlus® Partner, today.