Photo from Toshiba and Meidensha companies website
Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation and Meidensha Corporation have been collaborating since 2020 on the joint development of gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) for 72kV/84kV using a natural origin gas that contains without SF6 at all, and have now decided to accelerate the development and commercialization of this GIS due to higher demand for environmentally friendly products in the market. Specifically, the two companies plan to complete type tests to confirm performance in line with international standards by March 2022. The establishment of a system for mass production and commercialization of the product will follow by the end of March 2023.
General technical specifications of the manufactur GIS product:
The GIS under joint development uses a vacuum circuit breaker (VCB) for the high-current interruption and dry air for the main circuit insulation of the equipment and for the current switching parts of the disconnect and earthing switches to ensure insulation performance and high-current interruption capability. Toshiba ESS will be responsible for the entire GIS, while Meidensha will be in charge of the development of the main component, the VCB.
Opinioins of the mangers of the two companies regarding the agreement to produce GIS without SF6 gas:
“We are very proud of this joint development with Meidensha. We have a great deal of expertise in the development of GIS products as a whole, including the 72 kV GIS launched into a commercial operation firstly in Japan in 1969. On the other hand, Toshiba ESS has been developing SF6 alternative technologies for more than 15 years.” Mr. Koji Saito, Director, Vice President of the Grid Aggregation Division of Toshiba ESS said.
Mr. Nobuaki Tamaki, Director & Senior Managing Executive Officer of Meidensha said, “We are very happy to develop GIS jointly with Toshiba ESS. We have an extensive delivery record of VCBs all over the world and have developed 72.5 kV dead tank VCBs with dry air insulation in 2007 for the U.S. market. Since then, we have delivered them to a lot of customers in Japan and overseas. In 2020, we commercialized up to 145 kV class of VCBs. By combining the respective strengths of Toshiba ESS and Meidensha, it is possible to create a product with high performance and reliability.”
What steps will be taken for this new GIS product:
The two companies expect to commercialize this new type of GIS firstly in Japan. In the future, each company considers overseas expansion based on the business strategies of each company.
In Japan, a joint industry-academia “SF6 Alternative Gas Study committee”, which aims to investigate the impact of introducing SF6 alternative gases, has compiled guidelines to evaluate SF6 alternative technologies. The present GIS under development fully complies with these guidelines.
Through the development and supply of GIS employing only natural-origin gases, the two companies will contribute to the realization of a carbon neutral future – a goal of many countries around the world.