TA success story: LCA
Enabling a Cleaner Digital Distribution Grid

Topic: Evaluation of non-conventional sensor technologies for use in medium voltage “dry air” gas insulated switchgear

Transnational Access (TA) User Project: LCA (Nuventura GmbH)

Hosting facility: Demonstration & Experimentation Unit (UDEX)

Duration: 10.09.2019 – 04.10.2019

Outcomes: Factsheet, Technical Report

SF6 is the most potent greenhouse gas in existence. However despite being a significant contributor to global warming, SF6 is widely used in the energy industry due to its excellent electrical properties. Aiming to find a solution to this environmental problem, the German company Nuventura has developed a medium voltage (MV) gas insulated switchgear (GIS) that uses dry air as an insulating medium.

The use of dry air completely eliminates the environmental concerns surrounding SF6 use. An additional advantage of using dry air is that sensor solutions can be integrated within the GIS core vessel at manufacturing enabling real-time monitoring of critical asset health and providing operators with benefits such as lower maintenance costs, reduced risk of failures and improved asset management. In the autumn 2019, within the frame of their TA project LCA dedicated to the validation of sensors for smart grid applications in real conditions, the Nuventura team thoroughly tested the suitability of non-conventional sensor technology for use within their MV GIS at the Demonstration & Experimentation Unit (UDEX).

Achievements

Lifecycle testing has been carried out to determine whether it is possible to install non-conventional sensor technology within GIS core vessels to ensure that the sensors can continue to operate in real electrical network conditions and do not adversely impact the switchgear operation or safety. The scope of the testing quantified the functional and non-functional performance of the sensors and antennas after they have been subjected to different stresses commonly seen in MV GIS. The outcome of the testing provided guidance as to whether the sensor systems are suitable for integration into the Nuventura GIS and the restrictions or limitations that must be noted for safe operation.

The ERIGrid Transnational Access has provided us with free access to a laboratory, which would not have been possible for us otherwise or would have required complex co-ordination across multiple paid commercial facilities. With its fully operational distribution network for research purposes, the UDEX laboratory has given us the valuable opportunity to research the potential of sensor integration and its effect on safety. Being a startup, Nuventura has greatly benefited from learning crucial features of the suitability of sensors for use within MV GIS.
David Jebamony
Leader of the TA user group LCA
LCA TA Success Story
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