Photo by S&C Electric Company
Screenshot 2021 06 14 110559

S&C Electric Co. Introduces New Sustainable Switchgear Design

June 14, 2021
New Vista underground distribution switchgear gives utilities an alternative to SF6 gas gear

S&C Electric Company is launching a new version of its Vista Underground Distribution Switchgear to support sustainability goals. A sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) gas-free switchgear alternative, S&C’s Vista green designs use a mixture of carbon dioxide (CO2) and 3M Novec 4710 Insulating Gas that offers a more than 97 percent reduction in CO2e, or carbon dioxide equivalent, versus SF6 gas.

Presently available in ratings up to 38 kV and 25 kA, Vista green designs are an ideal solution for utilities planning for an alternative to SF6 gas switchgear without compromising on performance. The insulating gas blend meets California Air Resources Board (CARB) requirements for SF6 gas phase-out and does not require Federal EPA reporting for utilities. The switchgear’s robotically welded, stainless steel tanks are hermetically sealed during production, eliminating the need for crews to handle gas in the field. 

“Utilities around the world are looking to reduce their carbon footprint and adhere to regulations designed to track and limit the use and emission of gases such as SF6,” said Mark Stavnes, S&C chief product development officer. “We developed this new version of Vista switchgear to support our customers as they navigate this changing landscape and reinforce S&C’s commitment to sustaining the planet.”

Features and benefits of Vista green designs include:

  • Three-position switches and arc-resistance increases safety
  • Vacuum interrupters and visible disconnects for improved line crew safety
  • Same performance, reliability, ratings, and footprint as Vista switchgear using SF6 gas
  • Lowest total carbon footprint available for submersible, medium-voltage switchgear

“We’re thrilled to collaborate with S&C to provide a sustainable switchgear alternative using 3M Novec 4710 Insulating Gas,” said Erik Olson, 3M global marketing manager. “As SF6 alternative gas technologies continue to advance and become more widely used, 3M is proud to help pave the way toward a greener grid and a more sustainable future.”

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