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DILO 2nd Annual SF6 Gas Management Seminar

Tampa FL, November 2017


Zero Emissions. No
Substitutes.

Managing SF6 gas leaks


in Circuit Breakers
 The true art of SF6 gas leak detection and leak
seal

November 15, 2017

Steve Wickman, PE electric utility independent consultant


John Edmon TDS-Transmission & Distribution Services

www.dilo.com - www.dilodirect.com
Our story for you today

 SF6—what is it?
 Why SF6 in electric utility apparatus?
 Some history
 SF6—good stuff
 SF6—bad stuff
 SF6 leaks—find them and fix them
 Steve‘s experiences with SF6 CBs

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SF6...what is it?
Sulfur Hexafluoride
Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)
is an inorganic, colorless,
odorless, non-flammable,
extremely potent
greenhouse gas, which is
an excellent electrical
insulator. SF6 has an
octahedral geometry,
consisting of six fluorine
atoms attached to a
central sulfur atom.

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Why SF6 in electric utility apparatus?

Some history

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Why SF6 in electric utility apparatus?

Some history

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In the early 1950s high-voltage CBs of bulk oil
configurations were becoming the norm

These OCBs had an exemplary record but the


possibility of failure, and the risk of explosion and
oil fires existed

Systems grew & HV OCBs were located


increasingly in urban areas and the consequences
of OCB failure gained importance

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In the early 1950s the New York Consolidated
Edison Company (Con Edison) in particular started
to push for an oil-less breaker design

In response to this oil-less breaker need, the


Westinghouse Electric Company initiated a program
to develop the GCB using SF6 as the insulating
dielectric & interrupting medium, transforming the
breaker industry

Thirty years later every manufacturer of H-V


breakers adoped SF6 as the medium of choice

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Early Installations
PP&L 230kV GCB at Brunner
Island substation the first SF6 CB
placed in commercial service

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Early Installations
ConEdison Hellgate substation May 1960 first two
installed SF6 GCBs 138kV 10,000MVA
ConEdison GCB failure February 1961, previous
experience with oil CBs indicated that total or near total
destruction occurred
This SF6 CB failure was repaired & the CB restored in
two days and subsequently ConEdison placed their first
substantial order for 138kV SF6 CBs

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SF6

The good stuff...

 Higher dielectric strength than air or


nitrogen
 Provides for compactness in the
design of equipment

The bad stuff...

 Found to be the most potent


greenhouse gas known to date
 Emitted into the atmosphere it
accumulates in an undegraded state
for centuries

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SF6

Bottom line...

 Allowing it to leak freely into the


atmosphere is not a good thing

US EPA regulations...

 Develop SF6 emissions reduction


strategies
 Inventory of SF6 using eqiupment
 Estimate current emissions

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SF6—got leaks?

 SF6 leaks—find them and fix them

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SF6 Leak Detection

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SF6 Leak Detection

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SF6 Leak Detection

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SF6 Leak Survey & Sketch

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Leak Repair Technique on SF6
Apparatus

External clamp

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External clamp

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External clamp

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External clamp

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External clamp

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External clamp

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External clamp

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External clamp

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External clamp

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External clamp

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External clamp

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External clamp

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External clamp

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External clamp

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External clamp

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Clamp repair concept drawing

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External clamp

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External clamp

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SF6 piping leaks in GCB control cabinet

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SF6 piping leaks—typical measurements

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SF6 piping leaks

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SF6 piping leaks

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GIS leaks

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GIS leaks

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SF6 leaks-find them and fix them

Initial leak detection can be performed with CB in service

Detailed survey and measurements without disassembly of


CB
Clamp design and fabrication performed in a day or two and
air freighted to the worksite
Repairs completed in a day or two with minimal outage time
and NO degassing of the CB required...depending on
customer safety/work practice requirements

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SF6 leak a case study

Steve‘s actual experience ~1980

Westinghouse SFA GCBs 765kV

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SF6 leak a case study

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SF6 leak a case study

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SF6 leak a case study

WWJD?

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SF6 leak a case study

What Would Jesus Do?


What Would Jesus Drive?
What Would Judas Do?
We Want Jack Daniels

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SF6 leak a case study

What Would John Do!!!

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SF6 leak a case study

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SF6 leak a case study

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SF6 leak a case study

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SF6 leak a case study

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SF6 leak a case study

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• TRANSMISSION & DISTRIBUTION SERVICES, LLC
28369 DAVIS PARKWAY, SUITE 401
WARRENVILLE, IL 60555
P∙775.586.8300
F∙775.586.1105
Steve Wickman
630.853.3104
swickman@tdsgroup.biz

John Edmon
775.240.1319
johnedmontds@msn.com

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John Edmon
John Edmon…44 years in the Leak Sealing
business…starting out working for leak
seal firms working in the petrochemical
and electric power house industry. In
1988, upon the suggestion of an Electric
Utility equipment specialists John worked
with at a power plant on the west coast of
the USA, he developed his technique for
sealing low pressure leaks, initially in large
power transformers. The techniques then
flowed over to CBs initially oil CBs. As the
SF6 dielectric medium became more
prevalent in CBs in the industry, John
started applying the same techniques to
SF6 gas apparatus.

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Steve Wickman
Steve Wickman, PE…37 year career as a
Power Engineer with Commonwealth
Edison in the greater Chicago, IL area.
BSEE from Iowa State University and MBA
from Keller Graduate School of
Management [DeVry University]. His 40+
year engineering career has spanned work
experiences in substation equipment
testing and commissioning, design
engineering, substation construction and
operations management, as well as
project management, work scheduling
and work controls areas. Steve is now
working as an independent consultant in
the electric utility industry.

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references

Russell N. (Russ) Yeckley and R. Gerald (Jerry) Colclaser, Jr., “First


SF6 Breaker Design, Westinghouse engineers tell the inside story”,
IEEE Power & Energy Magazine, May/June 2016

© January 2013 Page 56


DILO 2nd Annual SF6 Gas Management Seminar
Tampa FL, November 2017
Zero Emissions. No
Substitutes.

Managing SF6 gas leaks


in Circuit Breakers
Presentation By: Steve Wickman and John Edmon
Created On: October 12, 2017

Transmission & Distribution Services, LLC

Suite 401

28369 Davis Parkway

Warrenville, IL 60555

775-586-8300

www.dilo.com - www.dilodirect.com