National Grid Electricity System Operator
National Grid TO Innovation Team
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Innovation Funding Incentive
Gas Transmission Networks
This area of work looks to search for and import technology
propositions and solutions from non energy related R&D sectors (ie
in this case the major UK provider for defence) which have potential
for electricity (and gas) transmission with a particular focus on SF6.
Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) is widely used in electric power
transmission equipment on account of its excellent properties both
as an insulating material and as an arc-interrupting medium. It has
become the only commercially available technology for circuitbreakers
at transmission voltages. However, it has a high global
warming potential and its use raises concerns on environmental
This project incorporates a knowledge and innovation search with
QinetiQ which looks external to existing energy providers with a view
to provide technological substitution. The project specific target
being reducing energy losses, seeking alternatives to SF6 gas and
reducing environmental impacts. There is also a further project with
Manchester University & Liverpool University which focuses in more
detail on alternatives to SF6.