Breakdown Characteristics of SF6 and Liquefied SF6 at Decreased Temperature

  • Choi, Eun-Hyeok ;
  • Kim, Ki-Chai ;
  • Lee, Kwang-Sik
  • Received : 2011.01.21
  • Accepted : 2012.06.08
  • Published : 2012.09.01


$SF_6$ gas has been used as arc quenching and insulating medium for high and extra high voltage switching devices due to its high dielectric strength, its excellent arc-quenching capabilities, its high chemical stability and non toxicity. Despite of its significant contributions, the gas was classified as one of the greenhouse gas in the Kyoto Protocol. Thus, many researches are conducted to find out the replacement materials and to develop the $SF_6$ gas useless electrical equipment. This paper describes experiments on the temperature change-related breakdown characteristics of $SF_6$ gas ($SF_6$) and $SF_6$ liquid ($LSF_6$) in a model GIS(Gas-Insulated Switchgear) chamber in order to show the possibility of more stable and safe usages of $SF_6$ gas. The breakdown characteristics are classified into three stages, namely the gas stage of $SF_6$ according to Paschen's law, the coexisting stage of $SF_6$ gas with liquid in considerable deviation at lower temperature, and the stage of $LSF_6$ and remaining air. The result shows that the ability of the $LSF_6$ insulation is higher than the high-pressurized $SF_6$. Moreover, it reveals that the breakdown characteristics of $LSF_6$ are produced by bubble-formed $LSF_6$ evaporation and bubbles caused by high electric emission and the corona. In addition, the property of dielectric breakdown of $LSF_6$ is determined by electrode form, electrode arrangement, bubble formation and movement, arc extinguishing capacity of the media, difficulty in corona formation, and the distance between electrodes. The bubble formation and flow separation phenomena were identified for $LSF_6$. It provides fundamental data not only for $SF_6$ gas useless equipment but also for electric insulation design of high-temperature superconductor and cryogenic equipment machinery, which will be developed in future studies.


$SF_6$ gas;$SF_6$ liquid;Breakdown characteristics


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Supported by : Yeungnam University