In response to the requirements of the electricity generation and distribution industries, Cambridge Sensotec is nearing completion of a new, portable SF6 gas analyzer which will include a gas return function. The launch date of the new SF6 gas analyzer is planned for Fall 2014.

As GIS equipment contains pressurised SF6 gas, Cambridge Sensotec’s new analyser will allow the user to return the sample to pressurised switchgear. SF6 gas samples can be extracted from the GIS equipment into the analyzer, measured, and pumped back. This eliminates the need to refill the GIS and prevents the release of any SF6 gas into the atmosphere (in accordance with Kyoto greenhouse gas handing legislation).

As part of the product’s development, Cambridge Sensotec is conducting extensive on-site trials to gain technical and practical knowledge. The information gathered has then been fed into the product development process, meaning the completed unit will be designed to meet all of the challenges faced by the user.

The site visits included a tour of a typical substation facility and demonstrations by the site staff of the procedures of testing GIS equipment. Cambridge Sensotec’s prototype SF6 gas analyser was used in conjunction with both new and old GIS equipment in order to assess the applications requirements in full.

In addition to the analyzer’s gas pump back ability, the portable analyzer will include high precision gas sensors for measuring SF6, SO2, and H2O, with the option of adding sensors for measuring HF and O2 within the SF6 gas.

The analyzer will also feature a 7-inch touch screen display, pre-loaded IEC and CIGRE tests (custom tests can also be set), an 8-hour lithium ion battery, robust IP66 Peli-case, 12 months continuous data storage, and optional DILO DN8 and DN20 fittings.