Cambridge Sensotec is developing an all new sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) gas analyser with pump back facility for measuring SF6 within high voltage Gas Insulated Switchgear (GIS).

The company is nearing completion of the portable analyser, which comes in response to the requirements of the electricity generation and distribution industries.

Launch of the new SF6 gas analyser is currently planned for autumn 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 analyser, 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 analyser’s gas pump back facility, the portable analyser will include high precision gas sensors for measuring SF6, sulfur dioxide (SO2) and H2O, with the option of adding sensors for measuring hydrogen fluoride (HF) and oxygen (O2) within the SF6 gas.