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Enedis and Schneider Electric are launching an innovative solution for new-generation substations

Rueil-Malmaison, France


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Enedis and Schneider Electric are launching a project around a new generation of MV/LV substation equipment as an alternative to the use of SF6 (sulphur hexafluoride) gas. This gas, used in MV electrical equipment for its high insulating and dielectric properties, is extremely useful for medium and high voltage electrical distribution. Harmless to health, it is however one of the six greenhouse gases targeted by the Kyoto Protocol for its very high Global Warming Potential (GWP) in the event of release into the atmosphere.

The project led by Enedis and Schneider Electric, long-standing partners in this area of expertise, will be carried out in an Enedis R&D laboratory where two RM AirSeT RMU switchboards from Schneider Electric will be installed, the first offer of the new generation to be studied for MV distribution networks.

The objective is to evaluate for 18 months, the behavior of the equipment in different electrical configurations. The proximity between the R&D teams of Enedis and Schneider Electric in Grenoble will allow these tests to be carried out under restrictive conditions reflecting the situations encountered in operation.

An innovative solution contributing to the objective of carbon neutrality by 2050

Developed by Schneider Electric, this innovation required more than ten years of research and development: a new insulation technology based on pure air delivering the same electrical performance as today, as well as optimal safety for installations and people. This new range of eco-responsible MV secondary distribution equipment offers the dual advantage of being compact and incorporating all the connectivity necessary for efficient energy management.

Schneider Electric’s R&D pilot project series is co-funded by the EU's Life program. 

“Enedis has made a commitment to reduce its carbon footprint by 20% by 2025. This project should allow us to innovate to develop industrial solutions that respect the environment with a view to their industrialization. Innovation has a major role to play in finding new technical and technological solutions for the electrical networks that we operate,” says Marianne Laigneau, Chairman of the Management Board of Enedis.

 “At Schneider Electric, we are convinced that the best gas is pure air. This green and digital range without SF6 has been the most significant progress in the field of medium voltage switchboards in over forty years. Environmental responsibility is important to us and to our customers. Today, the innovation we have deployed allows us to consider a sustainable solution while maintaining all the advantages that conventional equipment with SF6 has always offered us,” explains Frederic Godemel, Executive Vice President, Power Systems & Services, Schneider Electric.

  • Enedis is a public service company, manager of the electrical distribution network which employs 38,000 people.

    Serving 37 million customers, it develops, operates, and modernizes 1.4 million kilometers of low and medium voltage electrical network (230 and 20,000 volts) and manages the associated data.

    Enedis performs customer connections, 24/7 troubleshooting, meter readings and all technical interventions.

    Acting on behalf of local authorities, owners of the networks, it is independent of the energy suppliers who are responsible for the sale and management of the electricity supply contract.


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