GE and Hitachi ABB Power Grids have signed a non-exclusive, cross-licensing agreement related to the use of an alternative gas to sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) used in high voltage equipment. This fluoronitrile-based gas mixture has a significantly reduced impact on the environment compared to SF6.

Under this agreement that was announced just before Earth Day 2021, both companies will share complementary intellectual property related to their respective SF6-free solutions. The two companies will keep the product development, manufacturing, sales, marketing and service activities of their gas solutions fully independent. Each company will continue to independently grant and set terms of licenses to its respective intellectual property, hence preserving supplier base diversity for the industry and fair competition.

This will help accelerate the use of fluoronitrile-based eco-efficient insulation and switching gas in high-voltage equipment as an alternative to SF6. A recent EU Commission report from September 2020 concluded that fluorinitrile-based gas mixtures may be the only insulating and switching gas alternative to SF6 when space is a constraint. This agreement paves the way for a standard SF6-free solution for high-voltage equipment in the coming years. This would enable utilities and industries to accelerate their reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, while facilitating their ability to plan, as well as operate and maintain their networks thanks to standardized services and the use of the same auxiliary equipment. Link to the news: https://www.gegridsolutions.com/press/gepress/ge-and-hitachi-abb-power-grids-sign-landmark-agreement.htm