SF6: The Perfect Gas for the St. Louis Utilities Industry


Cee Kay Supply, Inc. is today recognized as a key provider of dielectric gases – also known as insulating gases – for the St. Louis electrical utilities industry. These gases are used routinely to either avoid or rapidly tamp down electrical discharges, for which their dielectric characteristics render them ideal. The most important of these gases and the one most in demand from us is sulfur hexafluoride (SF6).

Utilities employ SF6 to electrically insulate high-voltage transformers, sulfur hexafluoride circuit breakers, switchgear, and other equivalent types of hardware.

Where SF6 circuit breakers are involved, they’re pretty much replacing oil-filled circuit breakers (OCBs), which, given the fear of their containing now-banned, environmentally toxic polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), have fallen out of favor.

The extensive use of SF6 under pressure in gas-insulated switchgear is due to its exhibiting a dielectric strength markedly higher than air or dry nitrogen (the latter one more gas in broad use by our utilities industry customers).

One major “side benefit” of SF6’s high electronegativity and density is that it enables the utilities industry to reduce the size of electrical gear. This makes it possible to place such gear in more-manageable indoor environments, instead of air-insulating it outdoors. Gas-insulated gear situated indoors is, of course, less likely to be affected by climate and pollution. What’s more, a more-governable environment also promote greater system trustworthiness and longevity.

If for any reason you haven’t yet been introduced to SF6 and would like to understand more about its benefits in utilities industry application, consult with Cee Kay Supply, Inc., your St. Louis PurityPlus® Partner, today.