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SF6 gas in atmosphere is increasing (Read 92 times)
Laugh till you cry
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SF6 gas in atmosphere is increasing
Sep 14th, 2019 at 9:21am
 
Greed kills.

SF6, Sulphur hexafluoride, "is a synthetic gas and isn't absorbed or destroyed naturally. It will all have to be replaced and destroyed to limit the impact on the climate".

"It's the most powerful greenhouse gas known to humanity, and emissions have risen rapidly in recent years."

SF6 " is 23,500 times more warming than carbon dioxide (CO2)."

Bad news is the norm for the planet.

...

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-49567197

Quote:
Climate change: Electrical industry's 'dirty secret' boosts warming
By Matt McGrath

The expansion of electrical grid connections has increased use of SF6
It's the most powerful greenhouse gas known to humanity, and emissions have risen rapidly in recent years, the BBC has learned.

Sulphur hexafluoride, or SF6, is widely used in the electrical industry to prevent short circuits and accidents.

But leaks of the little-known gas in the UK and the rest of the EU in 2017 were the equivalent of putting an extra 1.3 million cars on the road.

Levels are rising as an unintended consequence of the green energy boom.

Cheap and non-flammable, SF6 is a colourless, odourless, synthetic gas. It makes a hugely effective insulating material for medium and high-voltage electrical installations.

It is widely used across the industry, from large power stations to wind turbines to electrical sub-stations in towns and cities. It prevents electrical accidents and fires.

Media captionTechnicians display the importance of preventing electrical overloads
However, the significant downside to using the gas is that it has the highest global warming potential of any known substance. It is 23,500 times more warming than carbon dioxide (CO2).

Just one kilogram of SF6 warms the Earth to the same extent as 24 people flying London to New York return.

It also persists in the atmosphere for a long time, warming the Earth for at least 1,000 years.

So why are we using more of this powerful warming gas?
The way we make electricity around the world is changing rapidly.

Where once large coal-fired power stations brought energy to millions, the drive to combat climate change means they are now being replaced by mixed sources of power including wind, solar and gas.

This has resulted in many more connections to the electricity grid, and a rise in the number of electrical switches and circuit breakers that are needed to prevent serious accidents.

Collectively, these safety devices are called switchgear. The vast majority use SF6 gas to quench arcs and stop short circuits.

Gas-insulated, high-voltage switchgear almost always uses SF6
"As renewable projects are getting bigger and bigger, we have had to use it within wind turbines specifically," said Costa Pirgousis, an engineer with Scottish Power Renewables on its new East Anglia wind farm, which doesn't use SF6 in turbines.

"As we are putting in more and more turbines, we need more and more switchgear and, as a result, more SF6 is being introduced into big turbines off shore.

"It's been proven for years and we know how it works, and as a result it is very reliable and very low maintenance for us offshore."

How do we know that SF6 is increasing?
Across the entire UK network of power lines and substations, there are around one million kilograms of SF6 installed.

A study from the University of Cardiff found that across all transmission and distribution networks, the amount used was increasing by 30-40 tonnes per year.

This rise was also reflected across Europe with total emissions from the 28 member states in 2017 equivalent to 6.73 million tonnes of CO2. That's the same as the emissions from 1.3 million extra cars on the road for a year.

Researchers at the University of Bristol who monitor concentrations of warming gases in the atmosphere say they have seen significant rises in the last 20 years.

"We make measurements of SF6 in the background atmosphere," said Dr Matt Rigby, reader in atmospheric chemistry at Bristol.

"What we've seen is that the levels have increased substantially, and we've seen almost a doubling of the atmospheric concentration in the last two decades."

How does SF6 get into the atmosphere?
The most important means by which SF6 gets into the atmosphere is from leaks in the electricity industry.

Electrical switchgear the world over often uses SF6 to prevent fires
Electrical company Eaton, which manufactures switchgear without SF6, says its research indicates that for the full life-cycle of the product, leaks could be as high as 15% - much higher than many other estimates.

Louis Shaffer, electrical business manager at Eaton, said: "The newer gear has very low leak rates but the key question is do you have newer gear?

"We looked at all equipment and looked at the average of all those leak rates, and we didn't see people taking into account the filling of the gas. Plus, we looked at how you recycle it and return it and also included the catastrophic leaks."

How damaging to the climate is this gas?
Concentrations in the atmosphere are very small right now, just a fraction of the amount of CO2 in the air.

However, the global installed base of SF6 is expected to grow by 75% by 2030.

Another concern is that SF6 is a synthetic gas and isn't absorbed or destroyed naturally. It will all have to be replaced and destroyed to limit the impact on the climate. ...
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lee
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Re: SF6 gas in atmosphere is increasing
Reply #1 - Sep 14th, 2019 at 2:44pm
 
So 23,000 times CO2 as a GHG

Future concentration increasing by 75% 9x1.75 = 15.75 parts per trillion

So has an equivalent CO2 GHG rate at 15.75x23,000 = 362,250 parts per trillion.

Convert trillion to million = 0.3625 parts per million as opposed to 4 parts per million for CO2.


Not worrying at all. Wink

Laugh till you cry wrote on Sep 14th, 2019 at 9:21am:
Levels are rising as an unintended consequence of the green energy boom.


Oh noes.
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Jovial Monk
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Re: SF6 gas in atmosphere is increasing
Reply #2 - Sep 14th, 2019 at 3:14pm
 
In China someone is using CFCs so these are increasing in the atmosphere again. Not powerful GHGs but they only very slowly oxidise into a nonGHG.
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Laugh till you cry
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Re: SF6 gas in atmosphere is increasing
Reply #3 - Sep 14th, 2019 at 3:30pm
 
lee wrote on Sep 14th, 2019 at 2:44pm:
So 23,000 times CO2 as a GHG

Future concentration increasing by 75% 9x1.75 = 15.75 parts per trillion

So has an equivalent CO2 GHG rate at 15.75x23,000 = 362,250 parts per trillion.

Convert trillion to million = 0.3625 parts per million as opposed to 4 parts per million for CO2.


Not worrying at all. Wink

Laugh till you cry wrote on Sep 14th, 2019 at 9:21am:
Levels are rising as an unintended consequence of the green energy boom.


Oh noes.


Lee's not good with maths. Out by a factor of 100x for CO2 which is currently 410-415 PPM.
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Re: SF6 gas in atmosphere is increasing
Reply #4 - Sep 14th, 2019 at 4:30pm
 
Laugh till you cry wrote on Sep 14th, 2019 at 3:30pm:
Lee's not good with maths. Out by a factor of 100x for CO2 which is currently 410-415 PPM.



So it's even less than a problem they thought. Grin Grin Grin Grin

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Laugh till you cry
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Re: SF6 gas in atmosphere is increasing
Reply #5 - Sep 14th, 2019 at 4:31pm
 
lee wrote on Sep 14th, 2019 at 4:30pm:
Laugh till you cry wrote on Sep 14th, 2019 at 3:30pm:
Lee's not good with maths. Out by a factor of 100x for CO2 which is currently 410-415 PPM.



So it's even less than a problem they thought. Grin Grin Grin Grin



But lee is a bigger problem demonstrating the failure of the WA education system.
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Re: SF6 gas in atmosphere is increasing
Reply #6 - Sep 14th, 2019 at 4:36pm
 
Laugh till you cry wrote on Sep 14th, 2019 at 4:31pm:
But lee is a bigger problem demonstrating the failure of the WA education system.



Nope. The education system worked fine for my calculations.

The memory failed on the 400ppm.
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Laugh till you cry
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Re: SF6 gas in atmosphere is increasing
Reply #7 - Sep 14th, 2019 at 4:55pm
 
lee wrote on Sep 14th, 2019 at 4:36pm:
Laugh till you cry wrote on Sep 14th, 2019 at 4:31pm:
But lee is a bigger problem demonstrating the failure of the WA education system.



Nope. The education system worked fine for my calculations.

The memory failed on the 400ppm.


Senile dementia has that effect. Don't walk into a corner. You might be unable to find your way out.
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Re: SF6 gas in atmosphere is increasing
Reply #8 - Sep 14th, 2019 at 5:04pm
 
“we've seen almost a doubling of the atmospheric concentration in the last two decades."”

Exponential growth.
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lee
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Re: SF6 gas in atmosphere is increasing
Reply #9 - Sep 14th, 2019 at 5:21pm
 
Jovial Monk wrote on Sep 14th, 2019 at 5:04pm:
“we've seen almost a doubling of the atmospheric concentration in the last two decades."”

Exponential growth.



That is always possible from such a low base. Wink
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Jovial Monk
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Re: SF6 gas in atmosphere is increasing
Reply #10 - Sep 14th, 2019 at 5:22pm
 
Any base.
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lee
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Re: SF6 gas in atmosphere is increasing
Reply #11 - Sep 14th, 2019 at 5:24pm
 
Jovial Monk wrote on Sep 14th, 2019 at 5:22pm:
Any base.


Who's on third?
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