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GE and Hitachi ABB Power Grids sign cross-licensing agreement for SF6 alternative gas

  • 5 months ago (2021-04-22)
  • David Flin
Distribution 74

GE Renewable Energy ’s Grid Solutions business and Hitachi ABB Power Grids have signed a non-exclusive cross-licensing agreement related to the use of an alternative gas to SF6 used in high voltage equipment. This fluoronitrile-based gas mixture has a significantly reduced impact on the environment compared to SF6.

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Under the agreement, both companies will share complementary intellectual property related to their respective SF6-free solutions. This will help accelerate replacement of SF6 as insulation and switching gas in high-voltage equipment. A recent EU Commission report concluded that fluoronitrile-based gas mixtures may be the only insulating and switching gas alternative to SF6 when space is a constraint.

Heiner Markhoff, CEO of GE’s Grid Solutions, said: “Utilities are becoming increasingly aware of their environmental footprint and the impact it has on their communities and the world around them. This landmark agreement reinforces our commitment to help our customers to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. GE pioneered this fluoronitrile-based gas which we have named g3, and subsequently developed a broad SF6-free product range.”

Markus Heimbach, Managing Director of the High Voltage business in Hitachi ABB Power Grids, said: “As part of our commitment towards a carbon-neutral future and accelerating the energy transition, we have chosen to work toward a standard solution to address the needs of our customers through this cross-licensing agreement.”

The two companies will keep the product development, manufacturing, sales, marketing, and service activities of their gas solutions full 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.