Toshiba GIS
500kV gas insulated switchgear Toshiba GIS. Shinkoga Substation TEPCO Power Grid.

Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation (Toshiba ESS) and Meidensha Corporation are set to accelerate the development and commercialisation of gas insulated switchgear (GIS) using natural origin gas.

The decision is based on the higher demand for environmentally friendly products in the GIS market. Specifically, the two companies plan to complete type tests to confirm performance in line with international standards by March 2022.

The companies have been collaborating since 2020 on the joint development of gas insulated switchgear (GIS) for 72kV/84kV using natural origin gas that contains no sulfur hexafluoride (SF6).

The establishment of a system for mass production and commercialisation of the product will follow by the end of March 2023.

Through the development and supply of GIS employing only natural origin gases, the two companies will contribute to the realisation of a carbon neutral future – a goal of many countries around the world.

The GIS under joint development uses a vacuum circuit breaker (VCB) for high-current interruption and dry air for the main circuit insulation of the equipment and for the current switching parts of the disconnect and earthing switches to ensure insulation performance and high-current interruption capability.

Toshiba ESS will be responsible for the entire GIS, while Meidensha will be in charge of the development of the main component, the VCB.

Koji Saito, Director, Vice President of the Grid Aggregation Division of Toshiba ESS said, “We are very proud of this joint development with Meidensha. We have a great deal of expertise in the development of GIS products as a whole, including the 72kV GIS launched into a commercial operation firstly in Japan in 1969. On the other hand, Toshiba ESS has been developing SF6 alternative technologies for more than 15 years.”

Nobuaki Tamaki, Director & Senior Managing Executive Officer of Meidensha said, “We are very happy to develop GIS jointly with Toshiba ESS. We have extensive delivery record of VCBs all over the world and have developed 72.5kV dead tank VCBs with dry air insulation in 2007 for US market. Since then, we have delivered them to a lot of customers in Japan and overseas. In 2020, we commercialised up to 145kV class of VCBs. By combining the respective strengths of Toshiba ESS and Meidensha, it is possible to create a product with high performance and reliability.”

The two companies expect to commercialise this new type of GIS firstly in Japan. In the future, each company considers overseas expansion based on the business strategies of each company.

In Japan, a joint industry-academia SF6 Alternative Gas Study committee, which aims to investigate the impact of introducing SF6 alternative gases, has compiled guidelines to evaluate SF6 alternative technologies. The present GIS under development fully complies with these guidelines.