Gas insulated transmission lines are an ideal option for spaces where construction companies need to provide for the transmission of extra high voltage or extra high currents and installing overhead power lines is not feasible.
What is a Gas Insulated Line?
The gas insulated line (GIL) was invented by engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1965, and the first installation took place in 1975. The basic structure of the GIL consists of N2 and SF6 gases inside the enclosure, encircling an aluminum conductor. Coated outer housing, also made of aluminum, encases the entire structure. There is an electrical cross section of up to 5,300 mm squared. The main elements of a GIL are the conductors and enclosures, insulators, particle traps, aluminum bellows and enclosure joints.
There are a number of methods for the installation of gas insulated lines. First, GILs can be installed above ground. Above ground, they are still able to conduct high power transmissions. They can also withstand many negative environmental factors such as pollution, solar radiation and extreme temperatures. This, again, makes the GIL ideal for cities and metropolitan areas. Of course, GILs can also be installed in tunnels underground. This method is popular on major farms and agricultural areas – once the GIL is installed underground, the ground above it is still completely viable for growing crops. On hydropower plants, vertical installation of GILs is popular. There is no fire hazard associated with GIL systems. It is also possible to install gas insulated lines directly underground, without a tunnel. In this case, the land above the GIL is usually still viable for agricultural use.
What Are the Benefits of a Gas Insulated Line?
There are a number of benefits to installing gas insulated lines, especially if you are looking to install them in an agricultural space or metropolitan area. The GIL is highly reliable, and with no risk of fire or impact on its surroundings should an internal structure fail, is very safe. It has low external magnetic fields, low transmission losses, and very high transmission capacities. Its built-in particle trap allows the GIL to remain in good shape for very long periods of time. Additionally, all parts of the GIL can be transported by fairly lightweight trucks, meaning that installing a GIL is relatively easy to coordinate.
Are There Any Disadvantages?
If particle contamination occurs, it could have an effect on the insulating qualities of the GIL. In addition, each section of the GIL must be kept below a specific length requirement. The SF6 gas used in the GIL may be harmful to the environment, as it affects the ozone layer. Finally, the GIL may not be protected in the case of an earthquake.
For many, however, the benefits of gas insulated transmission lines greatly outweigh the negatives. Contact Beta Engineering today for more information.