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SF6, windmills, and electricity are killing the planet

SF6, windmills, and electricity are killing the planet

Unread postby Plantagenet » Sun 15 Sep 2019, 17:59:13

As the use of windmills and solar cells increases, and as more and more demands are put on the electrical grid due to population growth and the increase in EVs and iPhones and other electrical appliances, a bad thing is happening.

Rather then reducing the effect of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by reducing the use of fossil fuels, a new kind of greenhouse gas is being released. And this greenhouse gas.....called sulphur hexafluoride or SF6.......is the most powerful greenhouse gas known to man

Climate change: Electrical industry's 'dirty secret' is adding to global warming

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


SF-6 concentrations in the atmosphere are rising rapidly as an unintended consequence of the green energy boom.

How powerful is SF6?..... It produces 23,500 times more warming than carbon dioxide (CO2).

And how rapidly is it increasing in the atmosphere? The concentration of SF6 in the atmosphere has doubled in the last 20 years, i.e. SF6 levels in the atmosphere are rising much more rapidly then either CO2 or CH4.

And how long does SF6 stay in the atmosphere? At least 1000 years.

And how is SF6 used in the electrical grid? Large coal-fired power stations that brought energy to millions are being replaced with innumerable windmills, solar cells, gas power plants, etc. etc. in order to combat climate.

But ironically, this is making things even worse.

Each windmill, solar cell, biogas plant, micro-hydro planet, etc. has to be attached to the electricity grid, resulting in a rise in the number of electrical switches and circuit breakers that are needed at each of these connections to prevent serious accidents.
Collectively, these safety devices are called switchgears, and the vast majority use SF6 gas to quench arcs and stop short circuits.

Image
Its a classic CATCH-22 situation. The very devices we are relying on to replace fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse emissions are themselves sources of greenhouse gas. And not just any gas---BUT THE MOST POWERFUL GREENHOUSE GAS KNOWN TO MAN----SF-6-----IS BEING RELEASED FROM WINDMILLS, SOLAR CELLS, AND THE ELECTRICAL GRID AND CAUSING EVEN MORE GREENHOUSE WARMING.
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Re: SF6, windmills, and electricity are killing the planet

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 15 Sep 2019, 18:16:03

I keep saying the only real adaption is to reduce usage of all sorts.
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Re: SF6, windmills, and electricity are killing the planet

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sun 15 Sep 2019, 18:23:34

Interesting topic Plant.

After I read your post, I thought: "So OK. If there aren't alternatives to SF6, that's a big long term problem."

So I did a 5 second google search on "SF6 alternatives" and got a lot of interesting hits suggesting that the problem can be dealt with. As usual, how quickly and at what economic cost are the issues. Credible looking sources including the EPA and EE publishers are in the list of articles.

For example:

https://www.ee.co.za/article/alternativ ... ar-2.html#

https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... switchgear

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/fi ... rkshop.pdf

For the third link, the chart at the top of page 11, contrasting the global warming impact of SF6 and the 3M Novec alternatives was striking. One showing under 10% of the warming, the other, under a 23,000th.

It looks to me that there was a lot of serious research going on as of 2017, re the dates of quite a few of the links.

Of course, the fact that I've never even heard of this suggests a certain amount of deliberate green-washing to me, but that's just my opinion.

So not doom, but isn't it odd that the EV plug-in fanbois seem to breathe NOT A WORD on this topic, even as they claim Musk is saving the world "real soon now".
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: SF6, windmills, and electricity are killing the planet

Unread postby GHung » Sun 15 Sep 2019, 18:33:11

BUT THE MOST POWERFUL GREENHOUSE GAS KNOWN TO MAN----SF-6-----IS BEING RELEASED FROM WINDMILLS, SOLAR CELLS


Solar cells do not contain SF6. It is not released from solar panels, and nowhere in your link could I find that assertion. Your use of parts of the article merged with your own biased and inaccurate additions is highly improper and misleading (AKA: lying). Not surprising considering the source.

Any SF6 releases related to PV cells are from high voltages used either in manufacturing or in resulting distribution in the systems they may be connected to, which applies to virtually every medium to high voltage electrical production/consumption system. Low voltage systems like my off-grid PV system don't fit that category. SF6 pollution is largely a gridweenie-caused problem.

How much more of this article did you embellish with your bullshit? I won't even waste my time to find out. Do yourself a favor and use cut-and-paste quotes from the articles you source. You don't seem to have the capacity to paraphrase things without corrupting them with your bias filters.
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Re: SF6, windmills, and electricity are killing the planet

Unread postby GHung » Sun 15 Sep 2019, 18:42:17

Outcast_Searcher wrote:Interesting topic Plant.

After I read your post, I thought: "So OK. If there aren't alternatives to SF6, that's a big long term problem."

So I did a 5 second google search on "SF6 alternatives" and got a lot of interesting hits suggesting that the problem can be dealt with. As usual, how quickly and at what economic cost are the issues. Credible looking sources including the EPA and EE publishers are in the list of articles.

For example:

https://www.ee.co.za/article/alternativ ... ar-2.html#

https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... switchgear

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/fi ... rkshop.pdf

For the third link, the chart at the top of page 11, contrasting the global warming impact of SF6 and the 3M Novec alternatives was striking. One showing under 10% of the warming, the other, under a 23,000th.

It looks to me that there was a lot of serious research going on as of 2017, re the dates of quite a few of the links.

Of course, the fact that I've never even heard of this suggests a certain amount of deliberate green-washing to me, but that's just my opinion.

So not doom, but isn't it odd that the EV plug-in fanbois seem to breathe NOT A WORD on this topic, even as they claim Musk is saving the world "real soon now".


Eaton, one of the largest producers of this equipment. doesn't use the stuff.
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."
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-49567197
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Re: SF6, windmills, and electricity are killing the planet

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sun 15 Sep 2019, 19:11:25

GHung wrote:Eaton, one of the largest producers of this equipment. doesn't use the stuff.
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."
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-49567197

Well that's good news, and a good article.

Especially the idea that economics isn't the main reason for not fixing this, but needing to make the effort. Maybe in Europe, they'll start fining the hell out of industries which don't fix this, and force it to change. And then the US, etc. can follow.

Of course, given how little we do re the AGW situation in general, maybe everyone can just go back to sleep. :-x
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: SF6, windmills, and electricity are killing the planet

Unread postby Plantagenet » Sun 15 Sep 2019, 23:46:06

SF6 emissions from China are rising rapidly

Sulfur_Hexafluoride_SF6_Emission_Estimates_for_China_An_Inventory_for_1990-2010_and_a_Projection_to_2020

Global contributions from China increased rapidly from 0.9 ± 0.3% in 1990 to 22.8 ± 6.3% in 2008, making China one of the crucial contributors to the recent growth in global emissions. Under the examined Business-as-usual (BAU) Scenario, projected emissions will reach 4270 ± 1020 t in 2020

------------------

Lets do some math. One kg of SF6 has roughly the same greenhouse effect as 2 tons of CO2.

If China releases ca. 4270 tons of SF6 in 2020 as this study projects under a BAU scenario, then that is 4,270,000 kg, or roughly the equivalent of ca. 8.5 million tons of CO2.

That is equal to about 2% of total US CO2 emissions....horrible but not the end of the world.....But then consider that SF6 emissions in China have increased by about 250% over the last 20 years and are still increasing......

-----------------

Also consider that SF6 was one of the greenhouse gases that the Kyoto Accords sought to control, but it isn't even mentioned in the idiotic Paris Accords. Of course neither was CH4, but at least it was generally understood we have to reduce CH4 emissions. SF6---not so much.

---------------

That means there are currently absolutely no restrictions on the manufacture or use of SF6 in electrical equipment. Its the standard way to manufacture electrical switches and connectors. A quick look at Alibaba (the Amazon of China) turns up over 5000 listings offering SF6 for sale, indicating it is used widely in China, and China manufactures much of the equipment being used to build out electrical grids in many areas of the world. SF6 is really cheap, too, at least if you buy it from Alibaba.

alibaba.com/gas-sf6.

Its nice that Eaton isn't using it in their switches....but many other electrical companies are using it in countries all around the world because its cheap and effective and its been the standard way to manufacture electrical switches and connectors for decades. So we are likely to continue to see emissions of SF6 into the atmosphere grow rapidly as the "green revolution" continues in the west, and as more and more third countries move to electrify their rural areas in Asia, Africa, and South America.

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Re: SF6, windmills, and electricity are killing the planet

Unread postby asg70 » Mon 16 Sep 2019, 08:36:11

Plantagenet wrote:As the use of windmills and solar cells increases, and as more and more demands are put on the electrical grid due to population growth and the increase in EVs and iPhones and other electrical appliances, a bad thing is happening.


Pump up Greta in one thread, FUD renewables in another. Typical cognitive dissonance from Plant. Do you actually work for Koch Industries?

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-Short welched on a bet and should be shunned.
-Frequent-flyers should not cry crocodile-tears over climate-change.
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Re: SF6, windmills, and electricity are killing the planet

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 16 Sep 2019, 08:59:27

ASG,

Personal attack -NO!
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Re: SF6, windmills, and electricity are killing the planet

Unread postby Plantagenet » Tue 17 Sep 2019, 14:57:33

They always say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. So it should come as no surprise that the same renewable energy supplies that were supposed to reduce the emissions of Greenhouse gases are actually doing the opposite.

It turns out that Solar, Wind and other new renewable energy sources are releasing SF6 -- the world's most powerful Greenhouse gas. SF6 is 23,500 times MORE powerful then CO2.

a-leak-that-s-aggravating-climate-change

Oooopsies!

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Re: SF6, windmills, and electricity are killing the planet

Unread postby asg70 » Tue 17 Sep 2019, 19:26:21

From the article:

concentrations of SF6 in the atmosphere is very small right now compared to the vast amount of CO2 found in the air


(like the CO2, like what spit out of the back of the jet you last flew on.)

BOLD PREDICTIONS
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-Short welched on a bet and should be shunned.
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Re: SF6, windmills, and electricity are killing the planet

Unread postby Plantagenet » Tue 17 Sep 2019, 20:08:15

asg70 wrote:From the article:
concentrations of SF6 in the atmosphere is very small right now compared to the vast amount of CO2 found in the air



Also from the article comes the information that SF6 is 23,500 times as powerful as CO2 when it comes to the Greenhouse warming effect. That means that a very small amount of SF6 in the atmosphere has the same effect as a much much larger amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

The article also mentioned the fact that the amount of SF6 being released into the atmosphere is growing rapidly as a consequence of the rapid growth of solar, wind and other renewables being added to the grid...

Thats means that all the well-intentioned people buying EVs and counting on renewable energy to reduce the amount of Greenhouse gas going into the atmosphere by fossil fuels have actually been making things worse, because SF6--- the most powerful greenhouse gas known to man ---is being released into the atmosphere as a direct consequence of adding more renewable energy to the grid.

Image
Its just all so ironic, isn't it?

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Re: SF6, windmills, and electricity are killing the planet

Unread postby asg70 » Wed 18 Sep 2019, 08:44:48

So Trump was right in bringing back coal. Got it. Thanks.

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Re: SF6, windmills, and electricity are killing the planet

Unread postby jedrider » Wed 18 Sep 2019, 13:09:22

Climate change: Electrical industry's 'dirty secret' boosts warming
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-49567197

Every day we learn of NEW way humanity is screwing itself over.

I don't quite understand how SF6 is used?? I didn't even know about it until two days ago when I saw it in a title on PeakOil!
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Re: SF6, windmills, and electricity are killing the planet

Unread postby EnergyUnlimited » Wed 18 Sep 2019, 13:36:54

At the moment SF6 is very far on my radar.
Production and use is insignificant comparing to CO2 and methane, even after taking into account its strong greenhouse effect.
I am more concerned about stray asteroid from interstellar space visiting Solar System and crashing against Earth.
It is certainly a better idea to introduce green tech and suffer with tiny SF6 releases than to stick with burning of FF.
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Re: SF6, windmills, and electricity are killing the planet

Unread postby EnergyUnlimited » Wed 18 Sep 2019, 13:48:48

jedrider wrote:Climate change: Electrical industry's 'dirty secret' boosts warming
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-49567197

Every day we learn of NEW way humanity is screwing itself over.

I don't quite understand how SF6 is used?? I didn't even know about it until two days ago when I saw it in a title on PeakOil!

SF6 has the highest resistance to electrical breakdown of all stable gases.
It will take ~8.9MV/m at atmospheric pressure, eg 3 times as much as air before breakdown.
https://www.electrical4u.com/sulfur-hex ... roperties/
FClO3 can compete but it is quite corrosive and a strong oxidant.
So certain high voltage equipment is sealed in chambers filled with SF6, sometimes in pressurized form to improve breakdown resistance further.
It serves no use in applications up to few kV, eg low voltage grid.
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Re: SF6, windmills, and electricity are killing the planet

Unread postby jedrider » Wed 18 Sep 2019, 13:53:32

Thanks. At least, it serves a roughly useful purpose.

I am always surprised at how long the phase outs usually take. IMO, they should shudder all factories and replace the offending material. Of course, I recognize that there are materials that our industrial economy just depends upon.
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Re: SF6, windmills, and electricity are killing the planet

Unread postby GHung » Wed 18 Sep 2019, 14:12:37

EnergyUnlimited wrote:
jedrider wrote:Climate change: Electrical industry's 'dirty secret' boosts warming
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-49567197

Every day we learn of NEW way humanity is screwing itself over.

I don't quite understand how SF6 is used?? I didn't even know about it until two days ago when I saw it in a title on PeakOil!

SF6 has the highest resistance to electrical breakdown of all stable gases.
It will take ~8.9MV/m at atmospheric pressure, eg 3 times as much as air before breakdown.
https://www.electrical4u.com/sulfur-hex ... roperties/
FClO3 can compete but it is quite corrosive and a strong oxidant.
So certain high voltage equipment is sealed in chambers filled with SF6, sometimes in pressurized form to improve breakdown resistance further.


Yeah. Sort of like a gaseous insulation; reduces arcing. Back when I was doing power grid surveys (early 90s), I used to see bottles of the stuff stacked in substations. They kept the high-voltage switching equipment on a slow bleed because they knew it was leaking.

It serves no use in applications up to few kV, eg low voltage grid.


But Planty keeps pointing fingers at solar installations which are relatively lower voltage (generally sub kilo-volt). The power they produce is only bumped to higher voltages when it enters the greater grid.
Another case for distributed micro-grids where most of the power produced is used locally??
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Re: SF6, windmills, and electricity are killing the planet

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Wed 18 Sep 2019, 14:22:33

jedrider wrote:Thanks. At least, it serves a roughly useful purpose.

I am always surprised at how long the phase outs usually take. IMO, they should shudder all factories and replace the offending material. Of course, I recognize that there are materials that our industrial economy just depends upon.

But in the real world, costs matter, and just arbitrarily shuttering (not shudder) "all factories) willy-nilly without a plan, time-frames, dealing with any shortages, etc. is just a non starter. That makes no more sense than super-greens claiming no more oil will be used in a handful of years because they don't like oil.

We got rid of almost all the freon in air conditioning in time, using economic incentives. It worked, and now other less harmful materials are used. One can reasonably argue it should have been done more quickly. But just claiming willy-nilly such transitions should occur more or less instantly makes no sense in the real world.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: SF6, windmills, and electricity are killing the planet

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Wed 18 Sep 2019, 14:25:00

asg70 wrote:So Trump was right in bringing back coal. Got it. Thanks.

Of course not. But OTOH, the greens almost never even mention real world issues like this, which are FAR from trivial when doing claims about how great CO2 reduction is by installing more green tech.

A more balanced discussion, including all the big real world issues, would be far better, as policy should be based on math and likely real world outcomes, not hopes, dreams, and blind belief.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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