4th Annual SF6 Gas Management Seminar
While most people outside of the electrical and environmental industries are unfamiliar with Sulfur Hexafluoride, it is a compound that we manage every day at DILO. With over 50 years of SF6 gas handling experience, we understand the importance of responsibly utilizing this gas in electrical and transmission applications due to its high global warming potential.
Well-informed and trained technicians can greatly impact the reduction and elimination of SF6 gas emissions. It is DILO’s mission to provide an annual, interactive platform for leaders and experts to share best management practices, mandatory /voluntary reporting updates, challenges, and safe handling information of SF6 while also focusing on other trends in the industry.
On November 13-14th, DILO hosted our 4th Annual SF6 Gas Management Seminar in Tampa, FL. Over 150 industry members attended the event- our largest turn-out yet! We were excited to see that over 65% of attendees were utility members and were thrilled to learn that 43% of attendees were return attendees. We extend our deepest gratitude to those of you who have supported the SF6 Gas Management Seminar multiple years in a row.
Dan Smith, Vice President of Operations for Lower Colorado River Authority, kicked the conference off with his presentation: “Modernizing the Grid in the Age of Google, Apple, and Amazon”. His presentation stressed the importance of safety, reliability, customer satisfaction and how updates in these areas are transforming the grid and the way utilities do business.
Another highlight presentation came from Kiyomi Morris, Environmental Analyst for Seattle City Light. Ms. Morris spoke about Seattle City Light’s quest to create a SF6 tracking tool to make reporting more efficient and manageable while staying within their mission of “delivering customers affordable, reliable, and environmentally responsible electricity services.” The engaging presentation weighed the pros and cons of developing an in-house solution and outlined many of the challenges Seattle City Light faced in developing their tool and how they overcame them. In addition to developing their own cradle-to-grave SF6 tracking tool, Ms. Morris spoke to Seattle City Light streamlining their SF6 gas supply and reconditioning services to just one vendor.
SF6 regulatory updates came from Stephanie Bogle, Climate Change & Energy Specialist from the US EPA, and Jonathan Stewart, Industry Director for NEMA. Ms. Bogle’s presentation, “US Trends in SF6 Consumption, Supply, and Emissions Reported Under the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program”, summarized the latest data collected from the GHGRP and brought light to surprising trends in the industry. Mr. Stewart’s presentation focused on the California Air Resources Board proposed regulatory updates. California, along with a handful of other states, have higher requirements than the EPA and are setting the stage for stricter regulations on SF6 gas handling.
DILO believes that SF6 should be handled responsibly to increase safety and decrease emissions. Having representatives from regulatory agencies attend our seminar helps to educate SF6 users on best practices and prepare them for a future when their utility or place of work might have to start reporting to the EPA. Ms. Bogle’s and Mr. Stewart’s presence at the seminar also gave utility members a platform to address questions and concerns about SF6 regulations directly with knowledgeable regulatory representatives.
Though DILO’s seminar focuses on SF6 gas handling, alternative solutions were also discussed. George Becker offered a unique, independent perspective on available alternatives to SF6 and sustainable next steps for the industry. Along with exploring alternative solutions for lower voltage ranges, Mr. Becker proposed the possible solution of using reconditioned SF6 gas in high voltage switchgear. This would allow Utilities across America to stop importing virgin SF6 gas from overseas, cutting out emissions caused during the manufacturing of the gas.
Aside from the impressive lineup of presentations, 2019 featured hands-on break-out sessions for the first time. Break-out session topics included True Mass Monitoring, Leak Detection and Testing, and Decomposition of SF6. Attendees were split into 4 groups and rotated through each of the sessions. In one of the sessions, attendees learned an emission-free approach to density monitor verification. Another hands-on method included using a True Mass Monitor to accurately measure SF6 volumes used in filling and evacuation. Given the enthusiastic feedback, this will become a staple of DILO’s SF6 Gas Management Seminar for years to come.
DILO would like to thank our dedicated team for working tirelessly in the months and weeks leading up to the event. We also wish to express gratitude to sponsors for their support of our conference. Sponsor contributions allow us to continue preventing emissions by spreading awareness about best practices of SF6 gas handling.
DILO's 5th Annual SF6 Gas Management Seminar will be held on November 11-12, 2020 in Tampa, FL. Registration will open in late February. Please check www.dilo.com/seminar for more details.