Refrigeration

Utility Seeks SF6 Solution

Gas Management Software Used

The Kansas City Power & Light District is an entertainment section of downtown Kansas City, Missouri, but it also draws attention to the namesake utility which provides electrical power to a large section of the midwestern United States.
The Kansas City Power & Light District is an entertainment section of downtown Kansas City, Missouri, but it also draws attention to the namesake utility which provides electrical power to a large section of the midwestern United States.

Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) (www.kcpl.com) provides electricity to more than 800,000 customers in 47 northwest Missouri and eastern Kansas counties. With a service area of about 18,000 square miles, it has more than 3,000 miles of transmission lines, 24,000 miles of distribution lines, and more than 400 substations to deliver power to that population.

Recently the utility had to deal with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) compliance surrounding sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) management. KCP&L, like most utility companies, utilizes SF6, a colorless, odorless, man-made gas. SF6 is primarily used in the electrical equipment industry as an electrical insulating gas. In the 1980s, SF6 replaced oil as the primary insulator in electrical switch-gear.

SF6 has a very high global warming potential (GWP). In fact SF6 gas, due to its molecular structure, has 23,900 times the warming effect of carbon dioxide per ton emitted. With this high net effect, even the smallest of SF6 leaks can be considered a detriment to the ozone.

To monitor this and as part of a complete gas management software solution, the utility turned to TrakRef from Polar Technology (www.sf6authority.com). TrakRef is a cloud-based software as a service (SaaS)solution that is designed to maximize the value of refrigerant. With the aid of this software, KCP&L said it will be able to move towards eliminating paper trails and help ensure compliance.

According to a statement from Polar Technology, it said it “has become a market leader of SF6 reclamation. With the combination of a technician team, two high capacity SF6 reclaim machines, and an inventory of thousands of high pressure bottles, Polar Technology has established itself as one of the largest SF6 reclaimers in the world. Polar Technology will only take abatement of SF6 a step further with the introduction of the TrakRef management solution.”

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