Detecting Leaks from Electrical Circuit Breakers

FLIR Systems has published a new application spotlight that addresses the challenge that electrical power stations face in detecting gas leaks from their Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) circuit breakers.

FLIR GF306 optical gas imaging camera

Sulfur hexafluoride circuit breakers protect electrical power stations and distribution systems by interrupting electric currents, when tripped by a protective relay. Advantages of sulfur hexafluoride circuit breakers over other media include lower operating noise, no emission of hot gases, and relatively low maintenance.

The longer a leak from a SF6 circuit breaker is left undetected and not repaired, the more revenue is lost, and the greater the carbon footprint on the environment from the electrical power station. Consequently, it is crucial to rapidly locate SF6 circuit breaker leaks to minimize downtime and revenue loss. Using traditional leak detection methods such as gas sniffers or soap bubbles this is not always possible as they require close access to or even shutdown of the electrical power plant.

By using a portable, non-contact FLIR GF306 optical gas imaging camera you can visualize SF6 and other gas emissions without the need to shut down operations. You can also quickly scan substations for leaks while maintaining a safe distance from high-voltage equipment. Using a FLIR GF306 you can catch leaks early, reducing revenue lost from breakdowns and repairs. Doing so will also help reduce emissions so your company can meet environmental regulations and avoid potential fines.

For a copy of this application spotlight please visit For more information about using optical gas imaging cameras for leak detection in electrical power substations / transmission please visit or contact FLIR Systems on +32-3665-5100 / [email protected]


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