Do you know if you have truly empty SF6 gas cylinders or are you bearing a lot of “heels”? A heel is the residual gas left in a cylinder when thought to be empty. Typically 12 – 15% of SF6 gas remains in returned cylinders. How many SF6 cylinders do you use per year? Knowing what is used per year and estimating your heel demonstrates the financial value inventory management will add.
115 lb. cylinder x 13.5% average heel = 15.5 lbs.
15.5 lbs. x 100 cylinders used per year = 1,550 lbs. of unclaimed SF6 gas, or the equivalent of 13 full cylinders
Assuming $8.00/lb., your savings can be calculated as:
13 cylinders x 115 lbs./cylinder x $8.00/lb. = $11,960.
Working with a full-service SF6 gas management solution provider to manage your inventory will save you money every year in four ways:
1. Heels will be accounted for properly, which can be sold through buy-back services, or reclaimed and consolidated into full cylinders lowering your overall demand, and producing a net savings as demonstrated above.
2. An accurate inventory accounts for gas used and residual amounts. Without adjusting for false empties, the heels will be reported as emissions on your annual report.
3. Also, recycling and purifying of SF6 is an available service from qualified providers. This is the most environmentally safe and cost-effective manner of reducing (potentially) unusable inventory.
4. Outsourced employees become your detail experts, further reducing specialized training expenditures as personnel focus on core business.
Managing SF6 inventory levels while balancing environmental regulations is a complicated and cumbersome process which is why outsourcing this function to a gas management service expert is a cost-effective solution. More and more utilities are moving in this direction. ABB HV Service looks forward to continuing the SF6 gas management conversation with you over the next few months. Contact Jeff Spoljarick, 724-696-1381 or Jeff.Spoljarick@us.abb.com, for more information in the interim.