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Flir Advanced Thermal Solutions has released its GF306, an infrared camera designed to help utility companies better control sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) emissions during environmental monitoring.

Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) is an insulation gas used in high voltage equipment. The integrity of numerous electrical substations around the world are being compromised by age, weather, and other factors. As a result, highly potent SF6 emissions are escaping from electrical transmission and distribution equipment at increasing rates. Sulphur hexafluoride is a greenhouse gas with a global warming potential of 23,900 times that of carbon dioxide. This has a huge economic and environmental impact.

Earlier methods of SF6 detection required close or near contact using 'sniffer' technology and probes. These methods typically are viewed to be time consuming, unsafe, or impractical for examining live high-voltage equipment.

Now, with the help of the GF306 camera, utility companies and other organisations can search for SF6 leaks across a range of substation equipment at safe distances without the need to interrupt power.

Using a proprietary High Sensitivity Mode (HSM), the infrared camera is able to detect trace levels of SF6 and other harmful gas emissions against stationary backgrounds. The HSM feature makes the inspection process easier, faster, and more accurate for utility engineers and camera operators.

The Flir GF306 takes advantage of a spectral filter that is optimised to detect SF6 and other gases and vapours. Thermally, the camera's sensitivity is <25mK when Flir's adaptive temporal filter is engaged. The camera enables thermographers to find SF6 gas leaks quickly from ground level whether the leaks are nearby or metres away.

Capable of scanning large areas from the ground, the GF306 camera delivers real-time, high-resolution thermal images of gas leaks. Jpeg images and Mpeg4 video formats are stored directly onto SD card media, which makes documenting and reporting of affected areas easy and efficient. As a result, professionals can scan more equipment in less time, which maximises their investment in leak detection technology.


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