Following the success of ABB’s ZX0 Air switchgear, which was launched in December 2015 in China, ABB continues to build on its eco-efficient range of medium-voltage GIS with the launch of ZX2 AirPlus, which will be available from October 2017.

The move is part of the company’s drive to offer sustainable switchgear alternatives as China looks to bolster its commitment to reduce its CO2 emissions by 2030 by 54 percent from 2010 levels. It also coincides with ABB’s 25th anniversary of its Medium Voltage Products factory located in Xiamen, Fujian Province, China.

AirPlus is a gas mixture for medium-voltage GIS similar to ABB’s dry air technology and is a climate-friendly alternative to traditional SF6, which is a potent greenhouse gas. It is the first and only new ‘green’ alternative gas on the market for medium-voltage switchgear and is part of ABB’s ongoing strategy to develop eco-efficient technologies.

ZX2 AirPlus, released earlier this year in Europe, with IEC ratings up to 36 kV is now also available in Chinese GB ratings up to 40.5 kV rated voltage and 2,000 A rated current. It is designed for primary power distribution to ensure grid reliability, efficiency and safety. The ZX2 AirPlus shares the same compact dimensions and advantages of the established ZX2 switchgear, but boasts a global warming potential (GWP) of less than one. This means a reduction of almost 100 percent compared to SF6.

Alessandro Palin, managing director of ABB’s Medium Voltage business, said, “China is embracing low carbon energy and is the world’s largest investor in green technology, so we are delighted to be making AirPlus available in the region.

“AirPlus is a groundbreaking gas and ABB is proud to have been the first in the world to offer a viable, green alternative to the highly potent SF6. It sits perfectly with the ZX0 Air switchgear, which uses dry air as insulation gas and has been developed specifically to suit the Chinese 12 kV market. It’s in all our interests that we embrace and invest in greener technologies to safeguard our planet for future generations.”

The ZX0 Air was developed at ABB’s Xiamen factory and is for primary and secondary power distribution. It uses dry air, which is an eco-efficient gas mixture as an alternative to SF6. It is a mix of oxygen (O2) and nitrogen gas (N2). ZX0 Air has the same technical and reliable qualities of conventional GIS, with a global warming potential of zero. This compact switchgear is suitable for 12 kV single busbar applications.

“We are optimistic that ZX2 AirPlus will be as well received as ZX0 Air and follow its success. ABB will continue to focus its efforts on developing eco-efficient technology, so that all of our customers globally will have the option of using an SF6 alternative within the next decade,” added Palin.

ABB's relationship with China dates back to 1907, when it delivered a steam boiler to the country.


GWP: The global warming potential describes how much heat a greenhouse gas traps in the atmosphere. It compares the amount of heat trapped by a certain mass of the gas in question to the amount of heat trapped by a similar mass of carbon dioxide. GWP is expressed as a factor of carbon dioxide.