It Takes Cool People to Help a Warming Planet

Nuventura GmbH

7. Affordable and Clean Energy 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 12. Responsible Consumption and Production 13. Climate Action

Overview

A new generation of SF6 (Sulfur-hexafluoride) free GIS (gas insulated switchgear) developed by Nuventura GmbH. By eliminating SF6 gas from the switchgears, they not only allow electricity manufacturers to be more competitive in the market, but also contribute to the Global Warming prevention.

Authors

Ziya Hasanli

Ziya Hasanli

Taral Chaudhari

Taral Chaudhari

Tim Postert

Tim Postert

Théo Didier

Théo Didier

School

La Rochelle Business School - Excelia Group

La Rochelle Business School - Excelia Group

Professor

Morgane Fritz

Morgane Fritz

Innovation

Nowadays, everyone is aware of Global Warming, everyone talks about it and everyone considers CO2 as a main gas which leads to this problem. But most of us do not know about the SF6 gas, which is 23,500 times stronger than CO2 in terms of its global warming potential and the emissions of which increases year by year. This gas is not deadly for a human life, but it contributes a lot to the Greenhouse problem. Another difference between CO2 and SF6 is that, all plants and trees consume and reduce CO2 from the atmosphere. Meanwhile there are not any natural consumers of SF6 gas on Earth. By summing up all of these results we should take care of controlling SF6 gas production in a more environment-friendly way and preventing its worst results for the planet.

A new generation of GIS technology, which was invented by Nuventura is the only switchgear technology in the medium voltage segment, which eliminates SF6 gas and prevents any leakage into our atmosphere. Instead of SF6, their switchgear uses dry air as the insulating gas and covers the full medium voltage range (up to 36 kV). There are 2 major types of switchgears in the energy industry: AIS (air insulated switchgear) and GIS (gas insulated switchgear). The main differences between the two designs are the following: the core component in a gas-insulated system is usually a hermetically sealed vessel, which contains all the important switching components - like conductors, moving switching connectors, and mechanisms. This container is filled with an insulating gas which prevents any electric flash arcs between the conductors at high voltage levels. For keeping the gas inside the container it has to be tightly sealed for the lifetime of the switchgear. An air-insulated system solves this problem slightly differently: instead of using a special gas, the conductors are placed at larger distances and the container is a metal-only clad system which can be left with air holes for improved heat dissipation.

If we check the advantages and disadvantages of both AIS and GIS we can come up with the prediction that the future generation of switchgears should have all the advantages of both types, such as compactness, environmental friendliness, simplicity, reliability. And all of these advantages were assembled in the new solution by Mr. Manjunath Ramesh who is the co-founder of Nuventura GmbH.

It Takes Cool People to Help a Warming Planet

Inspiration

Mr. Manjunath Ramesh comes from India, where he received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. At 20, he started to work at one of the biggest companies in India, where he stayed for two years. After that, he decided to move to Germany for starting his master in the field of Electrical Power Engineering, where he realised that, there was an environmental problem about SF6 and its use in the electricity industry. This problem has generated huge pollution in the companies involved in the electricity industry for 40 years, but only few really want to conduct research on this problem. After 2011, he started to work at a large manufacturer in Germany where he had the possibility to work with switchgears.

During his five years at this company, he discovered that there is an opportunity to manufacture much less environmentally damaging switchgears. "When I did a research to find out more about this issue, I came to this idea that only less than 100 people were working on this kind project worldwide. So I felt like, I have to act to make a difference" said Mr. Manjunath Ramesh. He did not consider himself as an entrepreneur and had never thought of starting a business. However, seeing the unwillingness of big companies to solve this problem, Mr. Manjunath Ramesh decided to take it upon on himself for starting his own new generation switchgear company-Nuventura.

Overall impact

Nuventura has developed a gas insulated switchgear free from SF6 or any other synthetic gas. As we are all aware of climate change, it’s not only carbon dioxide which is at fault, it is also other gases emitted into environment. One of them and most harmful is SF6, which is 23,500 times worse than CO2. On top of this, SF6’s atmospheric lifetime is 3,200 years, which is well beyond CO2‘s 100-200 year lifetime.

In the coming years, a lot of rules and regulations are getting strong in terms of environmental protection. Nuventura is licensing their technology to manufacturers to enable them to build environmentally friendly GIS. They are demonstrating sensor integration, which enables smart grid applications and allows companies to offer data monitoring and extend product lifetime.

Business benefit

Ramesh’s engineering background paired with the entrepreneurial experience of co-founders Dr.-Ing. Fabian Lemke and Nikolaus Thomale enabled Nuventura to come up with a business model that leaves a substantial impact on the medium voltage switchgear market. Instead of acting as manufacturers, the company issues licenses of its SF6-free, dry air GIS technology. According to the company’s website, “Worldwide switchgear market will reach € 23.1 Bn in 2024”, which is based on a variety of opportunities in the medium voltage switchgear market from a functional, as well as technical perspective.

Many relatively small switchgear manufacturers using SF6 are struggling in the market and face the threat of being eliminated due to increasing regulations that are expected to be implemented between 2020 and 2025. A new dry air technology enables these manufacturers to continue operations by using the dry air technology’s license.

This comprehensive forecast is based on different market research reports. As a result of more power consumption and infrastructure development the market size of the energy industry increases year by year, however Nuventura enables multiple manufacturers to be competitive with the new technology.

Social and environmental benefit

As Sulfur-hexafluoride (SF6) is a greenhouse gas with a global warming potential extraordinarily higher than that of CO2, yet not nearly as comprehensively covered among society, Nuventura tackles an important aspect regarding sustainability. A release of the currently stored SF6, might cause extraordinary damage in case the gas is released into the atmosphere. Considering that Nuventura’s innovation might change the predominant switchgear technology around the globe in an immense way. Mr. Ramesh argues that if SF6 is replaced in all SF6 –based switchgears worldwide, we will eliminate SF6 emissions equivalent to CO2 emissions of 116 million cars every year, which is a considerable amount taking into account only one company.

From a social perspective, the major benefit is making such a technology affordable even in regions where, due to the expensive nature of sustainable switchgear development, manufacturers were automatically driven to use the more damaging SF6-based technology. Especially developing countries often have no chance other than going for the lowest-cost solutions, which Nuventura’s licensing model will offer an affordable alternative to.

In addition to that, the chance of saving multiple small enterprises facing bankruptcy due to increasing regulations in upcoming years by enabling them to continue business while being in line with emission regulations, can preserve thousands of jobs and economic well-being worldwide

Interview

Manjunath Ramesh, Mr

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Nuventura GmbH

Nuventura GmbH

Berlin, Berlin, DE

Business Website: https://www.nuventura.com

Year Founded: 2017

Number of Employees: 11 to 50

Nuventura was created in 2017 to bring a new environmentally-friendly solution into the energy industry. By developing the technology of GIS (gas insulated switchgear), Nuventura aims to contribute to 4 UN Sustainable Development Goals and create a new generation of switchgears, which helps not only to protect our atmosphere from the SF6 gas pollution, but also to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the businesses in the energy industry.