At the same time, SF6 gas has significant environmental implications — it’s one of the most potent greenhouse gases with no direct substitutes for some application uses. Given these circumstances, government officials in the energy sector and private electrical utility companies often wonder: how much does SF6 gas cost? Learn what impacts price from DILO.
Factors Affecting Cost
As with many other products, prices for SF6 gas aren’t constant but fluctuate depending on different aspects. The main factors determining cost include:
Purity and Quality
Gas purity refers to the concentration of SF6 in the gas. Lower gas purity means that there are low levels of other gases that are mixed with the SF6. Purity matters because if the gas is too diluted, it can impact characteristics of the gas such as its dielectric strength or arc-quenching capability. Gas quality considers contaminants in the gas, such as water, by-products ,oil, particulates, other gases, and is established through international ISO 8573-1 standards.
Supply and Demand
Supply and demand represent a relationship between buyers and sellers within a market. When demand is high and supply is low, prices increase. When supply is abundant, demand decreases, and prices drop. Currently, demand for SF6 gas is outpacing supply. SF6 gas users should consider implementing the 3-R’s (Recover, Recycle & Reuse). These stratagies will provide SF6 gas for future projects by reusing the gas already in inventory and will reduce the companies carbon foootprint and have a positive impact in global emissions reduction.
Transportation and Storage
There are different types of storage for SF6 gas approved by agencies like Department of Transportation (DOT). How well SF6 gas is handled can affect its usefulness, impacting cost.
SF6 Gas Pricing Models
SF6 can be obtained in various ways, and these different methods also influence the cost. Some suppliers offer bulk pricing, and/or guaranteed annual purchase pricing while others charge per cylinder rental or purchase. Another common pricing model is per kilogram or cubic meter of SF6 gas. Organizations can consider their specific uses of SF6 gas and compare the different models to settle on the most cost-effective option.
Comparing SF6 Gas Suppliers
Not all suppliers are created equal. Just because SF6 gas appears more affordable through one supplier doesn’t automatically mean it’s the right choice for your needs. Be sure to research the supplier, looking at the following aspects:
Certification and Industry Standards
Suppliers that follow industry standards for handling SF6 are more trustworthy as they rely on widely accepted guidelines. For instance, DILO adheres to specifications from International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) for new and used SF6 gas.
Experience and Reputation
Since SF6 gas handling is a complex task, work with a supplier with ample experience. With more than 50 years of experience, DILO has a reputation for professional, emission-free SF6 gas handling and excellent customer service, assisting customers worldwide.
Additional Services and Support
Outside SF6 gas handling, what support does the supplier offer? Additional services to look out for include the handling of alternative gases, a range of high-quality SF6 gas products and related items, and accredited training programs for SF6 gas handling.
Cost-Saving Tips for SF6 Gas Purchases
Between the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russian-Ukraine conflict, and other disruptions to the global supply chain, the market for SF6 gas is expected to rise. According to Yahoo! Finance, the global SF6 market may reach $277.40 million by 2026. As demand grows, consumers can expect prices to spike.
To better manage cost, consider the following solutions when purchasing SF6 gas:
Buying in Bulk
As with many other products and services, buying in bulk can be more cost-effective. Even if the initial price is more expensive than it is for a smaller volume of SF6 gas, the overall cost can be more affordable because organizations buy less over time.
Opt for long-term price contracts if the supplier offers them. With a long-term contract, customers can often obtain better price stability for SF6 gas while the contract is in place. Conversely, with short-term contracts, organizations may need to renegotiate prices more frequently, and the likelihood of paying outside their budget increases.
Depending on demand, SF6 gas and its handling equipment may fluctuate in price at different times throughout the year. If the supplier offers seasonal pricing, consider purchasing more during these times to save money throughout the year. These changes are contingent on the supplier’s discretion and their past performance. Some suppliers may not offer seasonal pricing at all.
Environmental Impact of SF6 Gas and Alternatives
As one of the most potent greenhouse gases, SF6 has the potential for considerable environmental impact. For reference, United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicates that over 100 years, SF6 is 23,500 times more successful at trapping infrared radiation than the same amount of CO2 (carbon dioxide) in the same period. Additionally, as SF6 is highly stable, it can remain in the atmosphere for 3,200 years, accumulating over time.
These staggering statistics have motivated regulatory agencies to devise strategies to limit SF6 emissions. Besides EPA, other organizations providing directives and guidelines regarding SF6 handling include:
- European Union
- California Air Resources Board
- Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Alternatives to SF6 gas have also been developed to help reduce emissions, such as C4 and C5 gas mixtures and Synthetic Air applications. Increased environmental oversight and these new alternatives may also alter the cost of SF6 gas.
Finding the Right SF6 Gas Supplier for Your Needs
While various factors can change the cost of SF6 gas, finding the right supplier can give you peace of mind about handling and maintenance. DILO-certified gas offers a more sustainable and budget-friendly alternative to virgin SF gas. Contact us today to learn more about SF6 prices