Renewable energy sources are stronger than ever across the world. Sustainability is a conversation happening not just between people, but also within businesses. One sector that continues to grow is that of wind energy
Renewable energy sources are stronger than ever across the world. Sustainability is a conversation happening not just between people, but also within businesses. One sector that continues to grow is that of wind energy.
The installation of wind turbines and wind farms is doubling every five years around the world. In the UK wind power capacity grew to 17% in 2017 and it’s expected that growth will double by 2030. The EU has announced an increase in the target for the use of renewable energy across member countries from 40% to 45% until 2030.
This growth is not just restricted to Europe as the worldwide industry is steadily growing as demand for sustainable energy has advanced while the technology has become more attainable. Progress is also being made thanks to businesses and governments. In the US, electricity generated from wind energy has increased from 6 billion kWh in 2000 to 380 billion kWh in 2021. President Biden also signed the Executive Order, Tackling The Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, introducing a commitment to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind farms by 2030 and a target goal of permitting at least 25 gigawatts of onshore renewable energy by 2025.
The cost-effectiveness and maturity of wind energy are also a huge factor in the growth, with energy prices low in countries all over the world, offering a bright future for the industry. China is installing 55GW of new wind turbine produced power every year. In comparison, that is the same amount of power that Germany has installed over the last three decades.
Meanwhile, the producing countries are about to change from European productions to India and other lower cost countries. Trelleborg AVS is already established in these countries to provide the required solutions local-to-local.
To support and advance the adoption of wind technologies, Trelleborg supports companies with innovative and efficient solutions. We explore our current wind energy solutions and what benefits they have for the sector.
Key products for the wind energy sector
Trelleborg Antivibration Solutions are specially engineered to protect the components and their environment. They make machines quieter, more efficient and reduce service costs. Hence, the profitability of the investment is increasing. With wind turbines working intensively to generate power, it’s important they can perform to the best of their ability.
To keep equipment efficient and effective, it’s important to lower wind turbine vibrations. Trelleborg has several anti-vibration products that can lessen vibrations and ensure wind turbine noise reduction, improving the wind turbine performance and its service lifecycle. Alongside this, Trelleborg develops specialised/customised products for wind turbine and component manufacturers.
State of the art gearbox mounts provides the turbine with the rotational support it needs against the colossal forces that are placed on the gearbox. Generator mounts will provide isolation for the vibrations created when the generator is driven by the drive train. This minimises harmful forces to the main components as well as the transmission of these forces into the nacelle and surrounding structure, thereby decreasing structure-borne noise and increasing the lifespan of drive-train components.
One product in demand in recent times is the conical mount for one of the most demanding of applications, the pitch drive cabinet. They are placed in the hub (the nose) of the wind turbine, where the forces are very demanding in X-, Y- and Z-direction.
Bobbin mounts as well as EH-Mounts are also an essential anti-vibration solution for the cabinet and cooling applications and offer great value in reducing vibration and shock as the turbine spins.
This is just a snippet of what Trelleborg can provide for the wind energy sector, as we can also develop products to match your requirements.
Benefits for wind energy operators
The quality and performance of these products are the biggest advantages for wind energy providers. We have extensively tested all these products to offer the best quality, performance and service life, no matter the solution.
Most importantly, is the longer lifetime of the wind turbine with Trelleborg solutions in place. Because of this, it will need less service, fewer service costs and hence provide a better yield as it works continuously without being interrupted by failures. Good performing parts make the difference in ensuring a good performing turbine.
Trelleborg is able to provide anything for wind turbines by understanding your situation and challenges, allowing us to develop the right solution for you.
Future of wind energy solutions
The products available for the renewable energy sector will continue to evolve to match the latest manufacturing trends and demands of our customers.
The development in digitalisation has seen various sectors benefit from the installation of smart systems. These systems collect a sheer amount of data which can be collected from anywhere at any time and deciphered for the benefit of the product, solution or service in question.
Currently, many parts are installed in wind turbines and will last for 20 to 30 years. However, these parts can be forgotten or aren’t part of a company’s service books so they’re left in place long past their lifecycle as natural rubber parts are by nature (just like e. g. rubber tyres) limited in their consistency, performance and service life. Development over time should see components become part of a smarter network where it tells you when it needs to be replaced.
If wind turbine operators can collect such key data about their turbines, you will be able to decide at the right time to make the switch to a new part. The operators can plan their wind turbine stops for service activities and plan also their demands in spare parts (predictive maintenance optimization). While this technology is some way off, there is an opportunity to explore such a future to give operators everything they need to stop wind turbines from being damaged by old and/or faulty parts.
Trelleborg Antivibration Solutions has over 115 years of experience creating solutions for various sectors like rail, off-highway and industry. As a specialist in antivibration solutions, we are well established in the wind energy industry with vast experience spread around the various teams who are passionate about delivering the best service possible.
Our place in the market means Trelleborg Antivibration Solutions has huge capabilities in terms of support, something we continue to grow every year. Part of that is talking to wind energy providers to develop and build the key parts they need, even if it means creating new products from scratch.
Not only that, but we have a global reach with manufacturing in Germany, China, India and the UK. We also have excellent connections with manufacturers around the world, other than our sites, where we can share tools to build the components you need.
To find out more about how Trelleborg Antivibration Solutions can support your wind energy company, get in touch with us today.