An early glimpse into the 2013 Annual Energy Outlook from the U.S. Energy Information Administration reveals that increased generation from renewable energy is expected to account for 32% of the overall domestic growth in electricity generation from 2011 to 2040. With this insight and reports of global growth forecasts in renewable energy from both financial and market analysts in mind, Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics today announced its initiatives for composite bearings applications in renewable energy markets.
As part of its focus in renewable energy markets, Saint-Gobain added the design engineering expertise of Industrial Global Market Manager, Edward Rumble to its team. With his extensive design and engineering experience, Rumble will lead the increasing efforts to develop the next generation of composite bearings for solar and wind applications.
For the solar market, Saint-Gobain manufactures an innovative composite bearing. Proprietary fluoropolymer compounds in Solglide composite bearings increase the long-term operational efficiency of solar equipment, reduce energy usage and decrease long-term costs, the manufacturer says. Solglide composite bearings are specifically designed for Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants, applied at pivot points in all major tracking systems. Rumble and his team of design engineering experts are currently working on innovative composite configurations for bearings that offer even greater performance for large scale CSP projects.
For the wind turbine market, 2013 will see the introduction of a series of composite bearings solutions from Saint-Gobain. “Our application engineering teams are currently developing the next generation of composite bearings technology for wind turbine applications,” Rumble said.
Efforts within the operation of Saint-Gobain are also making significant strides in sustainability. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently recognized Saint-Gobain with the 2013 Energy Star Sustained Excellence Award for Continued Leadership in Energy Conservation for the third consecutive year. Over the last year, the company achieved energy savings of 3%, equating to avoiding more than 82 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.