High-Performance Plastics for Alternative Energy are Critical to Essential Applications
In the United States, about 20% of all electricity is produced by alternative, or renewable, energy sources. As carbon-free and sustainable energy practices continue to expand, the reliance on alternative energy will only grow. As the sector has become increasingly competitive due to declining costs and technological advances, high performance plastics in alternative energy have become essential in maximizing efficiency and productivity.
Advantages of High-Performance Plastics in Alternative Energy
High-performance polymers have long been utilized in the energy sector, and they bring many benefits suited to the renewable energy industry as well. It’s important to note that not all alternative energy sources present the same challenges. The needs of a high-performance plastic for a solar panel array will be different from the demands for components in a hydropower station, for example.
The versatility of advanced polymers, however, can adapt to what is needed depending on the application. Challenging environmental conditions are the norm for alternative energy sources, from extreme temperature fluctuations to exposure to UV light. Parts must meet these demands while providing other critical properties, such as corrosion resistance, robust mechanical strength, and electrical insulation properties. For example, bearings used in wind turbines and solar tracking can benefit from polymers with friction-reducing properties.
Here are some of the many applications served by high-performance plastics across the alternative energy industry.