B&W Fiberglass News

B&W Industry Spotlight: Power Generation

Posted by Craig Barry on Sep 26, 2017 9:10:00 AM


When most people think “fiberglass,” they don’t necessarily think of power generation. Over the last four decades, fiberglass, glass yarn, and FRP (fiberglass reinforced plastics) have become mainstays in the power industry thanks to factors like cost and availability.

Many of B&W Fiberglass’ clients are heavily invested in the process of power generation. They turn to us for innovative glass fiber solutions designed to improve processes, reduce costs, and advance new technologies. Here are some of the ways in which glass yarn and fibers are changing the scope of power.


Power Plants & FRP

One of the first areas of energy impacted by advancements in fiberglass technology was power plants themselves. Long constrained by the price and limitations of traditional materials such as aluminum and steel, plants turned to the myriad benefits of FRPs around the 1970s and have been implementing it en masse ever since. Notable characteristics of fiberglass reinforced plastics include a relatively high heat tolerance, abrasion resistance, and ultimate cost effectiveness. Power plant applications include everything from ductwork to stack liners to absorber vessels, among dozens of others. FRP is suitable for almost any kind of power application, too, from coal to nuclear. As a high-performing alternative to traditional materials, few resources can match the cost-savings of FRP for large-scale power plants.

Hydroelectric Power and Fiberglass

Hydroelectric power is touted by some as the future of clean energy. One of the biggest hurdles in generating electricity from the power of water is Mother Nature herself. Moving water tends to be rough, unforgiving, and brutal on power equipment and machinery. Is fiberglass the answer? Using super strong, state-of-the-art fiberglass-reinforced blades, a new generation of ocean-bound turbines are successfully generating power in the notoriously-rough Bay of Fundy. Features of FRP like its inherent strength and durability may just make it an ideal solution to some of hydro-generated power’s biggest technical challenges.

Emerging Technologies in Power

A slew of energy production methods are currently in the “process-improvement” phase around the globe. Alternative energies such as wind energy hold great promise from a sustainability standpoint but for now remain too expensive and too cumbersome to commercialize widely. Engineers at some of the world’s biggest firms are using fiberglass to make alternative energies cheaper and easier to produce, like through implementation of vehicle-driven FRP technology into wind turbine blades. When alternative power’s technical components are perfected, experts can move on to broader concerns such as infrastructure and adoption.

B&W Fiberglass is a partner to some of the foremost power producers on the planet. Our glass yarn technologies are endlessly customizable making them an ideal resource for the ever-changing industry of energy.

Would you like to learn more about how our FRP, fiberglass, and glass yarn capabilities are improving the process of power generation? Reach out to our team today to talk shop.

Topics: Power Generation, FRP