Sustainable energy, otherwise known as renewable energy, will comprise at least 26% of all global energy usage by 2020. Alternative energy sources such as wind turbines, solar, and geothermal are the way of the future, according to experts, and glass textiles will play a large role in their growth.
B&W Fiberglass is a custom glass textile producer working with some of the brightest brands in sustainable energy. How will textile technology help decrease our reliance on traditional energy sources?
Composite materials are being touted as answer to the ever-expanding costs of renewable energy. Particularly within sectors that rely heavily on motion-centric blade technology (wind, hydro), reinforced polymers like GRPs and E glass are proving a reliable way to decrease manufacturing outlays. Because composite materials like these can be fed directly into engineered molds, minimal labor is required to produce lightweight, high-strength components for various high-cost energy modules including offshore wind turbines.
The Wonder of Wind
Wind turbines used to create clean energy have come a long way over the last two decades. The latest development in the space is known as “prepreg”: the idea of pre-impregnating turbine blades with resins and reinforcements before the assembly process. Fiberglass is increasingly being used to stabilize many elements of the turbines themselves, from blade skins to support beams. By altering the chemistry of the fiberglass used – specifically by modifying the sizing chemistry on the surface of the material - features like tensile strength and replicability can be affected.
Why Glass Composites?
The characteristics of glass fiber composites make them particularly suitable for the renewable energy space. Highly configurable and possessing an impressive strength-to-weight ratio, glass composites have long been used to manufacture components designed for wear and tear. In emerging energy fields like solar, glass fiber technology is being utilized to improve racks, housings, and even solar dishes/panels themselves. Commercially-available electric vehicles are also receiving a much-needed boost from the cost-saving benefits of glass fiber components. These elements, which range from charging stations to doors to battery housings, are lightweight and possess durable weathering capabilities.
Sustainable energy is an exciting space to be in. America’s renewable energy infrastructure is growing in scope every day, and B&W Fiberglass is proud to be part of the equation. As technology makes possible new ways to decrease our reliance on fossil fuels, our team is working hard to create solutions that are viable, cost-effective, and sustainable.
For more information on B&W Fiberglass’ commitment to the renewable energy sector, contact our team of experienced professionals.