Now, alternative energy sources are becoming increasingly popular. The current environmental problems make the use of clean renewable energy important. That’s why new systems are being developed and the existing ways to get energy are being improved.
One of the significant improvements is the increasing introduction of electric actuators in the systems. Such linear actuator systems have many benefits:
- They are clean. The items don’t contain hydraulic liquid. It makes leaks impossible.
- Electric actuators are pre-lubricated and sealed. You don’t need to replace lubricants. Thus, the contamination of this type is avoided, too.
- They are accurate in both movement and positioning. They can be used for the most demanding applications.
- The variety of linear actuators is huge. It means that you can find a proper item for any application.
- This actuator type can be used with any control system. They can be managed very easily.
- They are very easy to install. These solutions don’t have any hoses, pumps, or other complex components.
- Finally, these items are absolutely easy to control even with the simplest control components.
All these elements make them irreplaceable for installation that produces alternative energy. Now, it is time to get a look at the application fields where linear actuators are successfully used.
Actuators in Solar Installations
Solar panels are used increasingly widely. In most cases, solar panels are used in homes. They can already provide a decent source or alternative renewable energy. Moreover, this energy is absolutely cheap. Of course, you need to invest in a solar installation. However, this initial investment pays off within a couple of years.
To make solar panels more efficient, solar trackers are used. They track the movement of the sun and adjust the panel so that it takes the maximum of the solar energy.
To move the panel, linear actuators are used. Thus, in solar installations, linear actuators are used in solar tracking systems. They help the panel move while following the energy source.
There are specific requirements to all the items used for solar systems. Actuators aren’t an exception. Thus, linear actuators for solar systems shall be:
- Reliable: many solar panels are installed in places that are difficult to access. Thus, frequent replacement is not wished.
- Have the needed IP rating: it is very important because in many cases, solar panels are installed in places that are influenced by natural elements such as wind, sunshine, rain, and similar.
- Safe: electric elements don’t have any hydraulic liquid and don’t need any maintenance.
Thus, electric actuators comply with all the requirements to be used in solar installations.
Linear Actuators for Wind Turbines
Wind turbines are widely applied in some locations only. We would say that this energy source has huge potential. However, it is highly under-appreciated. This source doesn’t require any power source. It is absolutely friendly to the environment.
In wind turbines, actuators are used to control the turbine rotation speed. If the wind is too strong, they disconnect the turbine from the structure. This prevention measure is meant to protect the structure and make the application more efficient. Actuators are also responsible for the ventilation of a turbine.
In this specific application, requirements for actuators are very high, especially if turbines are installed by the sea or even in the sea. While such features as easiness to manage, etc., are important, safety and reliability come to the first place.
The actuators have to resist the harshest environmental conditions: salty water, strong winds, sunshine, significant loads. That’s why linear actuators for such applications are made from special materials. Also, the items are tested before introducing them to a system.
Actuators Are Applied for Biomass-Fired Power Plants
Biomass-fired power plants are growing in importance. They help to reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide. With their growing efficiency, they soon will become a viable alternative to plants that are fuelled by fossil fuel.
This new type of plants uses waste materials as fossil. Usually, those are by-products that are produced everywhere in huge quantities. It is also possible to combine biomass with natural gas or coal. Such plants are used to provide households with electricity and heating.
In these installations, linear actuators have several functions:
- They open and close valves for the feedwater supply and treatment;
- They manage steam generation;
- Linear actuators are responsible for opening and closing valves for a steam generation;
- These items are indispensable in handling heating networks and gas cleaning.
Linear actuators are preferred because of some challenges that the items face in such plants as well in conventional plants:
- Significant levels of vibration;
- High-temperature values;
- High pressure.
However, in biomass-fired power plants, actuators face even more challenges. For example, the processes of burning might require more time. It happens because biomass can be very solid. Thus, actuators shall be even more resistant than those items applied in conventional power plants.
Biomass quality might differ significantly. Thus, their burning temperature might fluctuate. Additionally, actuators might face such a challenge as fluctuation in heat demand. Thus, these items shall be not only resistant but also accurate and easy to control. These operating conditions also mean that the devices shall have a short response time as it is possible.
It is possible to forecast now that biomass-fired power plants are going to become one of the main sources of alternative energy, along with solar panels and wind power plants.
Linear actuators are the present and the future of the installations that produce alternative energy. This actuator type is distinguished by top reliability and resistance. These are the most valued qualities in the mentioned applications. Such components are made from specially developed materials. The protection level also is crucial.
Electric actuators are absolutely clean and environmentally-friendly. They don’t contain hazardous and harmful substances. Therefore, it is logical to apply rather them for sustainable clean energy solutions rather than components that pose a potential danger to the environment.
Finally, electric actuators can be integrated seamlessly into any system. They can be of different sizes and have different features. Thus, their application fields are almost unlimited.