Load cells are a versatile and reliable tool that can be used to measure a variety of forces and pressures. They are an essential part of the production and testing of renewable energy sources, helping engineers ensure these systems are safe and efficient.
Renewable energy companies, component makers, equipment manufacturers, and labs use Interface precision measurement devices for all phases of renewable energy testing and production. Interface’s LowProfile load cells, load pins, multi-axis sensors, wireless telemetry solutions, Mini load cells, and our sensors designed for use in submersible environments and harsh conditions are products used in the renewable energy market. Find more information about these products in our new Interface Renewable Energy Solutions marketplace.
The advancement in renewables utilizing force measurement solutions enables us to tap into the Earth’s natural resources while preserving them for future generations. This includes growing use cases in advancing capabilities for solar panels, wind turbines, hydroelectric plants, geothermal systems, and bioenergy. This shift towards renewables reverberates across diverse industries, evident in the widespread adoption of electric vehicles and consumer products powered by the elements.
Currently, the top renewable energy sources in the world in terms of their current global installed capacity are hydropower, wind, solar and biomass. It is important to note that the ranking of these sources can change over time, as new technologies are developed, and more renewable energy projects are built.
Hydropower is the world’s largest renewable energy source. It is generated by the power of moving water, such as from rivers or waterfalls. Load cells measure the force of water flowing through a hydroelectric dam to control the flow of water. The information is used in the production and monitoring of the energy production. Load cells can also be used to measure the weight of the concrete used to build a hydroelectric dam and for assessing structural integrity. Check out our Hydropower Turbine Generator Monitoring App Note.
Wind power is the second largest renewable energy source. The energy is generated by the wind, which turns the blades of wind turbines to generate electricity. Wind power is a clean and renewable source of energy, and it is becoming increasingly cost-competitive. Load cells can be used to measure the torque and thrust of wind turbines to optimize the performance and ongoing operations. Load cells can also be used to measure the weight of the blades of wind turbines to make sure that the blades are strong enough to withstand the forces of wind depending on where the location. Wind Turbine Bolt Monitoring provides an example of how our products are used in this type of energy production.
There are current programs around the world that are researching and development wind turbines that are located at sea. These offshore energy programs require force measurement solutions that are a submersible, ruggedized and wireless for use in energy production. Learn more by reviewing our Floating Wind Turbine Monitoring application note.
Solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal are the third largest renewable and clean energy sources. Solar PV is generated by the sun’s light, which is converted into electricity by solar panels. Load cells can be used to measure the weight of solar panels to guarantee that the panels are properly supported and that they will not be damaged by wind or rain. Load cells can also be used to measure the force of the wind on solar panels to improve design and for ongoing element monitoring when in use. Get more details by reviewing Solar Panel Strength Testing.
Solar thermal is generated by the sun’s heat, which is used to heat water or air to generate steam or hot air, which can then be used to drive turbines to generate electricity. Load cells are used to measure the pressure and temperature of the water or air that is heated by the sun. Load cells can also be used to measure the weight of the solar collectors that are used to heat the water or air. Both use cases help in maintenance and to understand how to best protect the equipment from damage.
Biomass is the next largest renewable energy source and is generated by burning organic materials, such as wood, crops, or waste products. Biomass is a renewable source of energy, but it can also produce greenhouse gases. Measuring the energy production is critical. Load cells are vital in accurately measuring the weight of biomass fuel to safeguard against overloading the system. Load cells can also be used to measure the steam that is generated by burning biomass fuel. Interface Supports Renewable Energy Innovation details more examples.Renewables_InfographicPoster
Read Interface Solutions for Growing Green Energy to see additional product applications.
Renewable and clean energy are often used interchangeably. Some sources are considered both renewable and clean. Renewable energy sources are important for ensuring our long-term energy security through sustainability. Clean energy sources are important for reducing our greenhouse gas emissions which science notes can significantly reduce our carbon footprint and combat the detrimental effects of global warming. Interface provides solutions that are helping to develop and deliver both renewable and clean energy.
As the world increasingly embraces renewables, we take significant steps toward building a more resilient and environmentally responsible energy landscape. This not only benefits us today but also fosters a healthier planet for future generations to enjoy. At Interface, we are committed to supporting this sustainable journey and contributing to a brighter, cleaner future for all of earth’s inhabitants.