Load Cells for Renewable Energy Production and Testing

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.


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.


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Interface Solutions Designed for Infrastructure Challenges

All infrastructure, big and small, needs to be designed with safety and durability in mind. Take for instance the massive amount of design, engineering and quality control that goes into a suspension bridge requires testing before and after it’s built. Not only does it need to be constructed with supreme accuracy, but it also needs to be tested and monitored constantly to ensure it’s safe for use, especially as often infrastructure projects are exposed to extreme elements.

Among the various tools and technologies used to build and test infrastructure designs, sensors play a substantial role. Interface has served infrastructure industry suppliers and customers since our founding more than 50 years ago. Force and torque measurement products including Interface load cells, torque transducers, load pins, load shackles, tension links and instrumentation are involved in a wide variety of infrastructure applications including construction and maintenance of bridges, roads, transportation systems, communication structures, water and electrical facilities, and numerous inventions that are used to build, test, support, maintain and monitor performance of these critical projects around the world.

Accuracy and reliability of Interface solutions are a key factor in measuring structures and components that are exposed to hazardous or weather-related conditions, heavy loads and constant use. Our precision load cells, rugged load pins, wireless and digital instrumentation, along with multi-axis sensors and robust torque transducers are a top choice for those engaged in infrastructure engineering projects and testing.

A few examples of how Interface products have been used on infrastructure applications over the years are noted below. The following examples are also found with many others here /solutions/infrastructure/. 

Concrete Dam Flood Monitoring

A customer was looking for a solution to monitor a concrete dam and be notified when it reached high flooding levels. Interface provided WMC Miniature Sealed Stainless Steel Load Cells with multiple WTS-AM-1E Wireless Acquisition Modules connected to the load cells. This solution proved to be small enough and perfect for measuring compression and tension on the dam. The WMC Modules are installed on the arch of the dame and transmit data and notify the customer through Interface’s Wireless Telemetry System when flooding occurs. Check out the application here.

Hydropower Turbine Generator Monitoring

When a customer wants to monitor and detect turbine generator faults in their hydroelectric power plant located on a river, Interface can provide a T2 Ultra Precision Shaft Style Rotary Torque Transducer and attach it to the turbine generator with Interface’s Shaft Style Torque Transducer Couplings. When water from the river pushes through the penstock to the outflow, it moves the turbine blades, creating electricity through the generator shaft. Torsion measurements can be graphed and logged with the 9850 Torque Transducer and Load Cell Indicator catching any unusual fluctuations and vibrations. Using this solution, the customer can monitor, graph, and log the torque measurement results of the turbine generator. Learn more here.

Bridge Seismic Force Monitoring Solution

A customer wanted to monitor seismic activity that occurs to a bridge using force sensors to continuously monitor activity before, during and after earthquakes. They also wanted a wireless solution to avoid running long cables on the bridge. Interface provided an LP Load Pin custom made to fit the need. The load pin was used in conjunction with our WTS Wireless Telemetry System to monitor the force on the load without cables. Using this solution, the customer was able to monitor continuously, log results to the cloud and review the data. Read more here.

This is just a brief example of the applications throughout the infrastructure industry that Interface supports. A long list of additional applications that use Interface products includes:

Highways and Bridge Construction and Monitoring

Concrete Dam Measurement and Flood Monitoring

Transportation Heavy Equipment Testing

People Movers for Airports

Train Brakes Testing

Power Generation Equipment

Geotechnical Monitoring

Road Load Tests

Weight Bridges and Transportation Scales

Truck and Aircraft Weighing

Housing Mainframe and Skyscraper Construction Monitoring

Building Foundation Capacity Measurement

Bridge Seismic Force Monitoring

In-Motion Rail Weighing

Cranes and Heavy Object Lifting

Structural Testing and Telecommunication Structures

Conveyor Belts

To learn more about Interface and our solutions for Infrastructure and other key industries, please visit our solutions page at