Archive for the ‘Solar Energy’ Category


How Manufacturers Are Leading the Green Revolution

Posted on: August 14th, 2017 | Posted in: Solar Energy

There’s a common understanding that alternative sources of power benefit people and the world around us. Fossil fuels and coal are losing favor among consumers, who are looking for cleaner energy options that reduce the amount of air pollution and other contamination.  Drive down any road, now, and you are likely to see many homes with solar panels, and pass any number of electric or hybrid cars.

Solar and wind power have become more popular in powering the electric grid, while electric vehicles are gaining a greater following among drivers.  In fact, both Great Britain and France recently instituted programs to completely eliminate the sale of fossil fuel powered personal autos by 2040. Volvo has decided to end “gas only” and “diesel only” powered automobiles by 2019.

To meet the growing demand for these sources of power, manufacturers have been working to create the necessary components for this infrastructure. Solar panels, wind turbines, and battery-powered cars all require a complex network of parts to function – and they need creative design engineers to bring them to life.

At Vanguard Products, we’ve been seeing an increase in demand for sealing products for these applications. We create custom compound silicone materials that can withstand high temperatures, have high compression set resistance, and extreme UV resistance. All of these traits are needed to ensure the reliability of power generation equipment, which must be durable enough to stand up to unpredictable weather and operating situations.

Sitting out in the sun and exposed to the elements 24/7, solar panels and windmills can be exposed to temperature extremes both high and low, and an intense amount of UV radiation. Many materials will fail under these conditions, so it’s vital to find silicone seals that are designed for this type of function.

Our Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) shielding products are also being successfully applied to the electric vehicle market. As self-driving technologies continue to advance and work their way toward reality, automakers need to ensure the safety of these vehicles. Because wireless electronics are so pervasive in society today, it’s necessary to avoid outside electronic interference within the vehicle. EMI shielding components can protect the vehicle from receiving unintended signals, keeping occupants and other drivers safe from harm.

As a custom elastomer manufacturer and supplier, we look forward to the continuing development of these exciting technologies, and are happy to play a role in their success. If you have any questions about the types of materials used in these alternative power applications, feel free to contact us online or call (203) 744-7265  for further information.

Vanguard Is At The Forefront Of The Worldwide Solar Energy Revolution

Posted on: August 11th, 2012 | Posted in: Silicone Extrusions, Silicone Moldings, Silicone Tubing, Solar Energy

solar collectors

Three decades ago, solar energy usage on a broad scale to power large sections of the population seemed to be a pipe dream.   Based upon the technology of the day, it was assumed that “direct conversion” solar cells could never be efficient enough to generate enough power to make their use commercially feasible on a large scale, and their costs made wide scale use unrealistic.  Further, solar reflector, collector, and steam turbine technologies of the time were not advanced enough to warrant consideration for use in multi-megawatt power plants.

Over the past several years, the technological landscape has changed considerably with respect to solar energy.  Direct conversion solar cells are becoming less costly to the point where many individual residential installations make economic sense.  Further, reflector and turbine technology has now advanced to the point where it is now feasible to build solar power plants that can generate greater than 250 megawatts of power.  Industrial sites that utilize steam power are now using solar collectors to augment their traditional steam generation, thus reducing their dependence on traditional fossil fuels or electricity.

From a materials and applications standpoint, these installations present some daunting challenges.  The most effective solar installations are located in areas of intense solar radiation and wide temperature swings.  Take for instance the largest solar installations in Asia and in Australia.  These are located in areas where the average solar radiation can approach  7 kWh/square meter/day and the temperature can go from close to freezing all the way to well over 100F.   Any material that is used in these systems must not only hold up to long periods of high heat and radiation without degradation, but must also be adaptable to the low temperature exposure as well.  Further, the weather environment in these installation locations can be among the most brutal on earth, with weather phenomenons such as brutal sandstorms or torrential tropical rains.

 To that effect, Vanguard Products has provided solar energy developers with high-quality silicone materials that can withstand the intense heat, wind, dust-storms, and UV radiation over the long haul, while providing consistent reliable sealing and fluid transport. Our ability to tailor our custom silicone extrusions, moldings and tubing from both the design and materials standpoint has made us a “supplier of choice” for these types of applications.  Further, we are able to provide long term durable options with respect to mounting and installation, such as high performance pressure sensitive adhesive mounting.  We are looking forward to continuing and growing our supply to this industry in the future in support of the global efforts to increase the use of renewable energy.