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.