- As a partner of the energy industry, the Schaeffler Group promotes the expansion of renewable energy generation
- Efficient bearing solutions for wind, solar, and hydropower energy increase the energy yield and the level of efficiency
Bestandteil des GNFK StartFurther reducing electricity generation costs remains an enormous challenge in the wind industry. The reliability and durability of the bearings play a key role in making energy generation economical. Every bearing failure leads to a loss in energy generation as well as complex repairs and part replacement, which can be costly and time-consuming.
Products and solutions from our Industrial division contribute significantly to the transition to sustainable energy. From market leading rolling bearing solutions for wind power plants till key components for electrolysis to produce green hydrogen; we offer our customers both mechanical and digital solutions for the energy-efficient operation of machines and plants.Dr. Stefan SpindlerCEO Industrial
Larger and larger turbines are being used to make wind energy generation more efficient. Rather than using individual components such as main bearings, shafts, and housing, manufacturers increasingly source preassembled systems from the Schaeffler Group. This leads to reduced weight thanks to better integration of the bearing and housing, and reduces logistical costs, as the logistics chain can be simplified and the subsystem, e.g., can be delivered directly to the installation location.Bestandteil des GNFK Ende
Offshore applications are also becoming more and more important from a market and technological point of view. In addition to investing in manufacturing capacities for larger bearings, the Schaeffler Group has also further developed a special hardening process referred to as slip-free induction hardening. Since no media or gases other than the ambient atmosphere and water for cooling are used in this hardening process, it offers both technological and environmental benefits, particularly when green energy is used to operate the induction coils.
Often used in modern multimegawatt wind turbines, preloaded bearings offer high reliability and can accommodate longer periods of use. But it is important to ensure the most precise bearing preload possible during assembly and throughout operation. Deviations from the bearing preload defined during setup are only identified when the bearings fail prematurely during operation. This is where the new Schaeffler PREMESY Industry 4.0 system comes in, monitoring the bearing preload during both the assembly process and system operation. As a result, PREMESY also offers the foundation for predictive maintenance, as the most important influential factors are monitored for potential damage.
The Schaeffler Group bearing solutions used in solar power plants come in many different forms and increase system performance, e.g., by allowing the solar modules to be turned in different directions.
Schaeffler components are also used in solar thermal plants. Reflectors concentrate the sun’s rays onto an absorber to heat a fluid that generates water vapor by means of a heat exchanger, ultimately powering the turbines and generators. The system can follow the sun’s path with precision. This is where the company’s bearing technologies come into play, e.g., in the world’s largest solar park, Noor in southern Morocco. Robust, high-precision spherical plain bearings enable the adjustable collector mirrors to track the sun with precision and thus increase plant availability there.
Hydropower is one of the most frequently used renewable energy sources in the world. Hydropower plants rank third in total power generation worldwide, and their importance will only increase, with new dams currently being built in China and Brazil, for example. Even small-scale hydropower plants with up to 10 MW are increasingly being used again – e.g., to supply smaller electricity consumers locally. Depending on the application, the bearings used in hydropower will need to fulfill different conditions and offer special characteristics. With rolling bearings, spherical plain bearings, rod ends, plain bearings, and housing units, the Schaeffler Group can provide just the right bearing solutions.