Schaeffler offers bearings and linear systems designed to improve solar power efficiency
Bearings and linear systems
Schaeffler offers a range of rolling and plain bearings as well as linear systems designed to improve the efficiency of solar power plants, including photovoltaic and solar thermal technologies.
The company claims that its products offer benefits such as high rigidity, high load-carrying capacities and reliable operation under extreme conditions.
In addition to standard bearings, engineered technologies for specific customer requirements can be provided.
Depending on the type and design of the power plant, suitable products may include slewing rings, angular-contact roller bearings, ballscrew drives, housed units, radial insert ball bearings, track rollers, plain bushes, spherical plain bearings and linear units.
- Elgoglide plain bearings — designed for single-axis tracking systems, these maintenance-free systems offer high load-carrying capacities, particularly if very high loads are present on one side combined with swivelling movements
- Elgotex plain bearings — also designed for single-axis tracking systems, these bearings are made of composite materials and are resistant to corrosive media; they offer continuously low friction and low-wear sliding characteristics
- AXS angular-contact roller bearings — these are used in double-axis tracking systems, including solar towers and Dish Stirling power plants, where they offer high load-carrying capacities, rigidity and positioning accuracy
- Complete linear drive systems — available from Schaeffler’s Linear Technology business unit, these include linear actuators, tables and modules and are suitable for the manufacture of solar collectors and photovoltaic modules as well as for solar tracking applications
- Modular sealing systems — designed to cope with prevailing environmental conditions, these are used to optimise the functionality of rolling bearing surfaces and precision components that are subjected to high loads
Schaeffler’s Fiesta E-Wheel Drive concept car successfully competed against other electric vehicles in the fourth Silvretta E-Car Rally on 4–7 July 2013 in Montafon, Austria. The car finished ahead of other electric vehicles, some of which are already in volume production.
In this technical article, Dr Steve Lacey, engineering manager at Schaeffler UK, discusses the importance of selecting a special surface coating or corrosion-resistant material for rolling, plain and linear bearings operating in harsh food, beverage or packaging environments.
Schaeffler is offering its linear actuator and bearings for swivel drives as a complete system for photovoltaic (PV), concentrating photovoltaic and concentrating solar power systems. These systems operate more efficiently when their mirrors, collectors and PV modules accurately track the course of the sun during the day.
Schaeffler has supplied four spherical roller bearings with tapered bores to the Portland Valderrivas cement plant after the existing bearings in the company’s roller press reached the end of their service lives. Portland Valderrivas contracted an engineering service provider and Schaeffler showed its fitters exactly how to mount the bearings.
Schaeffler has worked closely with the steel industry to develop a high-strength quenched and tempered steel specifically for wind-turbine slewing rings that are subjected to extreme loads during blade and tower adjustment.