Solglide bearings are specifically designed for concentrated solar power (CSP) plants, applied at pivot points at all major tracking systems used in the area of CSP.
Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, a supplier of engineered components to international original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), has launched a maintenance-free bearing for the solar market.
Solglide bearings are specifically designed for concentrated solar power (CSP) plants, applied at pivot points at all major tracking systems used in the area of CSP. Proprietary developed fluoropolymer compounds in Solglide bearings increase the long-term operational efficiency of solar equipment, reduce energy usage and decrease long-term costs.
As the Solglide bearings offer a thicker layer of fluoropolymer compounds, they provide less friction on a constant level throughout the product’s life. Avoiding stick-slip effects in the tracking systems, the mirrors can move more easily and efficiently toward the sun resulting in less energy usage.
Featuring corrosion and wear resistance, the new bearings can last the lifetime of a CSP tower, usually about 25 years, with no maintenance costs. Solglide bearings can come with different backing layers: normal steel protected with a proprietary corrosion protection system, aluminium or stainless steel backings. All types provide high resistance to harsh outdoor elements such as radiation, water and dust for further longevity benefits.
Saint-Gobain engineers can also customise various parameters to meet specific applications. Teams like application engineering and testing facilities within Saint-Gobain can co-develop with the customer and create the optimal solution. Due to testing capabilities, Saint-Gobain can also pre-validate solutions as well as help to develop specifications and internal standards to minimise risks in the phase of purchasing, therefore minimising transactional costs as well.
To comply with environmental regulations, Solglide bearings feature lightweight materials that are free of heavy metals and banned chemicals such as chrome VI and perfluorooctanoic acid (PfOA) materials. In addition, the bearings operate without grease to avoid the cleaning costs needed to remove drippings from the structures. The ability to produce the products close to the present and future main markets has a positive impact on the life cycle assessment (LCA) and carbon footprint of the product.