Composites in Renewable Energy Generation

This Polymer Bulletin is a current awareness service from the Polymer Library, the world's largest database dedicated to polymer literature.

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Every week when the Polymer Library abstracts database is updated with new records, you will be sent a bulletin alerting you to any items that relate to this topic.


Utilising renewable energy from our surroundings in ways that significantly reduce our environmental impact is very important both in terms of reducing carbon dioxide emissions and in conserving resources. There are a number of different types of energy that we can harness including power from the wind and from the water - tides and waves (for use of solar energy see our Solar Cells bulletin). In collecting and converting this energy there is much use for composites and other types of polymer, for example wind turbines are made from polymer composites as they must be strong and lightweight enough to effectively and efficiently convert the wind power. By finding a composite, plastic or rubber that is cost-effective to make and process and durable enough to have a long service life, we can convert energy in a more environmentally friendly manner. Developments are ongoing, not only in making these options commercially viable, there is application of new technology too, like using polymers that can change shape in turbines so that they can catch the wind more effectively as it changes direction. As the physics of new ways to harness this energy is explored, so the appropriate materials for these new applications are found or developed.

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