Stainless Steel Fits UK Renewable Energy Strategy

Stainless steel is without a doubt one of the most versatile metals currently available on the market which is why it is used in so many different industries. Now though it has been outlined as having many oppor­tuni­ties in Renewable and Low Carbon Energy Technologies so its future is bright!

The UK Government Renewable Energy Strategy will see £100bn invested in the renewable energy sector but this is where the UK stainless steel industry can really benefit. A study carried out by the British Stainless Steel Association looked into stainless steel and how it would fit into on and offshore wind, wave and tidal, bio-energy and carbon capture and storage.

Offshore energy relies on stainless steel for applications Sun, Wind, Tidal, Gas/Oil and Wave energy. In regards to stainless steel and gaining energy from the there are a number of ways in which stainless steel is used. Thermo-Solar systems use stainless steel hot water tanks, stainless steel heat exchangers as well as a specialised glazed stainless steel for cushion absorbers.

Stainless steel is used as a frame to house solar-thermal panels and also used unglazed as roofing panels with the addition of organically-coated unglazed stainless steel panels and connectors. A technology which is growing in popularity is photovoltaic cells and the flexible PV modules on a stainless steel roof require this very versatile metal.

Many of the methods for collecting energy from the sun will require a number of fastenings in order to get the equipment secured and in the correct place. These fastenings will be made from stainless steel because it is strong, durable and resistant to corrosion making it the ideal material for fastening. Some of the duplex grades which have a mixed ferritic and austenitic structure provide a cost effective and high mechanical strength fastening which can be widely used.

In relation to wind energy then stainless steel plays a vital role because it is used in their wind turbine instal­la­tions. The blade or rotor which converts the energy in the wind to rotational shaft energy is made from stainless steel, and then the drive chain inclusive of a gearbox and a generator is used. A tower is needed in order to support the rotor and the drive chain and usually this is made from stainless steel because of its sheer strength.

Other equipment which is used for the wind turbines include controls, electrical cables and ground support equipment which sometimes will require items such as stainless steel wire for stabili­sation.

Within the oil and gas industry stainless steel is used because this is a highly demanding industrial application and stainless steel proves to be very suitable. It can cope under great amount of pressure and in both hot and cold tempe­ratures.

Whatever the energy saving technology which is being used, stainless steel has managed to become a major part of the Renewable energy strategy. Whenever or whatever stainless steel is used for it is 100% recyclable and thus will contribute to the susta­ina­bility and overall eco-frien­dliness of our environment.

There are many applications for stainless steel and there is no doubting that it is going to remain the chosen favourite for many of these industry appli­cations. If you are looking for stainless steel then come to BS Stainless we are an independent supplier of stainless steel wire, stainless steel banding, stainless steel strip coil and more.

For more information then please contact us on 01254 681112 or email info@bsstainless.co.uk.

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