Investment Casting Innovation for Renewable Energy

Date: June 14, 2023

Renewable energy is the future of our planet, and investment casting is playing a significant role in making it possible. Investment casting creates critical components for wind turbines, solar panels, and many other renewable energy systems in the renewable energy sector.

Today, we will explore how investment casting supports the renewable energy sector and how it is helping to create a cleaner and more sustainable future.

renewable energy castings

What Is Investment Casting?

Investment casting is a metal casting process that involves creating a wax pattern, which is then coated with a ceramic material to create a mould. The wax pattern is melted, and molten metal is poured into the mould to make the final casting. It is an accurate and precise metal-forming method applied to renewable energy components with reliably beneficial results.

Rapid Prototyping for Casting

Rapid casting prototyping is a beneficial technique that saves time, money, and resources when casting for renewables by allowing for design variations and simulation testing before committing to manufacturing. We implement a process that uses 3D printing investment casting prototypes that involves creating a wax replica of the intended part before committing to the investment casting process. This ensures that the resources dedicated to the final product will meet all the specifications required for the application and eliminate the possibility of it going to waste.

Investment casting is vital for renewable energy because it produces many components to the required standards, resistances and stresses associated with the harsh environments they will be in. For example, the inner workings where the rotary force happens are essential components in wind turbines that need to not only operate correctly when the turbine is in operation but also securely lock off the blades during maintenance cycles.

renewable energy castings

Investment Castings for Wind Turbines

Investment casting is used extensively in the manufacturing of wind turbines. It creates many critical components, including the brackets, hubs, and other key parts. These components must be strong, durable, and able to withstand the harsh environmental conditions that wind turbines are exposed to as they operate. Investment casting helps create parts that meet these requirements and have the desired efficiency required to maximise the energy generated during use.

Another example is how investment casting is used to create the hubs of wind turbines. The hub is the central part of the turbine that connects the blades to the generator. It needs to be strong and durable to support the weight and forces generated by the blades.

Investment casting creates components that meet these requirements and reduce overall weight and material usage, making the wind turbine more efficient and cost-effective.

Investment Castings for Hydroelectric Turbines

Hydroelectric turbines convert the kinetic energy of water into electrical energy, and investment casting is used to manufacture components such as runners, and guide vanes. The precision and accuracy of investment casting allow for the creation of intricate and complex shapes, which are essential for the efficient functioning of hydroelectric turbines. Additionally, the castings produce turbine components with high strength, reliable durability, and resistance to erosion and corrosion, which are critical factors in the harsh operating environment of hydroelectric turbines.

renewable energy castings

Investment Castings for Solar Panels

While investment casting is not generally used for manufacturing the internal parts of solar panels, it is used to create metal parts for solar panel mounting systems, which are used to secure solar panels to rooftops, ground mounts, or other surfaces.

Investment Casting for Geothermal Systems

Geothermal systems utilise the heat of the Earth's crust to generate electricity which puts the associated machinery under significant stress. Investment casting is used to manufacture components for geothermal systems, such as nozzles, and casings.

These components are subjected to high temperatures and pressures, and investment casting ensures they have the required heat, strength and corrosion resistance to ensure consistent operation.

Investment Casting for Tidal Power

Tidal power systems utilise the kinetic energy of ocean tides to generate electricity, which exposes the machinery to harsh saltwater conditions. Investment casting is used to manufacture components such as hubs, and shrouds for tidal power systems. These components are exposed to harsh marine environments, including saltwater corrosion and erosion, which all must be accounted for when casting components. Investment casting produces components with excellent corrosion resistance and high strength, making them ideal for tidal power systems.

renewable energy castings

High-Quality Castings for Renewables at Dean Group

We understand that every industry has unique requirements for castings, and castings for renewables are no different. That's why we offer customised casting solutions that cater to the specific needs of your project and are guaranteed to meet the required specifications and standards.

Our castings are designed to be used both on and off-shore, and we use specialist alloys such as stainless steel, aluminium, and nickel to ensure the highest quality and durability. We also offer a wide range of other metal options to ensure that we can meet your specific needs and specifications. Contact us to discover how our sustainable processes will assist in your next application.

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