According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration, “finding, producing, moving, and using [petroleum products] can cause problems for our environment like air and water pollution.” In particular:
• Exploring and drilling for oil may disturb land and ocean habitats.
• If oil is spilled into rivers or oceans, it can harm wildlife.
• When petroleum products are burned as fuel, they give off carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that is linked with global warming.
• The use of petroleum products also gives off pollutants – carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and unburned hydrocarbons – that help form air pollution.
And those negative impacts are just the tip of the iceberg. Fortunately, alternative forms of energy are currently being explored. One of those alternatives is the renewable source of wind energy. The American Wind Energy Association estimates that:
• The amount of “wind energy produced worldwide is 65,000,000,000 kWh per year.” That’s “enough power for 6 million U.S. homes.”
• The amount of “wind energy produced in the U.S. is 16,000,000,000 kWh per year.” That’s “enough power for 1.6 million homes.”
• The “potential U.S. wind energy production by 2020” should reach levels that will provide “power for 25 million homes yearly.”
Why is the move toward wind energy such an important one? A study of Midwestern wind farms by the University of Wisconsin revealed that “wind power farms generate between 17 and 39 times as much power as they consume, as compared to 16 times for nuclear plants and 11 times for coal plants.” As such, more overall energy is produced with less impact on the environment.
Technology from a wide spectrum of industries is helping to make this eco-friendly transition a viable one. One of those industries is producers of rubber molding. While the connection might seem dubious, wind power plants’ bearing systems are made from corrosion-proof, flexible and durable rubber. Because rubber molding bearings make for better vibration damping, wind energy becomes more cost-effective and environmentally friendly.
World leaders in rubber molding and rubber-to-metal bonding have devoted their careers to reducing and isolating both vibration and noise in a wide array of industrial applications. By absorbing and isolating vibrations, by providing noise control and protection, and by withstanding even the most harsh conditions, the Vibro-Insulator line of rubber-to-metal bonded parts is paving the way in renewable energy sources like wind energy.
These vibration control parts come in a variety of styles and sizes in order to handle most vibration isolation problems, including standing up to the wind, weather and salt conditions windmills are put through. Rubber Vibro-Insulators are produced with either natural rubber or neoprene elastomers, depending on the application. Both are resistant to oil and have maximum operating temperatures of 150 degrees Fahrenheit and 180 degrees Fahrenheit respectively.
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Article Added on Wednesday, July 22, 2009
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