Linear actuators are devices that generate linear motion or motion on a straight line. They have wide applicability including in the renewable energy technologies. The efforts aimed at producing renewable energy have resulted in the exploration of various machines that facilitate optimum production of energy from various renewable energy resources. Linear actuators are often utilized in such machines to facilitate constant as well as reliable supply of energy. They are used in the production of renewable solar and wind energy by facilitating the necessary adjustments of the machines’ moving parts for maximum tracking of energy.
Linear Actuators in Solar Energy
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Solar panels consist of linear actuators that provide the actuation of the panels’ linear movements. This ensures that the solar panels are in a steady motion to enhance optimum trapping of solar energy. The linear actuators are used to adjust the movement of sola panels’ movable planes. Such linear actuators are integrated into the so-called solar trackers that follow the sun’s movement across the sky, to facilitate optimum trapping of sunbeams by the photovoltaic cells. However, linear actuators manufacturers argue that motor actuators results in the loss of some quantity of power due to angular deviations in solar tracking. In contrast, linear actuators reduce the solar tracking systems’ angular deviation and facilitate continuous and steady tracking of the solar beams. This minimizes misalignment, enhances efficiency, and optimum energy production throughput per day. Moreover, the user can configure the linear actuators in terms of incorporation of gears and screws, loading capacity, and the axial movement’s length, in order to meet the user’s energy needs. Furthermore, linear actuators can also be used in converting the photovoltaic cells ‘direct current to alternating current.
Linear Actuators in Wind Energy
Linear actuators can also be used in the production of wind energy. Their functionality in wind energy production is similar to that in the solar energy production. In this case, they improve the wind tracking systems’ angular rotation to align the rotating turbines to the wind’s direction. Linear actuators also adjust the turbine hub’s rotor blades, which is connected to the windmill’s vertical shaft. As the wind blows at a given speed from a particular direction, the linear actuators make the necessary adjustments on the rotor blades to enhance their rotational speed and hence maximizing the turbine’s energy production. The linear actuators constantly adjust the rotor blades’ angular inclination relative to the speed and movement of the wind by a few degrees. This adjustment ensures maximum energy production from the wind turbines. The linear actuators’ light weight makes them suitable in wind turbines. This factor makes the suitable in large-scale wind turbines in that larger actuators can be mounted on such turbines without compromising their efficiency. Additionally, linear actuators can easily be controlled via mechanical configuration at the turbine hub.
In both wind and solar energy generation, the linear actuators perform ab important role of enhancing efficiency and accuracy energy output, and optimizing performance. Despite the fact that most actuators are used to control the motion of machines via linear motion, advanced linear actuators integrate screws and gearboxes in actuating rotary motion. This is essential for controlling the motion of the wind turbines’ angular rotation and the tracking systems’ movement for optimum energy generation.