Alternative Energy Production

Laser Sensors For The Alternative Energy Industry

Laser scanners and laser rangefinders help automate the energy industry

Today's means of alternative energy production demand high technology integration of non-contact sensors. Wind energy, photovatalic and hydrogen fuel cell developers and manufacturers uses Acuity sensors to improve the efficiency of their technologies.

Wind turbine manufacturers use laser rangefinders to measure distances between the components at high elevations and the ground. High speed rangefinders may be used to measure blade tip deflections while the blades spin. Only the rangefinders with the fastest sampling speeds will "see" the passing blade in operations, let alone accurately measure its position.

As solar panels become a more efficient method of converting the sun's energy into usable electricity, their complex designs begin to mimic the technology found in integrated circuts. Glass is coated with special material and each layering step must be precise in its deposition of material. Scientists choose Acuity confical displacement sensors to measure this layer thickness because it can measure to shiny surfaces and also ignore the thickness of the substrate glass.

Fuel cells also use cutting edge materials and joining technologies to convert hydrogen into electricity and water. A typical fuel cell "stack" is a large "sandwich" of membrane layers which may be joined with beads of adhesive. This adhesive must be accurately dispensed so that an even amount is applied between the membrane layers. Excess material between many layers increases the misalignment of the stack and could force the expensive materials to be scrapped in late stages of production.

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