A recent report shows that the power sector is slowly embracing 3D printing opportunities. This is happening with apps being utilized in conventional energy, battery storage, and renewables.
A study from GlobalData analysts projects that additive manufacturing technology is expected to penetrate further into the energy industry. This is thanks to the arrival of huge printers and the progress in 3D printing technology.
The study specifically predicts that technology is likely to change the nuclear power sector. This is because scientists capitalize on developing adaptable materials, nuclear sensors level by level, and 3D printed components.
With several parts of the power sector under stress from different factors, makers are focusing on 3D printing. This is because of its reduced costs and smaller timeframes. This is according to the report dubbed ‘Thematic Research: 3D Printing in Power.
The energy industry’s initial adopter of the technology are highlighted as GE, Westinghouse, Rosatom, and Siemens.
Sneha Susan Elias, the Globaldata senior analyst said that power equipment manufacturers and utilities “are witnessing a huge opportunity in 3D printing to make their operations more efficient. Vestas views 3D printing as its key enabling technology for wind turbines and replacement parts in the future.”
Siemens attained a milestone In 2018, by making the first 3D printed metal replacement components for an industrial gas turbine. This is a game-changer since it can lessen the lead time for making these pieces by 40%. This is as stated by the company.
The firm obtained 3D printing expert Materials Solutions in 2016. The decision as part of its decisive plan to create a global additive manufacturing service market. Siemens is investing €30m in a 3D printing facility in the United Kingdom for Materials Solutions.
“Siemens will also utilize AM technology for its HL-class gas turbines (SGT5-9000HL), for which the company has announced a collaboration with SSE in June 2018 to deploy this 50Hz turbine at its Keadby 2 CCGT power station in the UK. In addition, Siemens and E.ON also attained a major 3D printing milestone through its 3D-printed burner for an SGT-700 industrial gas turbine operating at E.ON’s combined cycle power plant located in Philippsthal, Germany.
GE has already shipped 9000 3D-printed gas turbine components and 3D printing will be used to enhance the efficiency of the company’s turbines, opening up the possibility to quickly manufacture and test prototypes.
Elias added that another area where 3D printing is being used in the power industry is in solar panels. “Although this is still at a nascent stage, experts say that it could enable the production of higher efficiency solar cells than is presently possible through traditional screen-printing techniques,” Elias added.
The team calls a 3D printing study plan that was started in 2013 by Daniel Clark as 3DPCoin. The creator of T3DP’s 3D-printed solar power system. The project uses a patented volumetric 3D-printing technique to create solar PV panels based on perovskite. The panels can nearly multiply the growth effectiveness of the existing panels.