Renewable Energy Industry

Renewable Energy Industry Challenges

Renewable energy is energy derived from renewable resources that are replenished naturally on a human timeline. Those resources include solar energy, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat.

Rapid technological advancements and declining costs of renewable energy resources, combined with growing competitiveness of battery storage, have elevated renewables to one of the most competitive energy sources in many locations. As the world looks to support the energy transition, and to lower emissions of carbon and other types of environmental pollution, renewables offer a compelling energy alternative. 

While renewable energy is frequently regarded as a new technology, harnessing nature's power has long been used for heating, transportation, lighting, and other purposes. Renewable energies can be quite demanding applications, with components and seals sustaining substantial wear and tear. 

Not all renewable energy sources have the same challenges. Advanced polymers can withstand the extreme temperatures found in geothermal applications, whereas those same polymers might be used to support the hydrophobic requirements for components used in hydropower applications. In offshore applications, proper buoyancy solutions are needed for wave and tidal applications. Some of the most common pain points focus on scaling and corrosion, leakage and seal integrity, extreme temperature exposure, friction resistance, vibration dampening, and sound deadening.

High-Performance Polymer Products for Renewable Energy Applications

The primary advantage of renewable energy sources is that they emit very few greenhouse gases, making them better for the environment. Changing how the world sources its energy is critical in the fight against climate change since electricity accounts for the majority of our greenhouse gas emissions. With a worldwide interest in reducing CO2 emissions, renewable energies continue to grow with increased innovation and investment.

Renewables are expanding at all scales, from rooftop solar panels on residences that can sell power back to the grid to massive offshore wind farms.

The following list is a sample of the many applications across the renewable energy market where high-performance polymer products are commonly sourced:






Housing Seals






Valves & Stoppers



Gear Boxes

Yaw Systems

Solar Panel & Solar Chip Manufacturing


Combiner Boxes

Service Panels

Load Centers








Heat Exchangers




Well & Casing




Boiler Feed Pumps


Here is a sample of the high-performance polymer products used by renewable energy type:






Housing Seals

Rotary Seals

U cup seals



Scraper Seals

Motor Clutch Seals

Brake Seals

U-Cup Seals

Hydraulic Seals

Electrical Seals

Wafer Carriers

Housing Seals

Electrical connection seals

Shaft seats & seals

Hydro bearings

Gate Seals

Mech face Seal rings

Thrust washers

Trunnion bearings

Wear pads

Geothermal Seal Stacks/Packers

Cartridge Seals

Split Seals

Pump Packing

Static, Reciprocating, & Rotary Seals

Shaft seals

Wear Rings


Piston Seals

T Seals

Trusted High-Performance Polymers for Renewable Energy Applications

High-performance polymer material is used in applications in the renewable energy industry to protect components from a variety of pollutants, such as dirt, dust, debris, humidity, and moisture. Because renewable energy production can be subjected to a variety of difficult conditions – including broad temperature fluctuations and extreme weather – the polymer seals and functional components must be able to withstand a variety of conditions.

The correct material guarantees that the component performs as intended and to its full potential even under the most severe conditions.

Some of the materials in CDI’s material portfolio with the right characteristics and properties for renewable energy applications include:

  • AFLAS® - (Tetrafluoroethylene and propylene - TFE/P)
  • Acetal - Delrin® 
  • PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene)
  • FKM (Fluorocarbon) – Viton®
  • FFKM (Perfluoroelastomer)
  • FVMQ (Fluorosilicone)
  • Graphite
  • HNBR (Hydrogenated acrylonitrile butadiene rubber)
  • NBR (Nitrile butadiene rubber)
  • Neoprene (Polychloroprene)
  • PEEK (Polyetheretherketone)
  • PUR (Polyurethane)
  • XNBR (Carboxylated Nitrile Rubber)
  • EPDM (Ethylene propylene diene terpolymer)
  • Silicone (Polysiloxane)

Commonly Used Manufacturing Processes for Renewable Energy Applications

With vertically integrated manufacturing, CDI provides far more than mere part production. With over 30 polymer manufacturing processes, our team of skilled machinists, operators and technicians use cutting-edge processes and technology to manufacture the highest quality seals, wear products, and functional components. 

Backed by extensive research, testing, and manufacturing capabilities, our design and development team often work together with our customers to design performance polymer products which meet the unique application specs and environmental conditions.

In the renewable energy market, some of the most used manufacturing processes include injection molding; extrusion, ram and melt molding, compression molding of plastics and rubber, precision CNC machining, large diameter machining, turning and milling, die forming-compressed graphite and wire mesh, and billets and go-to-market finished products. 

Certifications and Qualifications for the Renewable Energy Industry

Although there are no specific certification standards for the renewable energy industry, CDI is certified to numerous global standards including API Q1, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 45001, Bizsafe Star, and AS 9100.

Are Thermoplastics Sustainable?