When was the last time you stopped to consider the amazing power of the wind? What if someone was able to capture it? That’s exactly the idea behind wind energy and wind energy connectors.
In harnessing wind energy, the tool is the wind turbine. It takes the wind and converts it into energy. Connectors for wind energy applications assist in this. This is one of many modern applications for connectors, and could be at least a small part of the future of the connector industry.
At over 300 feet tall, wind turbines need these wind connectors the most. Because they are high off of the ground, they are able to catch more of a breeze. The United States was one of the top countries for the installation of these tall towers, but other economic super-powers such as China and Germany are getting into the act as well.
How many connectors are used in a wind turbine? Well, it depends on the size, use, and geographic area. Typically, high-reliability connectors with ease of connection are preferred. But M8 circular connectors and high-performance power connectors are also used. Cable assembly types range from data transfer to multimode – and many types in between. It is important to note that over twenty five percent of a wind turbine is made up of fiber optic connectors and cable assemblies.
As more and more wind turbines are used, the sales of wind energy connectors are rising (and will continue to rise). Forecasters predict over $170 million in sales to the wind energy industry by 2016. So the connectors industry figures to profit from this. Many of these turbines will be installed in Europe (Eastern Europe, to be precise). But don’t rule out Canda, Brazil, Mexico, and the United States either.
Wind power is an opportunity for manufacturers of connectors, as the demand for cheaper, sustainable energy increases. Will the connectors industry be able to match the demand? It’s a question up for debate.