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Silicone chemistry’s products enable our country’s efforts to improve energy efficiency – from insulation to coolants to packaging – and are critical to the many innovative technologies that are helping promote cleaner energy options, create green jobs, and improve the U.S. Drive economic growth.
Worldwide, an estimated 962,000 tons of silicone products are purchased annually for use in the energy sector in renewable energy sources such as solar panels and wind turbines, as well as traditional energy sources such as oil, gas and electricity.
Improving energy efficiency
In solar modules, for example, silicones are used as conductive adhesives and potting compounds, ensure permanent connections and seals, electrical insulation and a reliable connection of solar cells – they support high electrical conductivity and flexibility and contribute to lower material costs. Their resistance to ultraviolet radiation and high transparency can improve the efficiency of the panels, while their mechanical and chemical properties, such as flexibility and temperature and corrosion resistance, can reduce the need for repairs and ensure a longer service life for the panels.
Silicones are also used as adhesion promoters in the manufacture of wind turbines and help to increase the longevity and weather resistance of rotor blades and components. As a lubricant, they facilitate the smooth operation of these rotor blades, help to reduce the maintenance costs of wind turbines and to maximize energy efficiency. Silicones enable larger wind turbines with greater energy potential.
In the oil and gas industry, silicones are the most commonly used antifoam agents. They enable higher oil and gas production rates, reduce water consumption and increase efficiency. In addition, silicones help maintain throughput and production in wells, derricks, refineries, and in the transportation of oil, helping to save money by reducing oil leaks and damage to downstream equipment.
Directives that help the energy transition
ACC’s Silicones Environmental, Health, and Safety Center (SEHSC) supports guidelines to improve energy efficiency and is committed to good product stewardship and the provision of silicone products to society that support smart energy policies. In fact, by using products made from silicone, you can save 9 times more greenhouse gases than were emitted in the manufacture of these silicone materials. In other words, for every tonne of carbon dioxide emitted, the use of silicones can provide savings that are 9 times greater.
The chemical industry and innovations in chemistry are part of the solution to climate change. We use our brightest minds to develop transformative technologies that reduce emissions and improve energy efficiency both in our industry and in the entire value chain to enable a socially, environmentally and economically sustainable future. The promotion of the use of energy efficiency technologies in the industrial, commercial and residential sectors, which is partly made possible by silicones, will lead to considerable energy savings worldwide.