The Timken Co. is providing high-precision drives for what will be the world’s largest single-site solar power plant. Timken’s solar-tracking technology, developed by its Cone Drive subsidiary, will be used to precisely position solar panels in line with the sun for the Al Dhafra PV2 site in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“We partner with leading manufacturers to develop customized solutions that are essential to some of the most significant solar energy projects in the world,” says Carl Rapp, Timken’s group vice president. “Our application engineering expertise is critical to advancing the use of renewable energy around the globe.”
The Al Dhafra facility should be operational by 2022. When complete, its 4 million solar panels – controlled by 83,000 Cone Drive high-precision drives – are projected to power as many 160,000 homes across the UAE and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 2.4 million metric tons annually.
Cone Drive was acquired by Timken in 2018 and Timken entered the market for solar energy. Cone Drive’s high-precision drives provide tracking and positioning capabilities for photovoltaic (PV) applications, such as the Al Dhafra site, as well as concentrated solar power (CSP) applications.
Timken has invested heavily to research and develop the solar energy market. In addition, the company has established manufacturing, engineering, testing and engineering capabilities in both the United States of America and China. Timken consolidated multiple sites in Jiangyin in China in 2021 to increase production capacity, broaden product range, and improve productivity of precision drives for the solar energy industry.