Lubrication-free pedestal bearings to align solar modules


German multinational company igus GmbH has developed the igubal ESQM pedestal bearing specifically for mounting modules on square profiles and has expanded the range with two additional sizes.

It is a lubrication-free bearing, resistant to dust and dirt, and whose durability has been tested in the laboratory and is guaranteed for 25 years, according to the German company.

The bearing consists of a polymer housing made of igumid G and a spherical ball made of iglidur J4. The tribologically optimized polymers ensure the bearing is UV resistant and corrosion-free. 

According to igus, the bearing does not use any lubricant, making them impervious to dust and dirt, and maintenance-free. The manufacturer also says the the device can help installers easily compensate for alignment errors caused, for example, by uneven surfaces.

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The Cologne-based company has a 3,800 m² test laboratory where it analyzed the service life, wear-resistance and load capacity under real loads of the simulated daily sequence of movements over a period of time. The number of movements carried out with a load of 1.5 tons corresponds to a useful life of 72 years.

For this reason, igus guarantees an operating time of 25 years, which corresponds to the standard service life of a solar panel. “Due to the great demand for igus bearings in the solar sector, we have expanded the series to include the sizes 100 x 100 mm and 140 x 140 mm,” explains Richard Won, who heads igus' renewable division. “More than 500,000 bearings in the sizes 110 x 110 mm and 120 x 120 mm are already used in square tubes around the world. With the new sizes, we can offer a long-lasting solution to other suppliers.”

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