Jul
19
2009

Stirling engines convert more sun into electricity

Two cylinder Stirling engine: Alpha type Stirling engine. The expansion cylinder (red) is maintained at a high temperature while the compression cylinder (blue) is cooled. The passage between the two cylinders contains the regenerator.
Two cylinder Stirling engine: Alpha type Stirling engine. The expansion cylinder (red) is maintained at a high temperature while the compression cylinder (blue) is cooled. The passage between the two cylinders contains the regenerator.Courtesy Zephyris
Four newly designed solar power collection dishes called SunCatchers™ were unveiled at Sandia's National Solar Thermal Test Facility. The new dishes are the next-generation model of the original SunCatcher system. Designed for high-volume production, ease of maintenance, and cost reductions, the dishes could be in commercial service by 2010. The projects are expected to produce 1,000 MW by the end of 2012. One megawatt powers about 800 homes.

Better and cheaper solar conversion

SunCatcher™ power system
SunCatcher™ power systemCourtesy Randy Montoya
Last year one of the original SunCatchers set a new solar-to-grid system conversion efficiency record by achieving a 31.25 percent net efficiency rate, toppling the old 1984 record of 29.4.

Source: New SunCatcher™ power system unveiled at National Solar Thermal Test Facility, Sandia News release.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <h3> <h4> <em> <i> <strong> <b> <span> <ul> <ol> <li> <blockquote> <object> <embed> <param> <sub> <sup>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • You may embed videos from the following providers vimeo, youtube. Just add the video URL to your textarea in the place where you would like the video to appear, i.e. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pw0jmvdh.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Images can be added to this post.

More information about formatting options