Environmental Impacts

The environmental impacts of dish/engine systems are minimal. Stirling engines are known for being quiet, relativ e to internal combustion gasoline and diesel engines, and even the highly recuperated Brayton engines are reported t o be relatively quie t. The biggest source of noise from a dish/Stirling system is the cooling fan for the radiator. Ther e has not been enough deployment of dish/engine systems to realistically assess visual impact. The systems can be high profile, extending as much as 15 meters above the ground. However, aesthetically speaking they should not b e considered detrimental. Dish/engine systems resemble satellite dishes which are generally accepted by the public . Emissions from dish/engine systems are also quite low. Other than the potential for spilling small amounts of engin e oil or coolant or gearbox grease, these systems produce no effluent when operating with solar energy. Even whe n operating with a fossil fuel, the steady flow combustion systems used in both Stirling and Brayton systems result i n extremely low emission levels. This is, in fact, a requirement for the hybrid vehicle and cogeneration applications fo r which these engines are primarily being developed.

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