Technology

Near-term systems (2000) are expected to achieve significant availability improvements resulting in an annua l efficiency of 23%. The MDA system consistently achieved daily solar efficiencies in excess of 23% when it wa s operational. The low availability achieved with the base-year technology was primarily caused by delays in receivin g spare parts and by the lack of a dedicated O&M staff. A 23% annual efficiency is, therefore, a reasonable expectation, assuming Stirling en gines are commercialized for other applications, and spare parts and a dedicated staff are available. In addition, near term technologies should see a modest reduction in the cost of the dish concentrator simply as a result of the benefits of an additional design iteration. Prototypes for these near-term technologies were first demonstrate d in 1985 by McDonnell Douglas and United Stirling. Similar operational behavior was demonstrated in 1995 by SAIC and STM, although for a shorter test period and a lower system efficiency. O&M costs reflect improvements i n reliability expected with the introduction of a commercial engine. Production of 100 modules is assumed. At thi s production rate, component costs are high, resulting in installed costs of nearly $5,700/kW e.

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

The solar Stirling engine is progressively becoming a viable alternative to solar panels for its higher efficiency. Stirling engines might be the best way to harvest the power provided by the sun. This is an easy-to-understand explanation of how Stirling engines work, the different types, and why they are more efficient than steam engines.

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