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Solar Stirling Plant

Revolutionary Invention! This Is A New Method Of Generating Free Energy. Create Massive Amounts Of Energy, Unseen By Other Renewable Energy Devices Such As Solar Panels Or Wind Turbines. Read more here...

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Schematic Figure Of Stirling Engine In Solar Powered Stirling Engine

Kinematic Stirling Engine

Dish engine technology is the oldest of the solar technologies, dating back to the 1800s when a number of companie s demonstrated solar powered steam-Rankine and Stirling-based systems. Modern technology was developed in the late 1970s and early 1980s by United Stirling AB, Advanco Corporation, McDonnell Douglas Aerospace Corporatio n (MDA), NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and DOE. This technology used directly-illuminated, tubular sola r receivers, the United Stirling 4-95 kinematic Stirling engine developed for automotive applications, and silver glas s mirror dishes. A sketch of the United Stirling Power Conversion Unit (PCU), including the directly illuminate d receiver, is shown in Figure 6. The Advanco Vanguard system, a 25 kW e nominal output module, recorded a record solar-to-electric conversion efficiency of 29.4 (net) using the United Stirling PCU 1,11 . This efficiency is defined as the net electrical power delivered to the grid, taking into account the electrical power...

The Freepiston Stirling Engine

Free Piston Stirling Generator

As in the case of kinematic Stirling engines, there are numerous implementations of the free-piston version. Much of the development of this type of engine is owed to Sunpower Inc. of Athens, Ohio. Figure 3.16 shows a simple form of the engine dating from 1986. Figure 3.16 A simple free-piston Stirling engine with a linear alternator as load. The operation is somewhat similar to that of a kinematic beta Stirling. Figure 3.16 A simple free-piston Stirling engine with a linear alternator as load. The operation is somewhat similar to that of a kinematic beta Stirling. If all Stirling engines indeed, have, high efficiency, operate with many different heat sources, pollute substantially less than corresponding internal combustion engines, and are quite noise free, how come they have not dominated the world of heat engines The answer is that the kinematic version of the Stirling whose development has consumed a large amount of time, effort, and funds, has some serious, nearly insurmountable...

Alternate Energy Demonstration

During the Alternate Energy Fair at the Farm in Summertown, TN, I was asked by the assistant principal of the local public high school if I could bring some of the ideas and technologies shown at the Fair into his science classrooms next year. I said I would be glad to. We also have a good connection with a science teacher in nearby Lawrenceburg, TN, and several public officials have expressed interest in seeing more, so it feels like an opening has been created for getting the word out about clean, renewable sources of power. I realize, however, that I don't have much of a kit available for use in show-and-tell. Most of the excellent solar devices at the Fair were brought here by participants. SO--I am assembling an ALTERNATE ENERGY DEMONSTRATION KIT for use in school classrooms, Chamber of Commerce meetings, demos for business groups, etc. I could use help of all kinds getting this kit together. If anyone has any small PV panels they would care to donate, and or any solar devices,...

Advanced Development Opportunities

Beyond the R& D required to facilitate commercialization of the industrial derivative engines discussed above, ther e are high-payoff opportunities for engines designed exclusively for solar applications. The Advanced Stirlin g Conversion System (ASCS) program administered by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA ) Lewis Research Center for DOE between 1986 and 1992, with the purpose of developing a high-performance free -piston Stirling engine linear alternator, is an example of a high-risk high-payoff development 20 . An objective o f the ASCS was to exploit the long life and reliability potential of free-piston Stirling engines. Thermodynamically, solar thermal energy is an ideal match to Stirling engines because it can efficiently provide energy isothermally at high temperatures. In addition, the use of high-temperature ceramics or the development o f volumetric Stirling receiver designs, in which a unique characteristic of concentrated solar flux is...

Turning Solar Heat Into Electricity

Producing electricity from the energy in the sun's rays is a straightforward process direct solar radiation can be concentrated and collected by a range of Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) technologies to provide medium to high-temperature heat. This heat is then used to operate a conventional power cycle, for example through a steam turbine or a Stirling engine. Solar heat collected during the day can also be stored in liquid or solid media like molten salts, ceramics, concrete or, in the future, phase-changing salt mixtures. At night, it can be extracted from the storage medium and, thus, continues turbine operation.

Technology Assumptions and Issues

Dish engine systems are not now commercially available, except as engineering prototypes. The base year (1997 ) technology is represented by the 25 kWe dish-Stirling system developed by McDonnell Douglas Aerospace (MDA ) in the mid 1980's using either an upgraded Kockums 4-95 or a STM 4-120 kinematic Stirling engine. The MD A system is similar in projected cost to the Science Applications International Corporation Stirling Thermal Motor s (SAIC STM) dish Stirling system, but has been better characterized. The SAIC STM system is expected to have a peak net system efficiency of 21.9 . The SAIC STM system uses stretched-membrane mirror modules that result in a lower intercept fraction and a higher receiver loss than the MDA system. However, the lower-cost stretched-membran e design and its improved operational flexibility are projected by SAIC to produce comparably priced systems 19 .

Constraints and Opportunities

Two related factors currently limit increased implementation of solar thermal electric systems cost and the lack of pilot-plant demonstrations of technological improvements in a utility setting. Significant cost improvements have been achieved by reducing component and system costs while improving system performance the cost of energy from solar thermal electric systems, which was 600 kWh in 1980, has been reduced to 80 to 120 kWh today. Components that provide further improvement have been developed and are currently being evaluated. Dish electric systems utilizing a stretched-membrane dish integrated with a reflux receiver and a reliable Stirling engine, when developed and mass produced, are projected to cost l,200 kWe. Cost estimates for energy from such a dish electric system are projected to reach 50 kWh, low enough to be competitive in a substantial market'5'. For central receiver technology, there is a need for a 30 to 100 MWe pilot-plant demonstration incorporating improved...

Energy from wave motion

The principle of converting the motion of sea waves into mechanically useful motion is trivial. By inverting the principle of a piston engine the motion of a body floating on waves (replacing the piston) can make a shaft rotate by means of a rod drive, whereas the rotating shaft in turn drives a generator.

Utilization of biogas for the generation of electric power and heat

When current is obtained, normally heat is produced in parallel. Such power generators are called combined heat and power generation plants (CHP) and are normally furnished with a four-stroke engine or a Diesel engine. A Stirling engine or gas turbine, a micro gas turbine, high- and low-temperature fuel cells, or a combination of a high-temperature fuel cell with a gas turbine are alternatives. Biogas can also be used by burning it and producing steam by which an engine is driven, e.g., in the Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC), the Cheng Cycle, the steam turbine, the steam piston engine, or the steam screw engine. Another very interesting technology for the utilization of biogas is the steam and gas power station.

Overall Perspectives on the Renewable Technologies

Another approach employs parabolic dishes, either as single units or in fields, that track the sun. A receiver is place d at the focal point of the dish to collect the concentrated solar energy and heat the system's working fluid. That flui d then drives an engine attached to the receiver. Dish systems also have potential for hybridization, although mor e developmental work is required to realize this potential. In contrast to the other two approaches, which are targeted at plants in the 30 MW and higher range, and which use a single turbine-generator fed by all of the solar collectors , each dish-receiver-engine unit is a self-contained electricity-generating system. Typically, these are sized at about 1 0 to 30 kW. Hence, a larger power plant is obtained by employing a number of these units in concert. With som e interruptions due to changing market conditions, dish systems using Stirling engines have been deployed, with bot h public and private support, for experimental and...

Iiiiiiv

Figure 5.7 Working principle of a Stirling engine. The Stirling engine was recommended for power generation for many years, but was seldom realized on an industrial scale because of technical problems in details. Industrial scale installations are not known in which power is generated from biogas in Stirling engines.

Free energy

Each dish comprises 82 individual mirrors all focused to a single central point (Figure 8-15). This causes a massive amount of heat to be generated at that point which is used to drive a Stirling engine. The Stirling engine produces mechanical movement, which is converted to electrical energy by a conventional generator arrangement (Figure 8-16). Figure 8-16 10 kW solar dish Stirling engine water pump. Image courtesy Sandia National Laboratories Randy Montoya. Figure 8-16 10 kW solar dish Stirling engine water pump. Image courtesy Sandia National Laboratories Randy Montoya.

Technology

The base-year technology (1997) is represented by the 25 kWe dish-Stirling system developed by McDonnell Douglas (MDA) in the mid 1980s. Similar cost estimates have been predicted for the Science Applications Internationa l Corporation (SAIC) system with the STM 4-120 Stirling engine 19 . Southern California Edison Company operated a MDA system on a daily basis from 1986 through 1988. During its last year of operation, it achieved an annua l efficiency of 12 despite significant unavailability caused by spare part delivery delays. This annual efficiency i s better than what has been achieved by all other solar electric systems, including photovoltaics, solar thermal troughs , and power towers, operating anywhere in the world 13,21). The base-year peak and daily performance of near-ter m technology are assumed to be that of the MDA systems. System costs assume construction of eight units. Operation and maintenance (O& M) costs are of the prototype demonstration and accordingly...

Simmons Handcrafts

Driving home from the solar-powered office in my hydrogen-powered, fuel-cell-driven eco-car. I pull off the road at a new hy-station to refuel. Here, hydrogen is produced on site by a combination of PV, wind, and stirling engine technologies. It is stored underground in hydride storage tanks, using the same storage technology as my vehicle. I fill my tanks and I'm on my way home.

Intermittent Sources

Finally, prototype parabolic dish electric systems, totaling about 5 MWe, have been operated in a utility setting in Georgia and in southern California. Prototype dishes with small Stirling heat engines and generators mounted at the focal point of the dish have led to significant increases in system performance and hold the world record for system conversion efficiency from sunlight to electricity (29 ). The Stirling engine configurations may be most appropriate for small, stand-alone applications. U.S. industry involvement in this technology is beginning to increase as the technology approaches cost competitiveness in early markets. Germany, Japan and Spain are also working on small dish system concepts for export.

Further Reading

B. 2000. Theoretical investigations on the Stirling engine working process. Energy Conversion Engineering Conference and Exhibit, 2000. (IECEC) 35th Intersociety, Vol. 1, pp. 24-28. Makhkamov, K., Trukhov, V., Orunov, B., Korobkov, A., Lejebokov, A., Tursunbaev, I., Orda, E., et al. 2000. Development of solar and micro cogeneration power installations on the basis of Stirling engines. Energy Conversion Engineering Conference and Exhibit, 2000. (IECEC) 35th Intersociety, Vol. 2, pp. 24-28. Raggi, L., Katsuta, M., Isshiki, N., and Isshiki, S. 1997. Theoretical and experimental study on regenerative rotary displacer Stirling engine. Energy Conversion Engineering Conference, 1997 IECEC-97. Proceedings of the 32nd Intersociety.

Receivers

The receiver absorbs energy reflected by the concentrator and transfers it to the engine's working fluid. The absorbing surface is usually placed behind the focus of the concentrator to reduce the flux intensity incident on it. An apertur e is placed at the focus to reduce radiation and convection heat losses. Each engine has its own interface issues. Stirling engine receivers must efficiently transfer concentrated solar energy to a high-pressure oscillating gas, usually heliu m or hydrogen. In Brayton receivers the flow is steady, but at relatively low pressures. There are two general types of Stirling receivers, direct-illumination receivers (DIR) and indirect receivers which us e an intermediate heat-transfer fluid. Directly-illuminated Stirling receivers adapt the heater tubes of the Stirling engine to absorb the concentrated solar flux. Because of the high heat transfer capability of high-velocity, high-pressur e helium or hydrogen, direct-illumination receivers are capable of...

Engines

Solar Linear Stirling Engines

Stirling Cycle Stirling cycle engines used in solar dish Stirling systems are high-temperature, high-pressure externally heated engines that use a hydrogen or helium working gas. Working gas temperatures of over 700 oC (1292 F) and as high as 20 MPa are used in modern high-performance Stirling engines. In the Stirling cycle, the working gas i s alternately heated and cooled by constant-temperature and constant-volume processes. Stirling engines usuall y incorporate an efficiency-enhancing regenerator that captures heat during constant-volume cooling and replaces it when the gas is heated at constant volume. Figure 4 shows the four basic processes of a Stirling cycle engine. There are a number of mechanical configurations that implement these constant-temperature and constant-volume processes. Most involve the use of pistons and cylinders. Some use a displacer (a piston that displaces the working gas withou t changing its volume) to shuttle the working gas back and forth from the hot...

Problems

The compressed air (at 300 K) is used to drive a turbine (in the French scheme, a piston engine). Assume that the turbine is ideal isentropic and it delivers an amount of mechanical energy equal to the change of enthalpy the gas undergoes when expanding. How much energy does 1 kilomole of air deliver when expanding under such conditions

Current Activities

The economic potential of dish engine systems continues to interest developers and investors. For example, Stirlin g Energy Systems (SES) has purchased the rights of the MDA technology, including the rights to manufacture th e Kockums 4-95 Stirling engine. SES is working with MDA to revive and improve upon the 1980s vintage system . There is also interest by Allied Signal Aerospace in applying one of their industrial Brayton engine designs to sola r power generation. In response to this interest, DOE issued a request for proposal in the spring of 1997 under the Dish Engine Critical Components (DECC) initiative. The DECC initiative is intended to encourage solarization of industrial engines and involves major industrial partners.

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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