07 April 2011

Solar Sterling engine combined heating and power

I just came across this amazing contraption. It's a solar powered Sterling engine that generates electricity, hot water, heating, and and absorption chiller for air conditioning. I saw it in Solar Today magazine. It is a wild, almost Dr. Seuss-like contraption that generates electricity through solar thermal. A Sterling engine works on thermal expansion and compression of a fluid in a closed system, unlike a steam engine which relies on pressure to fill and push a cylinder and is then exhausted. The system is called DiGeSPo - Distributed combined heat and power Generation from small size concentrated Solar Power. It uses an evacuated solar tube collector with a parabolic concentrator for the heat source. Pretty nifty. Apparently there are two sizes, a 1-3 kW and a 3-6 kW. Not yet on the market. I also don't know the heating and cooling output.

1 comment:

Caleb Crawford said...

One thing I neglected to mention was the multifunction aspect of the design. I recall early attempts at multifunction technology - the TV+VCR for example. Inevitably one part would go down, then the whole unit was basically trash. The iphone and the multifunction printer/copier/fax changes that dynamic. Machines such as this are the future. Think about your refrigerator, stove, hot water heater, AC, boiler, and other devices that emit and require heat all being linked, thus energy is conserved.