Stirling Solar Power

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Privatly held Stirling Energy Systems is in the news today. This company takes the 19th century Stirling engine and pairs it with a solar collector to generate clean energy. “The Stirling engine makes solar power so much more efficiently than photovoltaic solar cells can,” said Robert Liden, chief administrative officer at Stirling Energy Systems Inc. (Phoenix). “That’s because the Stirling solar dish directly converts solar heat into mechanical energy, which turns an ac electrical generator.” The bottom line, he said, “is that large farms of Stirling solar dishes â€��? say, 20,000-dish farms â€��? could deliver cheap solar electricity that rivals what we pay for electricity today.” [ more ] ArsTechnica is also writing about this technology as well. [ more ] I used to work at the Huntington Beach plant of McDonnel Douglas back in the ’80s. They had a working model of this technology in the back lot and they eventually built a small stirling solar farm in the middle of the desert. This technology was my first introduction to alternative energy production. Stirling Energy purchased the patent rights for this technology and are now starting to put it to use. I’m glad to see that it is starting to see the “light of day.” [sorry I couldn’t resist ]