Parabolic SolarStirling Sun Catcher

Even though there have been many technological gains in Photovoltaic panels in the last year, I still do not see a “tipping point” where companies are putting them on their buildings as a matter of course. Or even often…

In some respects I think a building should be a building and a power plant should be a power plant. Mixing the two together just complicates things and makes it expensive.

However on the Industrial power production side this year has seen huge growth in solar power.

This is the typical solar power production style.

http://www.nrel.gov/csp/troughnet/solar_field.html

Power companies seem to be comfortable with this configuration since it is very much like a coal/wood/trash burning plant. The heat is just generated differently.

This is a new form by Stirling Energy. It is a  breakthrough design that has advantages since it can be mass produced as individual units and the initial investment is less.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/research/4288743.html

For years people have been looking for a good application for the sterling engine. Looks like they finally found it.

Update 07/29/09: The folks at Stirling Energy have simplified their design a great deal, making them even more economically competative

http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/23079/

-Tech Dennis

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