Would a Stirling Engine work with your parabolic collectors?

A Stirling engine is another example of a heat engine which could work in the place of our ORC engine. The choice of engine design is motivated by ease of construction (number of machined parts, tolerances, etc.), cost, and complexity of design. Our organization has chosen to focus on the ORC engine as we feel it provides a simpler design that is easier to teach, construct, and maintain. Initial analysis has also shown that the capital cost of an ORC engine will be competitive or lower than that of a Stirling engine for the system sizes we are targeting.

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Does STG have a patent on this technology?

STG was awarded a patent on this technology in the USA on March 13, 2012. Patent number 8,132,409 can be viewed here. We also have a similar patent application pending in India (submitted May, 2008).

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I would like to use a solar ORC as an example in curriculum that I am teaching/developing. How can I learn more?

As a general background to parabolic trough technology, NREL’s troughnet is a good resource, as is Duffie and Beckman’s “Solar Engineering of Thermal Processses.” For info on the organic Rankine cycle we use, any thermodynamics textbook should have some discussion on it, and an introduction written by our colleague Sylvain Quoilin can be found here. The following links are also good places to find information about these types of solar energy systems:

Power From The Sun
Sandia National Labs Energy Page
CSP Today


Principles of Solar Engineering
Concentrating Solar Power Technology Developments

World Bank report

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I would like to build one of these systems. Is it possible to get a copy of the plans?

Unfortunately, we are not currently releasing plans for our microgenerator systems. Our deployment strategy is coupled with intensive training of a local manufacturing partner, with the end-goal of handing off rights for local manufacture and sales to this organization. Because we work diligently to maximize the impact we generate for every dollar we raise, we are not currently able to support training or implementation of single-system installations.

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