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Sterling Engine vs. Standard Steam Driven Generator

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Posted by Darwin Darakananda on September 17, 2005, 7:02 pm
 
I'm quite new at this, so can anyone give me some places to start
finding these things out?  I'm planing on generating electricity using
heat from solar reflectors and then using the remaining heat as a
source for adsorption chilling.  I'm a bit stuck between chosing the
sterling engine and a normal steam turbine.  Can anyone advise me on
this?

Darwin


Posted by Paul on September 17, 2005, 7:48 pm
 


  It says here about Stirling engine efficiency:

"Typical temperatures range from 650 to 800 degC (1200 to 1470 degF),
resulting in engine conversion efficiencies of around 30% to 40%."

http://solstice.crest.org/renewables/dish-stirling/chapter1/engines.html

  I think of steam turbines as less efficient than Stirlings under the same
conditions. Just a guess though. I would compare the figures for Kramer
Junction concentrator trough turbines with Stirling Engeries dishes.

http://www.stirlingenergy.com/

http://www.solel.com/products/pgeneration/ls2/kramerjunction/  



Posted by Duane C. Johnson on September 17, 2005, 9:09 pm
 Hi Darwin;

First thing to learn is to spell
this engine correctly, "Stirling".


 > I'm quite new at this, so can anyone give me some
 > places to start finding these things out?
 > I'm planing on generating electricity using heat
 > from solar reflectors

I can help out in this area.

 > and then using the remaining heat as a source for
 > adsorption chilling.
 > I'm a bit stuck between chosing the
 > sterling engine and a normal steam turbine.

The simple answer is no example of a reasonably
priced Stirling engine exists. Yes, there are
a few available but the costs are astronomical.

Steam (Rankine) engines are much lower in cost.

 > Can anyone advise me on
 > this?

 > Darwin

Duane

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Posted by Darwin on September 18, 2005, 4:59 am
 
Thanks for the reply.  I did some reading about the concept of the
stirling engine, it doesn't sound too hard to buid.  This site shows it
pretty well.  http://www.bekkoame.ne.jp/~khirata/english/mk_l01.htm .
Is there some issue I overlooked?


Posted by Duane C. Johnson on September 18, 2005, 11:22 am
 Hi Darwin;


 > Thanks for the reply.  I did some reading about the
 > concept of the stirling engine, it doesn't sound too
 > hard to buid.  This site shows it pretty well.
 > http://www.bekkoame.ne.jp/~khirata/english/mk_l01.htm .
 > Is there some issue I overlooked?

Sure. There are numerous examples of "model" Stirling
engines. These are small and generally low in efficiency.

There are also examples of commercial quality Stirlings.
Many were very successful. Especially the 30kW solar dish
Stirling power generator. Several were built. As I recall
the total solar to electric efficiency was 28.5%. However,
these were outrageously expensive at $,000,000 and really
never had the ability to become cost effective.

A couple of years ago I tries to calculate the cost of
just the engine itself. I concluded that they cost about:
$000us/hp
I also did the same for Steam (Rankine) engines:
$50us/hp
And for comparisons the Gas (Otto) engines:
$0us/hp

Don't get me wrong. I'm a fan of Stirling engines.
http://www.redrok.com/engine.htm#stirling
I used one on one of my solar demo dishes. See:
http://www.redrok.com/electron.htm#mrea2001
The problem is they are just too expensive to be practical
yet. Maybe some day.

Steam engines are much more practical and cost effective.

Duane

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     Home of the $5 Solar Tracker      Receiver
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   Powered by             \  \     \        //|
  Thermonuclear   Solar Energy from the Sun / |
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Duane C. Johnson   Designer  \  \  /  \ /    |
1825 Florence St  Heliostat,Control,& Mounts |
White Bear Lake, Minnesota    === \   / \    |
USA      55110-3364                ===   \   |
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