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Development and qualification of an innovative 5 kw linear free piston stirling dish

The project is focused on the development of a 5 kwe stirling dish employing a new concept of concentrator, a new generation of solar receiver that may include hybrid operation and/or storage option, and a free piston stirling engine; allowing a reduction of the system's cost down to 2 euros/watt.

The project is focused on the development of a 5 kWe (Kilowatt) Stirling Dish employing a new concept of concentrator, a new generation of solar receiver that may include hybrid operation and/or storage option, and a free piston Stirling engine; allowing a reduction of the cost of the system down to 2 euros per Watt for a production of more than 50,000 units/year (as opposed to 3-5 euros per Watt in existing CSP technologies). Moreover, the resulting Stirling Dish system will achieve an overall solar to grid efficiency around 25%, reducing also the costs when compared with photovoltaic installations of comparable power output and with comparable life expectancy. The project will be carried out in two stages: 1) In the first stage the development of the Stirling engine, the concentrator and a solar receiver will take place. During this time, detailed feasibility studies and configuration options for hybridisation and storage in the receiver will be performed. Two complete units (concentrator, engine and solar receiver) will be manufactured and tested, one in SPAIN and one in ISRAEL. 2) In the second stage, the detailed design and integration of a second generation receiver, derived from the feasibility studies of phase one will be made. Two new receivers will be manufactured and tested in two new units. Once the four complete units are built, it will be possible to compare directly production levels, maintenance and operation costs, etc. for both technologies (only-solar versus solar + hybridisation/storage mode) in two different places and insolation levels, as there are at Seville (SPAIN) and at Ein Harod Ihud (ISRAEL). Start-up and performance evaluation during a complete year will be made. Development will take place on the materials and the components side. Adequate performance qualification through known and repeatable measurement methods like photogrametry and deflectometry will be used for result verification. The new Stirling dish concept will be based on a two stage innovative design allowing the motor to be placed next to the primary reflector looking to the second stage and with its centre of gravity very close to the centre of gravity of the first stage geometry. The target cost for such a concentrator, including the secondary concentrator, is 1 euro per Watt for a production of more than 50,000 units/year. The new optical concept will generate a new light pattern with different concentration pattern and angular apertures compared to the current 3D parabolic concepts ones. A new concept of receiver will be thus developed capable of working at steady state temperatures over 700 degrees Celsius while allowing temporary increases in temperature of up to 850 degrees Celsius. The possibility of including hybridisation and/or storage will greatly facilitate decreasing the ratio of euro/kW for this technology. A further relevant objective within this project is the development of a more reliable Stirling engine. The free piston 5kW Stirling engine (FPSE) being developed by RICORSOLAR provides remarkably greater power than any other production-line FPSE being manufactured today. The target cost for the complete power conversion ensemble (hybrid receiver + engine + electric conversion package) is 1 euro per Watt for a production of more than 50,000 units/year. This is a realistic price given the highly automated machine tooling line RICORSOLAR has at its facilities enabling uninterrupted and precise component manufacturing. This price includes a MTBF (mean time before failure) specification for the engine of 25,000h (95% reliability at 90% level of confidence). The consortium joins in itself the full expertise required for the complete development, testing and production chain. ABENGOA SOLAR NEW TECHNOLOGIES, Europe's pioneer in CSP plant development, testing and marketing will develop the concentrator. RICORSOLAR, the worldwide leader in Stirling Cryocoolers for vacuum and cryogenics applications will develop the Stirling free piston engine. Both parties will collaborate in the development of the receivers and will carry out the assessment of the performance of the dishes to be built in each country.
Acronym: 
MOREnergy
Project ID: 
5 833
Start date: 
01-07-2010
Project Duration: 
54months
Project costs: 
2 710 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Solar/Thermal energy
Market Area: 
Solar energy

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