Open Energy and Infinia to Develop Solar Powered Stirling Engine

In a recently signed agreement that integrates Open Energy’s solar concentrating technology with Infinia’s proprietary free piston Stirling engine to produce renewable energy using concentrating solar power (CSP), the two companies expect their solar electric power generation system to be revolutionary.

The engineering teams at Infinia and Open Energy believes that the Suncone CSP concentrating solar power system can be modified to deliver more than 700 degrees centigrade of solar thermal energy to Infinia’s engine, thus generating electricity on a cost-effective basis. “We are very excited by the potential of this combined effort,” stated David Saltman, president and CEO of Open Energy. “Infinia is already commercializing a 1 kW engine for residential heating and electricity in Asia and Europe. We will begin our product development utilizing a modified version of this engine to prove out the feasibility of the Suncone/Stirling system, before developing a larger version for distributed generation applications.” Infinia’s free piston Stirling engines are currently used for aerospace and national security applications, where a high degree of reliability and long, maintenance-free service life is required. Operating without internal combustion, a Stirling engine utilizes high temperature differentials to drive a piston and produce electricity. “We have already achieved solid results with a dish Stirling system at our facility in eastern Washington and have made significant progress on our larger engines,” said J.D. Sitton, CEO of Infinia Corporation. “By working with Open Energy, we believe we can accelerate the development and commercial availability of these truly important and unique solar power generation systems. Our companies share a similar goal — to fundamentally change how the world generates and uses energy — and our engineering teams are hard at work to make this happen.”
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