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/2006/03/03/9600241_SunPower_Micro_Cogeneration/
You are here:
PureEnergySystems.com > News > March 3, 2006

Sunpower Unveils 2007 Micro Co-Generation Technology

Device uses Stirling engine to efficiently burn natural gas to generate heat and 1 kW of electricity.  Designed for kitchen installation in Europe.  Brings distributed energy concept home.

by Tim Ventura
AmericanAntigravity


Click here
to view Tim Ventura's interview with a Sunpower representative at the STAIF conference.
(Google Video)

STAIF 2006 product-exhibitor Sunpower Inc. unveiled the Microgen Combined Heat & Power (microCHP) system, an innovative electrical co-generation unit scheduled to hit the European consumer market in 2007 through British appliance distributor Microgen, Inc. The Microgen system is powered by natural gas and utilizes a free-piston Stirling-cycle engine to generate both a kilowatt of 50hz electrical energy in addition to home water-heating for domestic cooking & home-heating systems.

The Sunpower/Microgen marketing strategy is to target residential homes in Western Europe currently utilizing natural-gas fired boilers typically mounted on a kitchen cabinet. The high-reliability and low operating noise of the Microgen free-piston Stirling design allows the company to replace these boilers with a co-generation unit featuring both the low-noise and high-reliability of a kitchen refrigerator, while additionally producing a kilowatt of direct electrical energy and complete home-water heating needs.

The Microgen system takes a unique approach to generating electricity, as pressure-waves in liquid drive the Stirling-cycle piston through an alternator to produce current. The pressure wave itself is created by a large temperature differential when the gas-flame heats the top of the Stirling engine while the bottom of the engine is cooled by an incoming water-return from a radiator system. Thus, the device is essentially powered by waste-heat redirected for water & radiative heating, which in turn sets up the required pressure-differential to power the electrical generation unit.

This 3-minute interview takes place during the device's first public showing at STAIF 2006, where we get a rare cutaway-view of the internal components and an engineering overview in what's next in free-piston Stirling-cycle technology. The technology itself is flexible & scalable enough to allow future versions of the device to run on oil, liquid petroleum gas, and a variety of other fuels. The final selling point for this technology is it's compliance with Kyoto environmental-treaty regulations -- with the claim that if every home in the UK utilized this new Microgen technology, it could contribute to as much as 25% of the UK's required Kyoto-treaty obligations.

# # #

SOURCES

See also

Page posted by Sterling D. Allan March 3, 2006
Last updated December 24, 2014

 

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