Research Projects

Low Cost Solar Thermal Electric Generation

Seth R. Sanders, Mike Miao He, Parimalram Achintya Madduri and Artin Der Minassians

One of the primary challenges facing the growth of solar electric power generation is the high cost required for photovoltaic technology. Solar thermal technology has the potential to provide comparable power at a much lower cost, leading to a more competitive technology with wider deployment. The goal of my project is to develop a solar thermal electric generation system that offers power at a low enough cost to be competitive. We are focusing on developing a free-piston Stirling engine powered by low-cost non-tracking solar collectors.