San Diego State University - Minds That Move the World

Solar Energy

SDSU ME Senior Projects: Stirling Engine

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SPRING 2009 - FALL 2009

Stirling Engine

Due to rising energy prices and increasing interest in renewable energy sources, there has been a large amount of activity in the field of renewable energy sources engineering recently, particularly in the field of solar energy generation.  Unfortunately, much of the development of said renewable energy generation has been for utilities, limiting the range of practical application to large-output arrays, prohibitively expensive technology, and big assemblies which require large parcels of land.  Our design team attempts to remedy the shortcoming of this development trend by designing a residential-scale solar energy generation platform.  The performance targets for out system were therefore scaled down to suit the average household’s needs in terms of system cost, output power, and space utilization.  A current benchmark for small-scale energy generation is $2 per Watt generated, so we adapted this as a rough target.  As a result, we aim to design a very inexpensive solar system which generates between 500 and 100 Watts, while requiring very little land space.