Solar Stirling Plant

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What is the book “Solar stirling plant” all about?

The Solar Stirling Plant is a book with all essentials for designing the components of the solar stirling plant. The ebook presents the essential detail for designing the complete stirling plant setup. The book is an interesting read, at least that’s what I felt.

The engineering drawings of the components, will be able to guide the reader to design the system to scale. Support materials for stirling schematics and stirling assembly are helpful.

Since you are already interested in a new type of free energy, you might already know that the Solar Stirling Plant is by far the most effective and efficient mean for producing electrical energy.

What will I get from the book?

The guide has four chapters:

First chapter presents a useful introduction to the Stirling Engine.

Second chapter discusses the details of the components, the Stirling engine and the parabolic collector.

Third chapter elaborated on the construction process giving details of building the parabolic reflector dish and the designing the stirling engine.

The simple and step by step procedure to construct the parabolic reflector with different materials for gaining experience and to precisely design the ultimate is a useful exercise.

Fourth chapter covers the assembly of the stirling motor generator elaborating on the required components and a flow chart of the energy conversion using a layout of the assembly.  The role of each component in the assembly is explained.

 

Components
What is a stirling engine?
If you haven’t heard of a stirling engine previously, it is a heat engine that converts heat energy to mechanical energy by cyclic compression and expansion of a gas. Solar stirling engine is a device which converts solar thermal energy to mechanical energy which is converted to electrical energy.

It is a cost effective and promising gadget for solar electricity compared to the photovoltaic panels.

Types:  There are two types of stirling engines.  They are alpha Stirling and beta Stirling engines.  Alpha Stirling engine has two power pistons in separate cylinders, one hot and other cold.

alpha_stirlingAlpha-type Stirling engine. There are two cylinders. The expansion cylinder (red) is maintained at a high temperature while the compression cylinder (blue) is cooled. The passage between the two cylinders contains the regenerator.
The beta type has a single power piston within the same cylinder on the same shaft. This is known as displacer piston.stirling_animationBeta-type Stirling engine. There is only one cylinder, hot at one end and cold at the other. A loose-fitting displacer shunts the air between the hot and cold ends of the cylinder. A power piston at the end of the cylinder drives the flywheel.

How does it work?

Solar Stirling engine components: Solar parabolic collector and Stirling engine.

The parabolic collector will focus the sunlight to a point focus.  The directed sun rays heat the gas contained by a piston, causing its expansion in the piston of the Stirling plant. 

The compression of the gas at the colder region of the Stirling engine completes the reversible cycle of mechanical power generation, generating electricity.

How much does it cost to build a solar stirling plant?

The actual fabrication cost of the Stirling plant will vary from place to place. However an estimate of USD 400/- for a small plant is projected by the author.

A small plant can reduce the electricity consumption of a family of four persons, from the grid by about 40%. In order to meet the whole electricity demand from the Solar Stirling Plant, the number of the Stirling plants can be increased as the plant is modular.

Pros

The image of the fabricated parabolic collector has been provided which could serve as the reference material during fabrication of the solar parabolic collector. The author has also provided the additional information on maintenance and future improvements with regard to the material choice and addition of more number of solar stirling plants to meet the increase in need of energy.

Cons

The image of the assembled Solar Stirling plant is not available. The engineering drawing of the components though will be useful, the individual image of the parabolic collector, stirling plant and the system as a whole will make the comparison informative during the fabrication.

Verdict

The book provides what it promises, it teaches you how to build a stirling plant and provides with the necessary information

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