Dish-Stirling Joint Venture Program Page: 4 of 5
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JOINT VENTURiE PROGRAM
The Department of Energy through its national laboratories has
been developing solar systems to help provide clean energy for the
nation. The systems range in size from huge central receiver power
plants like Solar Two, capable of producing megawatts of electricity
to photovoltaic arrays that simply power one vaccine refrigerator or
CUMMINS AND SANDIA JOIN FORCES
Being perfected now as a joint venture between Cummins Engine
Company and Sandia National Laboratories is a technology that can
supply power for such different users as utility companies and remote
villages. The dish-Stirling solar electric system they are developing uses
the versatility of a Stirling engine, which is powered by a heat source,
and a dish-shaped solar concentrator to provide heat from the sun.
Supported by the DOE since the 1970's, dish-Stirling technology
has reached peak net efficiencies of more than 29 percent, meaning it
can convert more than 29 percent of the sunlight that illuminates the
collector into electricity, a world record. Development costs of the joint-
venture program are being shared equally by Cummins, including its
industrial partners, and the Department of Energy through a 5-year,
$17-million program. Three generations of Cummins dish-Stirling sys-
tems will be fielded and tested at sites across the United States.
For the past few years Cummins, a leading manufacturer of
diesel engines and generators, has been working on dish-Stirling solar
thermal technology to provide existing diesel generator customers
with a new product and to expand Cummins' existing customer base.
Nith the commercialization of dish-Stirling systems and
increased demand, the price to build them is expected to drop, and
consequently, so will the price of electricity they produce. The lower
price, in turn, promises to encourage use of dish-Stirling systems, par-
ticularly on remote areas.
U.S. DIEPAIRTMIENT OF ENERGY AND SANDIA NATIONAL LABORATORIES
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Dish-Stirling Joint Venture Program, report, December 31, 1993; Albuquerque, New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc698821/m1/4/: accessed May 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.