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Stirling Solar Engine Design Report

Prepared for Professor Kee S. Moon, Ph.D. Project Advisor Fletcher J. Miller, Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering 490A May 18, 2009
Stirling Solar Team Members
James Baker Tyler Shaw Todd Meyer II Chelsea Tabor 619-519-2427 619-208-4325 858-729-4713 858-663-0860 jamesbaker@rocketmail.com shawlawrence@gmail.com t.k.meyer2gmail.com Chel.tabor@gmail.com

Due to rising energy prices and increased 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 applications to large-output arrays, prohibitively expensive technology, and big assemblies which require large parcels of land. Our design team attempts to remedy the shortcomings of this development trend by designing a residential-scale solar energy generation platform. The performance targets for our 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 1000 Watts, while requiring very little land space. Currently, the market for residential solar energy systems is dominated by so-called “flat panel” photovoltaic systems. These are identified by their characteristic flat black, rectangular panels and can be seen on rooftops and small parcels of residential land (see Figure 1). The appeal of this technology is their cheap manufacturing cost relative to market alternatives, which will be discussed shortly. However, there are compromises in that flat panel photovoltaic systems have low efficiencies per unit area,...

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