Enough solar energy hits the Earth’s surface in one hour to power the globe for a year. So it is no surprise that large-scale Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) is emerging as one of the most promising sources of renewable energy for the 21st century. But harnessing this energy requires a breakthrough solution. A solution that is more affordable. A solution that is big enough to meet tomorrow’s power needs but modular enough to deliver today. A solution that won’t consume our limited water resources to make electricity.
That solution is called SunCatcher™…and it is designed and built right here in America by Stirling Energy Systems, Inc. (SES) of Phoenix, Arizona.
SunCatcher™ is a solar electric power system that uses a parabolic dish to concentrate the sun’s energy 1,300 times and uses a unique Stirling Cycle engine to convert this energy into clean, renewable power. SunCatcher™ is truly a next generation solution:
World record for highest efficiency conversion of solar energy into grid electricity
And unlike most CSP solutions, the only water SunCatcher™ uses is to wash the mirrors!
Public-Private Partnerships |
30 Years of Collaboration
In 1978, engineers at Ford Motor Company began developing early designs of a solar-powered Stirling engine that would eventually lead to development of what we know today as the SunCatcher™ Power System. Through the years, companies like McDonnell-Douglas and Boeing worked to improve the technology and the design.
In 1996, SES was formed to develop this technology and bring it to market. It bought the earlier designs and went to back to the lab, working in a public-private partnership with Sandia National Laboratories and US Department of Energy. Some of leading engineers and scientists in the world have perfected the design of the SunCatcher™ and created a system that is now ready to be manufactured and deployed in world-scale power plants.
This is one solution that makes some sense for the sun belt. Both sun and wind are not always there – as the Europeans found often when needed the most (the wind doesn’t always blow, and the sun doesn’t always shine (even in the sun belt, night comes). But this and other technologies could be a part of our future energy solutions.