Qnergy, a world leader in the development and manufacture of Stirling-based engines and systems, today announced a major breakthrough in solar thermoacoustic power generation. The company recently set a new world record, using acoustic waves created by solar heat to produce 1 kW of electrical power during a field test completed this month at its test facility in Ogden, Utah.
“This is a milestone achievement for Qnergy,” said Erez Harel, Qnergy CEO, “and it marks a significant step forward in the global quest for reliable, cost effective and highly efficient engine technologies that will power our future.” Added Mr. Harel, “This successful demonstration solidifies Qnergy’s position as a world leader of innovative power solutions designed to meet the world’s commercial, industrial and residential energy needs.”
For the record-breaking test demonstration, Qnergy fitted its third-generation traveling-wave thermoacoustic Stirling engine, the TASE-3, to a solar concentrator at the company’s test facility in Ogden, Utah. Lead Physicist Eran Gonen, TASE-3 Project Director, explains, “The TASE-3 employs the physical interaction between heat and sound to produce acoustic power. As pressurized helium inside the engine is heated above the critical temperature gradient, intense sound waves traveling through the gas are amplified by means of novel heat exchangers set within an acoustical network. The resulting acoustic power is then quietly and reliably converted into grid quality electricity using linear alternators to eliminate any hot moving parts.”
Mr. Gonen stated, “My team and I are thrilled with this successful solar thermoacoustic demonstration. It not only surpasses the previous record of 200 W set last year by researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, but also moves the needle closer toward achieving highly efficient, sustainable, commercial electricity generation utilizing game-changing thermoacoustic technology.”
The company gratefully acknowledges the valuable assistance of the Solar Energy Solutions consortium (SES), which allowed Qnergy to collaborate with leading academic research groups, and provided generous financial support through the MAGNET program of the Office of the Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Economy of Israel.
Qnergy is an energy technology company developing and manufacturing high-efficiency Stirling-based power generation systems for residential, commercial, and industrial installations. A spin-off of Ricor Cryogenic and Vacuum Systems, Qnergy’s Stirling technology has been successfully deployed in power systems for more than 40 years. With facilities in Israel and the United States, Qnergy offers a broad array of energy solutions including micro-combined heat and power (mCHP), solar power generation and solar CHP, remote power generation and more.