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Ogden — Qnergy, an Israel-based manufacturer of Stirling-based engines and systems, has announced a 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 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," said Erez Harel, Qnergy CEO.
For the 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. 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 converted into grid-quality electricity using linear alternators to eliminate any hot moving parts."
The previous record of 200 watts was set was held by researchers last year by researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.