Current Commercial Stirling Engine Ventures

STM Corporation

STM Corporation, formerly known as Stirling Thermal Motors Inc., was founded by Dr. R. J. Meijer (formerly of Philips) who is the holder of numerous patents on the Stirling engine and inventor of the rhombic drive. They own the rights to a great deal of the Patents from the Philips development era, and developed a 40 kW engine used by General Motors in their HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle) programme.

WhisperGen™

WhisperGen™ is a New Zealand based company founded by Don Clucas, a former PhD student at the University of Canterbury. They specialise in gas-fuelled CHP systems for off — grid applications such as remote power or vehicle auxiliary power, as well as on-grid applications such as domestic hot water heating that turns the waste heat back into electricity. Their engines use a unique wobble-yoke design and are a compact and affordable solution.

Sunpower

Sunpower is a privately owned company formed in 1974 by William Beale (see Section 2.2.4). They specialize in free-piston Stirling engines and cryolcoolers, and have made a range of engines producing between 35 W and 7.5 kW. They have achieved a number of technological milestones such as high-frequency engine operation (115Hz), the first successful application of an on-sun solar powered free-piston Stirling engine, the first tuned dynamic vibration absorber and developing for NASA the ASC (Advanced Stirling Converter), a free-piston engine that can run in space from the heat of a radioactive substance.

Infinia

Infinia are a Stirling technology company with a range of Stirling based products. Most notably, they are producing 3 kW solar Stirling parabolic dishes for domestic or remote power generation designed to compete on price and reliability with currently available PV (photovoltaic) technology. They also produce some 1 kW free-piston CHP units and free­piston cryocoolers. Their free-piston engines claim long life and no maintenance through use of flexure couplings and clearance seals in a hermetically sealed casing.

SES

SES, or Stirling Energy Systems, are the manufacturers of the large parabolic dish solar power stations mentioned in Section 1.4. The ‘SES Suncatchers’ will be used in two projects; Solar One, the 850 MW project in the Mojave Desert, and Solar Two, the 900 MW project in Imperial County, Southern California.

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