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What is the SunCatcher?

SES SOlar Panel DiagramThe SES SunCatcher is a 25 kW solar power system that has been designed to automatically track the sun and focus solar heat onto a power conversion unit (PCU). This in turn converts the intense heat to grid-quality electricity. The concentrator consists of a 38-foot diameter dish structure that supports 82 curved glass mirror facets, each three feet by four-feet in area. These mirrors concentrate solar energy onto the heater head of a high efficiency, 4 cylinder reciprocating Stirling cycle engine, generating up to 25 kW of electricity per system.

Stirling Engine

SES Stirling Engine diagramThe Stirling Engine used by SES has been an industry test bed for various applications including automotive, solar, gas and diesel fuelled power. The particular engine used in this project is the 4-95 engine (4 cylinder, each 95cc displacement) that evolved from the Philips engines of the 1960's. United Stirling of Sweden carried out the bulk of this work in the 1960's and 70's with technology transfer to the USA to develop automotive applications during the oil crisis.