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The DiGeSPo project aims to research and build a modular 1-3 kWe, 3-9 kWth micro Combined Heat and Power (m-CHP) system based on innovative Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) and Stirling engine technology. This CSP m-CHP unit will provide electrical power, heating and cooling for single and multiple domestic dwellings and other small commercial, industrial and public buildings. It integrates small scale concentrator optics with moving and tracking components, solar absorbers in the form of evacuated tube collectors, a heat transfer fluid, a Stirling engine with generator, and heating and/or cooling systems.
The solar power plant is based on a series of small 40 cm parabolic dishes that concentrate solar radiation onto an evacuated tube through which thermal fluid flows, and is heated to temperatures of 250-350°C. This enables a stirling engine to simultaneously co-generate heat and electricity by recovering the engine’s heat. Our target is to achieve 60-70% global efficiency compared to incident solar radiation.
DiGeSPo intends to incorporate this small thermodynamic solar powered and hybrid system into residential buildings, in an architecturally acceptable manner and with low visual impact, that will generate heat and electricity. The project covers the whole of the R&D chain from initial concept to development, modelling including simulation of each sub-module; production and testing of prototypes, production and field trials of full system prototypes. Full dissemination and exploitation plans will be developed.
ARES unit is the Project Coordinator, both for financial aspects and technical issues where it is more involved in simulation, development and partial prototypation of solar concentrator, cogeneration unit and novel valved Stirling engine.