Chronicling the Infinia PowerDish installation at Tooele Army Depot, Utah, USA
With the first dish planned for installation next month, the question continually arises – how exactly does the PowerDish work?
The core of the PowerDish lies in Infinia’s free piston Stirling generator. A proprietary technology, Infinia’s Stirling generator can uniquely convert a variety of heat sources like solar, biogas, and natural gas into electrical energy.
Infinia has been perfecting this technology since 1985. What’s unique is that no moving parts in the free piston Stirling generator touch, it does not need water, and once the generator is made, it is hermetically sealed so it will literally run for 25 years, maintenance free.
Infinia’s Stirling technology is proven. To date, our generators have over 1.5 million operating hours, and have had successful applications in everything from artificial hearts to space probes, and now – solar power generation.
The versatility of fuel (i.e., solar or bio-fuel) sources for the Stirling generator also makes its applications diverse and has allowed us to explore many new and emerging markets around the world – from the Tooele installation in North America, India, Bangladesh, Italy, Greece, Saudi Arabia and Chile – to name a few.
The PowerDish CSP unit concentrates the reflected solar thermal energy from the glass dish surface onto the ‘hot end’ of the Stirling engine, thus concentrating the heat and in turn enabling the generator produce electricity.
The PowerDish is the world’s first Stirling-based solar power generation system that is suitable for automotive-scale manufacturing making it scalable for deployment from small distribution-scale arrays to multi-megawatt, utility-scale solar power plants.
Mike Ward, Infinia’s CEO and former Autoliv president (tier 1 automotive supplier known for manufacturing excellence) has been a critical link in bringing mass-manufacturing expertise and evolving efficiency in production. As large-scale PowerDish projects rollout at Tooele and around the world, we are excited to set a new standard of generator and PowerDish production.
VP Business Development, Infinia Corporation