Titan Tracker claims to have made a breakthrough in using Stirling engines for utility-scale solar energy generation.

Titan Tracker, a Spanish company specialising in the design and manufacturing of dual-axis solar trackers, claims its new development could make concentrating solar power (CSP) technology more reliable, efficient and cheaper.

In a recently published report, it says: “Recent advances in Stirling engine development seem to have solved the initial problems of reliability and real track records are available with efficiencies approaching 30%."

Titan Tracker says that research has not, until now, focused on the solar tracker aspect of CSP. “The Stirling technology necessarily requires dual-axis solar trackers with a full range of motion, i.e. tracking through the full range of the angular trajectory of the sun.

Within these, there are two main groups: single central support or mono-poles (MSP) and multiple supports or carousel (SBP)." The company claims that its new product has significant advantages over conventional single pole PST and carousel SBP solutions.

It believes that the Stirling engine is the most promising CSP technology because it has higher potential cost savings, scalability, higher efficiency, lower water requirements and reduced land requirements.

The report says: “Currently there are many companies in the process of developing new Stirling engines for solar power in the range of 1-3 kW (residential) 5-9 kW (industrial) and 25-30 kW (utility-scale). The potential market is really huge, not only on-grid applications but also for remote ‘off-grid’ in the main markets such as the USA, China, India and MENA [Middle East and North Africa] because of solar resources."