>>334461>is the energy output of a system like this equal to photovoltaic panels?
The energy output is equivalent to any standard power plant, its just a different fuel source being used.
The question is, is it as efficient?
And yes, in fact it is. Photovoltaic is about 20% efficient in turning heat radiation into useable electricity, where focused solar gets to be around 30%. But obviously these figures will change as technology evolves.
The other question is, is it cheaper?
And as a matter of fact, no, not at the moment.
Solar pannels are marketed better, and simple to use, so they have come down in price substantially compared to focused solar, which isnt something you can buy at the hardware store, and is normally deployed on an industrial scale such as full scale power plants. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_solar_thermal_power_stations
So, as it stands, photovoltaic is better for powering your garden lights, and concentrated solar is better for powering a city.
And because solar is better for your garden lights, it sells more, which brings costs down while also funding more R&D.
I think, on the scale of a single house generator, i would bet concentrated solar would probably be the more efficient way, when considering space requirements and heat storage. I dont discount solar panels becoming smaller, and more efficient in the future though. I also expect energy storage batteries to evolve a lot too.
The cool thing about a Stirling engine, and why people are getting interested again is because they only need a temperature difference to work.
So say, placed in the arctic over a geothermal heat source, the contrast in the cold air verses the volcanic heat, could keep it running indefinitely.
Same with if you installed one on your roof, the temperature difference inside and outside your home would keep it powered, because you are just displacing hot air.
>That's a fun idea. Sounds like a lot of troubleshooting work, though, lol.
The technology is very well understood, and has been around since the 1800s, also, like i said, it has been deployed on commercial industrial scales. It just needs to be scaled, and marketed.
The other big thing about solar panels that make them market friendly is that they are completely silent, where an engine like the Stirling, while silent in operation, still makes the clickity clack noises you would expect from any moving equipment.
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