Dish-Stirling plants are a suitable solution for decentralised applications. The main advantage is that this concept does not need water for cooling purposes in the conversion cycle. They are non-dispatchable plants and the production is stopped when clouds pass. Some research is being conducted on advanced storage and hybridization systems. The typical size of a single parabolic dish module is 10kW to 25kW. Parabolic dishes are driven by a Stirling engine. This technology is flexible in size as each dish runs independently from the others. The largest current installation has a total power of 1,5 MW in Maricopa, Arizona (USA). There is another one of 1 MW in the province of Cuenca in Spain. Some 10 MW projects amounting to 70 MW have been approved under the current feed-in-tariff system in Spain and there will be in operation in 2013.
Uses parabolic dish to concentrate solar radiation on a Stirling engine
Has high net solar to electrical efficiency with low water consumption
Is highly modular and suitable for both small stand-alone, decentralized off-grid power systems and large grid-connected power systems
Size: 3 kW to 25 kW per unit
Several small scale installations in operation; utility-scale installations slated for construction in 2010
Applications appropriate for both utility-scale projects and stand-alone distributed energy projects