International Off-Grid Market Assessment for Dish/Stirling Systems

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    Several features of dish/Stirling technology offer potential advantages for off-grid power generation. Dish/Stirling technology's size, modularity, the ease with which it might be hybridized with a storable fuel, the elimination of batteries and inverters, and the production of pure sine-wave AC power without a diesel all indicate that a reliable dish/Stirling module could fit well into anoff-grid electrification scheme. At the same time, a combination of factors makes success in off-grid applications difficult, regardless of the technology under consideration. Obstacles include consumer expectations (formed by a long history of subsidies) that electricity should be cheap, existing support infrastructure, and the economic resources of rural communities. Cost is always a factor,but reliability and access to parts and services have been more significant bariers so far in the establishment of renewables. This paper summarizes a much more extensive market assessment. Initial research indicates that a reliable 25 kW dish/Stirling system with reasonable servicing requirements could compete well with other off-grid power systems at a cost considered achievable at earlyproduction levels ($3,500 per kW). However, by itself the off-grid power market in regions with adequate solar insolation and inviting political regimes does not justify an adequate scale of production. It is estimated that the aggregate market in fiv of the largest and most promising countries for which adequate information was available could be 23,000 - 38,000 units of 25 kW dish/Sterlingsystems. Including the rest of the developing world could more than double this number. However, at a reasonable initial market penetration rateof 1% per year this market is not sufficient, by itself, for the mass production rates required to achieve the necessary economies of scale.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages6
    StatePublished - 1998
    Event1998 American Solar Energy Society Annual Conference - Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Duration: 14 Jun 199817 Jun 1998


    Conference1998 American Solar Energy Society Annual Conference
    CityAlbuquerque, New Mexico

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/CP-210-25582


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