Meeting our technical objectives may prove valuable to NASA scientists involved with the Advanced Stirling Project and/or the Alpha-STREAM project. This proposal fits in well with the Space Power Initiatives, specifically, S3.03 Power Generation and Conversion. The commercial markets for this game changing technology are estimated to be quite large, indeed, provided of course that EAP Stirling engines can come down substantially in price, while achieving the 40% or greater efficiency target. It has been long recognized by NASA that a highly efficient free piston Stirling engine would be useful in many planned space missions. Thus, SFST is motivated and committed to help NASA explore space, while also helping to offset carbon footprints and greenhouse emissions though the development of this renewable energy power source.
Most households obtain electric power from the grid, space heating from a furnace or boiler, and hot water from a gas-fired or electric-resistance water heater. In contrast, residential combined heat and power systems (RCHP) use a prime mover to generate electric power and harness waste thermal energy produced in the power-generation process to provide heat to satisfy space heating, water heating, and, potentially, space cooling loads (e.g., via absorption cooling). The key advantages of Stirling engines include fuel flexibility, controllable emissions, and high thermodynamic efficiency. If these qualities can be proven through a significant amount of additional field test experience in the near future, then Stirling engines may make a significant impact in the distributed generation market as an economically competitive and environmentally "green" alternative to mature distributed generation technologies.