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Sustainable development goals of the UN are very important, and several countries have adopted policies & regulations adhering to these goals. Emission of greenhouse gases and air pollution from conventional internal combustion engines is detrimental to the environment and human health. Alternatives to conventional internal combustion (IC) engines are under research, development and demonstration phase. Stirling engine is very clean alternative to IC engines. Although Stirling engines were developed more than 200 years ago, they were not commercially viable due technological restraints. With advancement of technology, the usage of Stirling engine has been gaining traction in past few years.
Based on the configuration, the Stirling engine market can be segmented in alpha, beta, gamma, and others. These three configurations are most popular, but other configurations are under study. Based on the application, Stirling engine market is divided into heating and cooling, solar power generation, marine engines, and others. Marine engines and combined heating, cooling, and power (CHP) are major applications of Stirling engines. Usage of Stirling engines for concentrated solar power plants is under study. Based on end-user, the Stirling engine market is segmented in residential, commercial, utility, and others.
Key Market Driver -
Key Market Driver – Increase in demand clean source of energy
Key Market Restraint -
Key Market Restraint – Commercial viability of the equipment
The major market driver for the global Stirling engine market is the increasing demand for a clean and emission-free alternative to conventional IC engine. Stirling engines can run on waste heat and with high thermal efficiency. The Stirling engines have greater fuel versatility and offer better performance as compared to IC engine alternatives.
The major market restraint for the global Stirling engine market is the commercial viability of the Stirling engine. They have higher weight and volume and hence incur more cost of construction.
Some of the major companies that are present in the Stirling engine market are Stirling Ultracold, Division of Global Cooling, Inc., Swedish Stirling AB, Genoa Stirling, Microgen Engine Corporation, Qnergy, Solar Impulse Foundation, Azelio, Ametek.Inc., Genoastirling S.r.l., and Ace Energy.
The global Stirling engine market has been spread into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa. Stirling engine technology was used in Swedish submarines designed and built by the Kockums shipyard in Sweden. These submarines used air-independent propulsion (AIP) technology for operation. Sweden, China, and Japan are using Stirling AIP technology to power their submarine, and several of the submarines are under construction or planned for retrofit. Stirling engines can be used for combined functions of heating, cooling and power generation.
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Stirling engines are preferred to other alternatives in the current times. The Stirling engines are under research, development and demonstration phase. Stirling engines have potential to replace petroleum-powered internal combustion engines, and hence countries like USA, Germany, China, etc. are sponsoring research to develop a commercially viable Stirling engine. The next breakthrough in Stirling engine technology will come from European, Chinese or American institutions.
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