Stirling Engine Generator Team Selected For ARPA-E Funding For Efficient Residential Combined Heat and Power Generation

June 25, 2015

(North Haven, CT) The Free Piston Stirling Engine Based 1 kW generatorTeam led by Sunpower Inc. (Athens, OH) along with its research partners Precision Combustion, Inc. (PCI) and Aerojet Rocketdyne (Arlington, Virginia) has been selected for a $3,500,000 award from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E)’s GENerators for Small Electrical and Thermal Systems (GENSETS) project, which aims to develop generator technologies that will improve efficiencies in residential Combined Heat and Power (CHP) generation.

ARPA-E awardees are focused on developing entirely new ways to generate, store, and use energy. During the course of the project Sunpower Inc. will design and build a generator based on a free piston Stirling engine with a high-temperature heater head and gas bearings for non-contact operation. PCI will support Sunpower’s efforts by developing an innovative, catalytically-assisted recuperated burner to ensure low exhaust emissions and high efficiency operation while Aerojet Rocketdyne will develop new materials to increase the efficiency of the system by allowing it to operate at high temperatures.

ARPA-E advances high-potential, high-impact energy technologies that are too early for private-sector investment. The GENSETS program is aimed at developing efficient and affordable electric-power generators for use as residential Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems, which capture the generator’s heat output for space and water heating. The GENSETS program aims to develop 1 kW (electric) sized generators that are highly efficient (40 percent or greater), long lasting (10 years or more), low cost ($3,000 or less), and clean.

Kevin Burns, PCI President commented “This is an opportunity to substantially boost the energy efficiency of American homes, and we’re pleased to be providing our advanced combustion technology as part this team.”

Precision Combustion, Inc. is a clean energy technology company developing and manufacturing catalytic devices and systems for energy sector applications.  To learn more, visit

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