## 222 Increasing Speed

Engine-driven power generators typically must run at fixed (synchronous) speeds to maintain a constant 50 or 60 Hz output. In the 60 Hz market, common operating speeds are 900, 1200, 1800, and 3600 rpm. Substantial power output increases can be achieved by increasing synchronous operating speed. Table 2.2 shows the dramatic effect on installed cost if speeds are increased. The increase in power output has an exact inverse effect on unit installed cost. Note that a modest increase in cost could be encountered due to higher strength requirements for reciprocating members in higher speed engines. However, at the low speeds listed, the effect is not strong.

TABLE 2.2

Decrease of Capital Cost with Increased Engine Speed

TABLE 2.2

Decrease of Capital Cost with Increased Engine Speed

Speed |
Power |
Cost |

900 ^ 1200 rpm | ||

900 rpm |
365 kW |
$300/kW |

1200 rpm |
480 kW |
$227/kW |

1200 ^ 1800 rpm | ||

1200 rpm |
480 kW |
$300/kW |

1800 rpm |
725 kW |
$200/kW |

In the TARGET program, the base engine typically operated at 1500 rpm for 50 Hz applications and at 1200 rpm for 60 Hz. Running at 1800 rpm, which is within the engine's original design capability, will enable greater electric power output at the same BMEP.

## Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

The solar Stirling engine is progressively becoming a viable alternative to solar panels for its higher efficiency. Stirling engines might be the best way to harvest the power provided by the sun. This is an easy-to-understand explanation of how Stirling engines work, the different types, and why they are more efficient than steam engines.

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