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European project DiGespo about solar energy -

thermodynamic solar system


The DiGeSPo project (Distributed CHP Generation from small size concentrated Solar Power) aims to research and build a modular 1-3 kWel, 3-9 kWth micro Combined Heat and Power (m-CHP) system based on innovative Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) and Stirling engine technology.

This CSP m-CHP unit will provide electrical power, heating and cooling for single and multiple domestic dwellings and other small commercial, industrial and public buildings. 


It integrates small scale concentrator optics with moving and tracking components, solar absorbers in the form of evacuated tube collectors, a heat transfer fluid, a Stirling engine with generator, and heating and/or cooling systems.  

The solar power plant is based on a series of small 40 cm parabolic mirrors that concentrate solar radiation onto an evacuated tube through which thermal fluid flows, and is heated to temperatures of 250-350°C.

This enables a stirling engine to simultaneously co-generate heat and electricity by recovering the engine’s heat.

Our target is to achieve 60-70% global efficiency compared to incident solar radiation.

DiGeSPo intends to incorporate this small thermodynamic solar powered and hybrid system into residential buildings, in an architecturally acceptable manner and with low visual impact, that will generate heat and electricity.


The project covers the whole of the R&D chain from initial concept to development, modeling, including simulation of each sub-module; production and testing of prototypes, production and field trials of full system prototypes.


The project partners provide appropriate experience and skills for the whole chain including scientific research, pre-competitive development, prototype manufacturing and integration, testing and demonstration. 


The partners are:


El.Ma. is engaged with:

  • development and production of solar cogeneration systems, mainly by the use of parabolic trough and cylindrical dishes

  • sun tracker and moving systems

  • control of the plant (hardware and software)


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