Milestones
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1964

William Beale invents the free-piston Stirling engine

'64
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1971

Free-Piston Stirling Engine patent 3,552,120 awarded

'71
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1974

Sunpower incorporated

'74
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1978

RE-1000, the first mature free-piston Stirling engine, delivered

'78
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1980 To Present

Design, development and testing of machines from 35W to 7.5kW, and proven operation on numerous heat sources including solar, gaseous and liquid fossil fuels, biomass and heat pipes

'80 To Present
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1985

First demonstration of a tuned dynamic vibration absorber

'85
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1987

Demonstration of stand-alone diesel fueled free-piston Stirling engine generator to the US Army, first use of a heat pipe heater head

'87
Movie

1988

Demonstration of high-frequency engine operation (115Hz)

'88
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1989

Demonstration of balanced opposed configuration engine arrangement

'89
Movie

1989 To 1994

First successful application of solar powered free-piston Stirling engine (development Units run through 1994)

'89 To '94
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1999

Sunpower creates cryocooler manufacturing operation

'99
Movie

2001

Licensee completed field trial for first free-piston Stirling engine-based household cogeneration appliance

'01
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2002

M77 cryocooler launched on the 2002 RHESSI mission

'02
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2003

Receipt of NASA funded program to develop next generation Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC)
Free-piston linear compressor technology available in household refrigerators

'03
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2003 To 2005

Demonstration of and improvement on highest efficiency, and highest power per unit mass of small free-piston Stirling engine achieved to date

'03 To '05
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2003 To 2010

Developed Engines for long range satellites and space exploration

'03 To '10
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2004

Demonstration of dual opposed, low vibration free-piston Stirling engine configuration at Space Technology and Applications International Forum
Free-piston Stirling cooler technology commercially available

'04
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2005

Demonstration of 20% efficiency of JP-8 to electric power out in a prototype Wearable Power supply for the US Department of Defense (DoD)

'05
Movie

2009

Completion of integration and demonstration to the US Army of a free-piston Stirling engine based, soldier portable, JP-8 fueled generator

'09
Movie

2010

Stirling engine-based household cogeneration appliance commercially available
Transitioned from development of Engines for space flight to manufacturing Stirling engines for space flight

'10
Movie

2011

Expanded capabilities and throughput with a move to a new state-of-the-art facility

'11
Movie

2012

The first successful run of the ASC-E3 Stirling Convertor

'12
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