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Aug 10, 2014

Segway Inventor Dean Kamen Thinks His New Stirling Engine Will Get You Off The Grid For Under $10K

Posted by in categories: energy, engineering

Christopher Helman — Forbes

Kamen's Beacon 10 Stirling engine. (Courtesy Deka Research)
For the new issue of Forbes Magazine I wrote an article about David Crane, the visionary CEO of NRG Energy . When I met Crane for lunch a couple weeks ago, no sooner had we sat down than he began singing the praises of this new contraption he had in his basement. The machine — which can generate 10 kilowatts of continuous power, fed by Crane’s natural gas line — is a new iteration of an old creation, the Stirling engine. This version, called the Beacon 10, was created after a decade of engineering by famed inventor Dean Kamen.

I caught up with Kamen (who is best known for creating the Segway scooter) over the phone last week to ask him about the device. “We’ve turned his basement into an extension of our laboratory,” said Kamen. “It’s certainly not a machine made for the typical home, but he has a gigantic swimming pool and a huge house.”

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