CryoTel® Advantages

Customers have several options when choosing a cryocooler, and we hope to convince the customer why a Sunpower CryoTel® cryocooler is the best choice.

Gas Bearings

Sunpower CryoTel® cryocoolers utilize gas bearings in their design as opposed to flexure bearings. The gas bearing design has several inherent advantages over the flexure bearing.

Gas bearing designs are not dependent on precise piston and displacer initial alignment. For a flexure bearing design the initial alignment of the piston and displacer are critical: Any misalignment or change in alignment will result in reduced performance and lifetime. With our patented gas bearing technology, the piston and displacer are actively centered throughout the life of the cryocooler. This will result in a more accommodating design to environmental conditions such as shock, vibe, thermal, structural, and loading.


Since Sunpower invented free-piston Stirling technology in the 1960’s, we have been continuously improving its reliability. We use non-contacting surfaces to eliminate wear utilizing gas bearings, a hermetically sealed working environment, and adequate design margin to ensure our cryocoolers will have a long life.

Our commitment to reliability paid off, as the current mean time to failure (MTTF) of the CryoTel® cryocoolers (based on an independent 3rd party review) is over 200,000 hours. As a testament to our reliability, NASA has implemented Sunpower free-piston technology in the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator, which requires a 17 year mission life. CryoTel® cryocoolers built using our standard manufacturing processes have been approved for launch in satellites such as RHESSI, with over 131,000 continuous hours, and are currently in use on the International Space Station.

Sunpower stands behind our cryocoolers with a full replacement warranty.  We believe the purchase of a CryoTel® cryocooler is a long-term investment.


Sunpower CryoTel® cryocoolers are the most efficient cryocoolers available on the market.  This means for any particular heat lift, a CryoTel® cryocooler will be the smallest form factor available, and will also draw the least amount of power.  For any size cryocooler,  the CryoTel® will be the smallest.  This is a benefit to customers who are integrating a cryocooler into their product.

Made in the USA

Sunpower CryoTel® cryocoolers are designed, developed, manufactured, assembled and tested in the USA in Athens Ohio.  Sunpower supports domestic sourcing and manufacturing.