Patents by Inventor Braden E. Hines

Braden E. Hines has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Publication number: 20180299264
    Abstract: The present invention offers an improvement to existing canting, slope error, and/or pointing measurement approaches, by using one or more cameras to observe the reflections of points of light in the firmament, such as the reflections of stars and/or planets as visible within the night sky in the heliostat facets. An illustrative heliostat measurement system comprises a plurality of heliostats, and at least one camera that observes at least one heliostat. The heliostats reflect an image of the firmament that can be observed by the at least one camera. The system further comprises (i) at least one captured image of the firmament reflected from at least one of the heliostats; and (ii) a computer comprising programming that determines a heliostat imperfection from the captured image, wherein the heliostat imperfection is selected from at least one of a slope error, a canting error, and a pointing error.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 17, 2016
    Publication date: October 18, 2018
    Applicant: SOLARRESERVE TECHNOLOGY, LLC
    Inventor: Braden E. Hines
  • Patent number: 9939177
    Abstract: The present invention relates to apparatus and methods to provide a control system for the purpose of redirecting light from a source onto a target. The present invention appreciates that the optical properties of light that is both modified and/or distributed, e.g. by diffraction, diffusion, or some other process, and also redirected by a heliostat, can be a function of how the light redirecting element is aimed. This means that the aim of the light redirecting element can be precisely determined once the aim of the modified and/or distributed light is known. Advantageously, the characteristics of modified and/or distributed light indicative of how that light is aimed can be determined from locations outside the zone of concentrated illumination in which sensors are at undue risk.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2018
    Assignee: SOLARRESERVE TECHNOLOGY, LLC
    Inventors: Braden E. Hines, Richard L. Johnson
  • Patent number: 9910127
    Abstract: The present invention relates to apparatus and methods to provide a control system for the purpose of redirecting light from a source onto a target. The present invention appreciates that the diffraction pattern for light that is both diffracted and re-directed by a heliostat is a function of how the light redirecting element is aimed. This means that the aim of the light redirecting element can be precisely determined once the aim of the diffracted light is known. Advantageously, the characteristics of diffracted light indicative of how the diffracted light is aimed can be determined from locations outside the zone of concentrated illumination in which sensors are at undue risk. This, in turn, means that diffracted light characteristics can be detected at a safe location, and this information can then be used to help precisely aim the light redirecting element onto the desired target, such as a receiver in a CSP system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2018
    Assignee: SOLARRESERVE TECHNOLOGY, LLC
    Inventors: Braden E. Hines, Richard L. Johnson
  • Patent number: 9910156
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to systems, devices and methods utilizing a proxy device that indicates directional aspects of redirected light from a corresponding light redirecting element by the position of one or more redirected light beams in one or more directions or coordinates on such a proxy device. The position characteristics of light redirected from the proxy device correlate to the aim of the light redirecting element associated with the proxy. This allows the proxy information to be used to accurately determine and control the aim of the light redirecting element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2018
    Assignee: SOLARRESERVE TECHNOLOGY, LLC
    Inventor: Braden E. Hines
  • Patent number: 9606340
    Abstract: The present invention relates to apparatus and methods to provide a closed loop pointing system for the purpose of redirecting light from a source onto a target. In one aspect the present invention relates to a method of redirecting incident light, comprising the steps of: using at least one light redirecting element to redirect the incident light; providing a plurality of optical proxies that are associated with the reflecting element in a manner such that at least two of the optical proxies distribute a portion of the incident light uniquely relative to each other, wherein optical information encoded in the light distributed by the optical proxies cumulatively correlates to the aim of the light redirecting element; observing the optical information distributed by the optical proxies; and using the optical information to controllably actuate the light redirecting element in a manner that aims the redirected light onto a target.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2017
    Assignee: SOLARRESERVE TECHNOLOGY, LLC.
    Inventors: Braden E. Hines, Terry J. Bailey, Richard L. Johnson, Jr.
  • Publication number: 20160195302
    Abstract: The present invention relates to apparatus and methods to provide a control system for the purpose of redirecting light from a source onto a target. The present invention appreciates that the optical properties of light that is both modified and/or distributed, e.g. by diffraction, diffusion, or some other process, and also redirected by a heliostat, can be a function of how the light redirecting element is aimed. This means that the aim of the light redirecting element can be precisely determined once the aim of the modified and/or distributed light is known. Advantageously, the characteristics of modified and/or distributed light indicative of how that light is aimed can be determined from locations outside the zone of concentrated illumination in which sensors are at undue risk.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 14, 2012
    Publication date: July 7, 2016
    Inventors: Braden E. Hines, Richard Johnson
  • Publication number: 20150241678
    Abstract: The present invention relates to apparatus and methods to provide a closed loop pointing system for the purpose of redirecting light from a source onto a target. In one aspect the present invention relates to a method of redirecting incident light, comprising the steps of: using at least one light redirecting element to redirect the incident light; providing a plurality of optical proxies that are associated with the reflecting element in a manner such that at least two of the optical proxies distribute a portion of the incident light uniquely relative to each other, wherein optical information encoded in the light distributed by the optical proxies cumulatively correlates to the aim of the light redirecting element; observing the optical information distributed by the optical proxies; and using the optical information to controllably actuate the light redirecting element in a manner that aims the redirected light onto a target.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 24, 2013
    Publication date: August 27, 2015
    Inventors: Braden E. Hines, J. Terry Bailey, Richard L. Johnson, JR.
  • Publication number: 20150160345
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to systems, devices and methods utilizing a proxy device that indicates directional aspects of redirected light from a corresponding light redirecting element by the position of one or more redirected light beams in one or more directions or coordinates on such a proxy device. The position characteristics of light redirected from the proxy device correlate to the aim of the light redirecting element associated with the proxy. This allows the proxy information to be used to accurately determine and control the aim of the light redirecting element.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 27, 2013
    Publication date: June 11, 2015
    Applicant: SOLARRESERVE, LLC
    Inventor: Braden E. Hines
  • Publication number: 20140209147
    Abstract: The present invention relates to photovoltaic power systems, photovoltaic concentrator modules, and related methods. In particular, the present invention features concentrator modules having interior points of attachment for an articulating mechanism and/or an articulating mechanism that has a unique arrangement of chassis members so as to isolate bending, etc. from being transferred among the chassis members. The present invention also features adjustable solar panel mounting features and/or mounting features with two or more degrees of freedom. The present invention also features a mechanical fastener for secondary optics in a concentrator module.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 7, 2014
    Publication date: July 31, 2014
    Applicant: Suncore Photovoltaics, Inc.
    Inventors: Steven A. Cashion, Michael R. Bowser, Mark B. Farrelly, Braden E. Hines, Howard C. Holmes, Richard L. Johnson, JR., Richard J. Russell, Michael F. Turk
  • Publication number: 20140110560
    Abstract: The present invention relates to apparatus and methods to provide a control system for the purpose of redirecting light from a source onto a target. The present invention appreciates that the diffraction pattern for light that is both diffracted and re-directed by a heliostat is a function of how the light redirecting element is aimed. This means that the aim of the light redirecting element can be precisely determined once the aim of the diffracted light is known. Advantageously, the characteristics of diffracted light indicative of how the diffracted light is aimed can be determined from locations outside the zone of concentrated illumination in which sensors are at undue risk. This, in turn, means that diffracted light characteristics can be detected at a safe location, and this information can then be used to help precisely aim the light redirecting element onto the desired target, such as a receiver in a CSP system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 14, 2012
    Publication date: April 24, 2014
    Applicant: SOLARRESERVE, LLC
    Inventors: Braden E. Hines, Richard L. Johnson
  • Patent number: 8697983
    Abstract: The present invention relates to photovoltaic power systems, photovoltaic concentrator modules, and related methods. In particular, the present invention features concentrator modules having interior points of attachment for an articulating mechanism and/or an articulating mechanism that has a unique arrangement of chassis members so as to isolate bending, etc. from being transferred among the chassis members. The present invention also features adjustable solar panel mounting features and/or mounting features with two or more degrees of freedom. The present invention also features a mechanical fastener for secondary optics in a concentrator module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2014
    Assignee: Suncore Photovoltaics, Inc.
    Inventors: Steven A. Cashion, Michael R. Bowser, Mark B. Farrelly, Braden E. Hines, Howard C. Holmes, Richard L. Johnson, Jr., Richard J. Russell, Michael F. Turk
  • Patent number: 8674527
    Abstract: Some embodiments relate to an energy storage and generation system, comprising a cable system having a first end portion located at a first elevation and a second end portion located at a second elevation, a plurality of mass carriers supported by the cable system, one or more motor generators coupled with the cable system and with an energy grid, a control system in communication with at least the one or more motor generators, a first mass pile area configured to store mass medium positioned at the first elevation, and a second mass pile area configured to store mass medium positioned at the second elevation that can be higher than the first elevation. The one or more motor generators can move the cable system in an energy storing state and be moved by the cable in an energy generating state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2014
    Assignee: Energy Cache, Inc.
    Inventors: Aaron D. Fyke, James T. Baker, Braden E. Hines, William T. Gross, Christian T. Gregory
  • Publication number: 20120298181
    Abstract: The present invention relates to photovoltaic power systems, photovoltaic concentrator modules, and related methods. In particular, the present invention features concentrator modules having interior points of attachment for an articulating mechanism and/or an articulating mechanism that has a unique arrangement of chassis members so as to isolate bending, etc. from being transferred among the chassis members. The present invention also features adjustable solar panel mounting features and/or mounting features with two or more degrees of freedom. The present invention also features a mechanical fastener for secondary optics in a concentrator module.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 29, 2012
    Publication date: November 29, 2012
    Inventors: Steven A. Cashion, Michael R. Bowser, Mark B. Farrelly, Braden E. Hines, Howard C. Holmes, Richard L. Johnson, JR., Richard J. Russell, Michael F. Turk
  • Patent number: 8242350
    Abstract: The present invention relates to photovoltaic power systems, photovoltaic concentrator modules, and related methods. In particular, the present invention features concentrator modules having interior points of attachment for an articulating mechanism and/or an articulating mechanism that has a unique arrangement of chassis members so as to isolate bending, etc. from being transferred among the chassis members. The present invention also features adjustable solar panel mounting features and/or mounting features with two or more degrees of freedom. The present invention also features a mechanical fastener for secondary optics in a concentrator module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 15, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2012
    Inventors: Steven A. Cashion, Michael R. Bowser, Mark B. Farrelly, Braden E. Hines, Howard C. Holmes, Richard L. Johnson, Jr., Richard J. Russell, Michael F. Turk
  • Patent number: 8153944
    Abstract: A tracking concentrator with a positioning system for alternately aiming the tracking solar concentrator based on the sun or a database is disclosed. The preferred positioning system comprises a sensor adapted to detect an incident light level; a tracking database comprising solar angle information; an orientation processor; one or more actuators for aiming the one or more optical elements based on the orientation processor; wherein the orientation processor is configured to track the sun based on (a) the receiver if the sensed light level exceeds a determined threshold, and (b) the tracking database if the sensed light level does not exceed the determined threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 3, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2012
    Assignee: Energy Innovations, Inc.
    Inventors: Braden E. Hines, William Gross
  • Publication number: 20110285147
    Abstract: Some embodiments relate to an energy storage and generation system, comprising a cable system having a first end portion located at a first elevation and a second end portion located at a second elevation, a plurality of mass carriers supported by the cable system, one or more motor generators coupled with the cable system and with an energy grid, a control system in communication with at least the one or more motor generators, a first mass pile area configured to store mass medium positioned at the first elevation, and a second mass pile area configured to store mass medium positioned at the second elevation that can be higher than the first elevation. The one or more motor generators can move the cable system in an energy storing state and be moved by the cable in an energy generating state.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 19, 2011
    Publication date: November 24, 2011
    Applicant: ENERGY CACHE, INC.
    Inventors: Aaron D. Fyke, James T. Baker, Braden E. Hines, William T. Gross, Christian T. Gregory
  • Publication number: 20110094563
    Abstract: The present invention provides shade tolerant wiring solutions for solar systems. Elements are grouped and wired in parallel within a group such that the total current of a group is substantially the same among multiple groups. Such a wiring scheme can be applied to solar targets (e.g., solar cells), solar , and solar modules.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 15, 2009
    Publication date: April 28, 2011
    Inventors: James T. Baker, Charles R. Haythornthwaite, Braden E. Hines, Richard L. Johnson, JR., Michael F. Turk
  • Patent number: 7688525
    Abstract: A hybrid optical component that collects and concentrates incident light. The hybrid component includes both refractive and reflective elements. In preferred embodiments, refractive and reflective components focus rays on a common focal plane generally located at the bottom of the reflector where they are absorbed by a device such as a photovoltaic (solar) cell. Additionally, the optical component combines both imaging and non-imaging optical elements into a single device, for improved overall performance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2010
    Assignee: Soliant Energy, Inc.
    Inventors: Braden E. Hines, Richard L. Johnson, Jr.
  • Publication number: 20100032004
    Abstract: The present invention provides shade tolerant wiring solutions for solar systems. Elements are grouped and wired in parallel within a group such that the total current of a group is substantially the same among multiple groups. Such a wiring scheme can be applied to solar targets (e.g., solar cells), solar , and solar modules.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 15, 2009
    Publication date: February 11, 2010
    Inventors: James T. Baker, Charles R. Haythornthwaite, Braden E. Hines, Richard L. Johnson, JR., Michael F. Turk
  • Publication number: 20100018570
    Abstract: The present invention relates to photovoltaic power systems., photovoltaic concentrator modules, and related methods. In particular, the present invention features concentrator modules having interior points of attachment for an articulating mechanism and/or an articulating mechanism that has a unique arrangement of chassis members so as to isolate bending, etc. from being transferred among the chassis members. The present invention also features adjustable solar panel mounting features and/or mounting features with two or more degrees of freedom. The present invention also features a mechanical fastener for secondary optics in a concentrator module.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 15, 2009
    Publication date: January 28, 2010
    Inventors: Steven A. Cashion, Michael R. Bowser, Mark B. Farrelly, Braden E. Hines, Howard C. Holmes, Richard L. Johnson, JR., Richard J. Russell, Michael F. Turk