Patents by Inventor Zachary S. Judkins

Zachary S. Judkins 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: 20200153357
    Abstract: A multi-inverter system with at least a string of inverters sharing a DC bus and outputting to a shared AC bus. Inverters are hot-swappable and configured to be turned on or off during powered cycles. Central control may comprise reducing power point tracking redundancies or promoting other operational changes at individual inverters of a group.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 21, 2019
    Publication date: May 14, 2020
    Applicant: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Patrick L. Chapman, Zachary S. Judkins, Jacob Marshall
  • Patent number: 10498253
    Abstract: A multi-inverter system with at least a string of inverters sharing a DC bus and outputting to a shared AC bus. Inverters are hot-swappable and configured to be turned on or off during powered cycles. Central control may comprise reducing power point tracking redundancies or promoting other operational changes at individual inverters of a group.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2019
    Assignee: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Patrick L. Chapman, Zachary S. Judkins, Jacob Marshall
  • Publication number: 20190341806
    Abstract: A photovoltaic system includes groups of solar cells that can be switched in and out of the photovoltaic system. In response to detecting initiation of rapid shutdown, a control circuit controls a switch device to switch out a group of solar cells to lower the output voltage of the photovoltaic system below a safety level. In response to detecting a release trigger that indicates resumption of normal operation, the control circuit controls the switch device to switch back the group of solar cells to restore the output voltage of the photovoltaic system to a normal operating level. Solar cells may be switched out by disconnecting them from the photovoltaic system and switched back by reconnecting them into the photovoltaic system. Solar cells may also be switched out by shorting them out of the photovoltaic system and switched back in by removing the short.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 16, 2019
    Publication date: November 7, 2019
    Applicant: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Zachary S. JUDKINS, Jonathan L. EHLMANN
  • Publication number: 20190312159
    Abstract: Reconfigurable PV panels can have features that include cut lines for separating full panels into smaller subpanels, connector ribbons for assembling several reconfigurable PV panels into a one-dimensional or two-dimensional array and can be stacked upon each other and unstacked by rotating them about a shared connection.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 5, 2019
    Publication date: October 10, 2019
    Applicant: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Zachary S. Judkins, David C. Okawa, Brian S. Wares, Tamir Lance, Patrick L. Chapman
  • Patent number: 10396593
    Abstract: A photovoltaic system includes groups of solar cells that can be switched in and out of the photovoltaic system. In response to detecting initiation of rapid shutdown, a control circuit controls a switch device to switch out a group of solar cells to lower the output voltage of the photovoltaic system below a safety level. In response to detecting a release trigger that indicates resumption of normal operation, the control circuit controls the switch device to switch back the group of solar cells to restore the output voltage of the photovoltaic system to a normal operating level. Solar cells may be switched out by disconnecting them from the photovoltaic system and switched back by reconnecting them into the photovoltaic system. Solar cells may also be switched out by shorting them out of the photovoltaic system and switched back in by removing the short.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 5, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2019
    Assignee: SUNPOWER CORPORATION
    Inventors: Zachary S. Judkins, Jonathan L. Ehlmann
  • Publication number: 20180309381
    Abstract: A multi-inverter system with at least a string of inverters sharing a DC bus and outputting to a shared AC bus. Inverters are hot-swappable and configured to be turned on or off during powered cycles. Central control may comprise reducing power point tracking redundancies or promoting other operational changes at individual inverters of a group.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 2, 2018
    Publication date: October 25, 2018
    Applicant: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Patrick L. Chapman, Zachary S. Judkins, Jacob Marshall
  • Patent number: 10006665
    Abstract: A sun-tracking solar drive can include hardware and/or be operated in accordance with a method in which angular deviations are compensated for operation including during forward tracking and backtracking. For example, the effects of thermal expansion and mechanical slop associated with certain components can be calculated and used for calculation of target angles that can provide for increased power output and improved shading avoidance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2018
    Assignee: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Jason Ray Maxey, Shawn Joseph Mercy, Zachary S. Judkins
  • Patent number: 9923374
    Abstract: A photovoltaic system includes solar cells and an inverter configured to convert direct current generated by the solar cells to alternating current. The photovoltaic system includes a maximum power point (MPP) tracking module configured to perform MPP tracking for the photovoltaic system. The MPP tracking module is configured to detect shading of the solar cells and to modify its MPP tracking to prevent tracking of local MPPs. The MPP tracking module may be incorporated in the inverter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2018
    Assignee: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Zachary S. Judkins, Keith Johnston
  • Patent number: 9897346
    Abstract: A solar concentrator assembly is disclosed. The solar concentrator assembly comprises a first reflector facing in a first direction, a second reflector facing in a second direction, the second direction opposite the first direction, and a rotational member having a long axis transverse to the first and second directions, the rotational member disposed between and coupled to each of the first and second reflectors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2018
    Assignee: SUNPOWER CORPORATION
    Inventors: Ryan Linderman, Zachary S. Judkins, Brian Wares, Charles Almy
  • Patent number: 9735729
    Abstract: A photovoltaic string may include an open circuit voltage limiter that conducts current in one direction to provide a limiter voltage less than an open circuit voltage of the photovoltaic string, and that conducts current in the other direction. One or more open circuit voltage limiters may be connected across the photovoltaic string or across selected groups of solar cells of the photovoltaic string. The limiter voltage may be greater than a maximum power point voltage but less than the open circuit voltage of the photovoltaic string.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2017
    Assignee: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Keith Johnston, Zachary S. Judkins
  • Publication number: 20170025995
    Abstract: Devices for reducing the open circuit voltages of solar systems are described. In one embodiment, a solar system includes a string of a plurality of solar modules having an open circuit voltage. The solar system also includes a device for reducing the open circuit voltage of the string of the plurality of solar modules during an open circuit configuration.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 7, 2016
    Publication date: January 26, 2017
    Inventors: Steven M. Kraft, Kevin Fischer, Greg Beardsworth, Zachary S. Judkins, Keith Johnston
  • Publication number: 20160365733
    Abstract: A photovoltaic system includes solar cells and an inverter configured to convert direct current generated by the solar cells to alternating current. The photovoltaic system includes a maximum power point (MPP) tracking module configured to perform MPP tracking for the photovoltaic system. The MPP tracking module is configured to detect shading of the solar cells and to modify its MPP tracking to prevent tracking of local MPPs. The MPP tracking module may be incorporated in the inverter.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 14, 2016
    Publication date: December 15, 2016
    Applicant: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Zachary S. JUDKINS, Keith JOHNSTON
  • Patent number: 9472691
    Abstract: Devices for reducing the open circuit voltages of solar systems are described. In one embodiment, a solar system includes a string of a plurality of solar modules having an open circuit voltage. The solar system also includes a device for reducing the open circuit voltage of the string of the plurality of solar modules during an open circuit configuration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2016
    Assignee: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Steven M. Kraft, Kevin Fischer, Greg Beardsworth, Zachary S. Judkins, Keith Johnston
  • Patent number: 9397611
    Abstract: A photovoltaic system includes solar cells and an inverter configured to convert direct current generated by the solar cells to alternating current. The photovoltaic system includes a maximum power point (MPP) tracking module configured to perform MPP tracking for the photovoltaic system. The MPP tracking module is configured to detect shading of the solar cells and to modify its MPP tracking to prevent tracking of local MPPs. The MPP tracking module may be incorporated in the inverter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2016
    Assignee: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Zachary S. Judkins, Keith Johnston
  • Patent number: 9322963
    Abstract: A solar concentrator assembly is disclosed. The solar concentrator assembly comprises a first reflective device having a first reflective front side and a first rear side, a second reflective device having a second reflective front side and a second rear side, the second reflective device positioned such that the first reflective front side faces the second rear side, and a support assembly coupled to and supporting the first and second reflective devices, the second reflective device positioned to be vertically offset from the first reflective device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2016
    Assignee: SUNPOWER CORPORATION
    Inventors: Ryan Linderman, Zachary S Judkins, Brian Wares, Charles Almy
  • Publication number: 20160079914
    Abstract: A photovoltaic (PV) system is disclosed. The PV system can include a first and a second tracker that includes a first and a second plurality of PV collection devices. The PV system can include a first motor configured to adjust an angle of the first tracker. The PV system can include an inverter coupled to an output of the first plurality of PV collection devices. The inverter can include a first local controller comprising control circuitry configured to control the first motor. In an example, the inverter can be a string inverter. In one example, the inverter can a block inverter coupled to an output of the first and second plurality of PV collection devices. The PV system can also include a power collection unit, where the power collection unit can be coupled to the first plurality of PV collection devices and include the first local controller.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 14, 2015
    Publication date: March 17, 2016
    Inventors: Junbo Wu, Keith Johnston, Chen-An Chen, Zachary S. Judkins
  • Publication number: 20160036380
    Abstract: A photovoltaic string may include an open circuit voltage limiter that conducts current in one direction to provide a limiter voltage less than an open circuit voltage of the photovoltaic string, and that conducts current in the other direction. One or more open circuit voltage limiters may be connected across the photovoltaic string or across selected groups of solar cells of the photovoltaic string. The limiter voltage may be greater than a maximum power point voltage but less than the open circuit voltage of the photovoltaic string.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 15, 2015
    Publication date: February 4, 2016
    Applicant: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Keith JOHNSTON, Zachary S. JUDKINS
  • Patent number: 9249044
    Abstract: A sag-bending glass mold for creating a partial parabolic-curved glass sheet is disclosed. The glass mold comprises a glass-support surface having a cross-sectional profile of varying height. The cross-sectional profile has a first portion with profile of a non-parabolic, linear-square root composite shape. A method for forming a partial parabolic glass sheet is also disclosed. The method comprises positioning a planar glass sheet on a sag-bending mold having a linear-square root composite shape and deforming the glass sheet to follow the linear-square root composite shape of the sag-bending mold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 2, 2016
    Assignee: SUNPOWER CORPORATION
    Inventors: Zachary S. Judkins, Benjamin C. Bourne, Amine Berrada
  • Publication number: 20150377518
    Abstract: A sun-tracking solar drive can include hardware and/or be operated in accordance with a method in which angular deviations are compensated for operation including during forward tracking and backtracking. For example, the effects of thermal expansion and mechanical slop associated with certain components can be calculated and used for calculation of target angles that can provide for increased power output and improved shading avoidance.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 27, 2014
    Publication date: December 31, 2015
    Inventors: Jason Ray Maxey, Shawn Joseph Mercy, Zachary S. Judkins
  • Patent number: 9190839
    Abstract: A photovoltaic string may include an open circuit voltage limiter that conducts current in one direction to provide a limiter voltage less than an open circuit voltage of the photovoltaic string, and that conducts current in the other direction. One or more open circuit voltage limiters may be connected across the photovoltaic string or across selected groups of solar cells of the photovoltaic string. The limiter voltage may be greater than a maximum power point voltage but less than the open circuit voltage of the photovoltaic string.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 17, 2015
    Assignee: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Keith Johnston, Zachary S. Judkins