Including Sun Position Tracking Sensor Patents (Class 126/573)
  • Patent number: 11630179
    Abstract: A heliostat calibration system having a system controller, and a heliostat having a heliostat controller, wherein: the system controller is configured to receive a calibration data point and initial calibration offset angle guess, calculate a tracking error, identify a calibration offset angle, and the heliostat controller configured to transmit a calibration data point, receive adjustment instructions, and execute the adjustment instructions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2021
    Date of Patent: April 18, 2023
    Assignee: Light Manufacturing, Inc.
    Inventor: William Quinn Marsh
  • Patent number: 11626831
    Abstract: A rack, especially for photovoltaic modules, consists of a rounded, shaped guide, on which a main frame is fitted via at least three bearing-fitted grips, with an upper frame being attached to the top of the main frame in at least two support points, the upper frame being further connected to the main frame via linear actuators. The main frame is based on the guide by means of track rollers, whose number is equal to the number of support points, and at least two anchoring elements are located on the outer perimeter of the guide, the anchoring elements arranged in at least two points within an angular distance not smaller than 15 degrees from each other. A driving chain is anchored in a non-stationary fashion on anchoring elements to the guide, from the outer side of the guide and in the lower part of the guide, and a driving mechanism is attached to the main frame, the driving mechanism consisting of a driving toothed element, connected to a motor, and of tension rollers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 11, 2023
    Inventor: Grzegorz Kazimierz Bierzyński
  • Patent number: 11626832
    Abstract: Solar trackers that may be advantageously employed on sloped and/or variable terrain to rotate solar panels to track motion of the sun across the sky include bearing assemblies and other mechanical features configured to address mechanical challenges posed by the sloped and/or variable terrain that might otherwise prevent or complicate use of solar trackers on such terrain.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2021
    Date of Patent: April 11, 2023
    Inventors: Yezin Taha, Amitoj Gill
  • Patent number: 11512944
    Abstract: To provide a sheet-like structure capable of highly accurately estimating a sheet-like shape. A sheet-like structure includes a sheet-like member and a plurality of detection sensors. The sheet-like member extends along an in-plane direction orthogonal to a thickness direction and receives light incident on the sheet-like member. The plurality of detection sensors are dispersedly arranged on the sheet-like member along the in-plane direction and are for detecting an incident angle of the light with respect to the sheet-like member at each arrangement position of the plurality of detection sensors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 29, 2022
    Assignee: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
    Inventors: Osamu Mori, Ralf Christian Boden, Javier Hernando Ayuso
  • Patent number: 11437950
    Abstract: A method for reducing shading in a photovoltaic plant, said photovoltaic plant includes a plurality of solar trackers, made up of one or more photovoltaic panels, arranged in adjacent parallel rows at a given predetermined distance; an actuator, controlled by a tracker controller, which enables each solar tracker to rotate independently regarding the other solar trackers of the row around said North-South axis; and a control system which includes a communication network enabling a bidirectional communication between each tracker controller and a central control unit which controls the photovoltaic plant. The method uses an algorithm executed by a processor of the central control unit, which determines a tilt angle (?) for each solar tracker in each row inputted in the algorithm, using constant and variable data of each solar tracker, and by selecting either a first (“Morning”) or a second configuration (“Afternoon”).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2022
    Inventors: Irene Muñoz Benavente, Javier Guerrero Pérez, Jose Alfonso Teruel Hernández
  • Patent number: 11319937
    Abstract: An urban concentrated solar power for mounting on a roof top is provided. The urban concentrated solar power has a heat receiver has a non-circular duct that distinguishes an insulated area with an insulation layer on the outer surface of the non-circular duct and a non-insulated area. The non-circular duct contains a heat transferring fluid which can reach temperatures of at least 500 degrees Celsius. A parabolic trough with an aperture of below 2 meters concentrates sunlight onto the non-insulated area of the non-circular duct of the heat receiver. The heat receiver can be placed in a glass tube. Due to roof top mounting the electricity can be generated in proximity of the user and as a result decrease net congestion. The low-cost heat receiver design will make electricity generated by urban CSP competitive with electricity from fossil fuel plants and PV combined with lithium-ion battery storage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 6, 2020
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2022
    Assignee: HPM Holding B.V.
    Inventors: Hendrikus Petrus Maria Arntz, Gianluigi Trivelli, Claudio Raggi
  • Patent number: 11262103
    Abstract: A system and method for localization and calibration of a heliostat is disclosed. The system comprises a controller and a camera configured to acquire images of a plurality of heliostats. The controller and camera are configured to acquire a first image of the plurality of heliostats, move one of the plurality of heliostats, acquire a second image of the plurality of heliostats, generate a difference image by subtracting the second image from the first image, identify the heliostat that was moved based on the difference image, and calibrate the position or orientation of the heliostat based on the difference image. The difference image is generated by pixel-wise subtraction of the second image from the first image. The pixel-wise subtraction exposes the heliostat and enables the calibration of the position and/or orientation of known heliostat positions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2022
    Assignee: HELIOGEN, INC.
    Inventors: Alexander Sonn, William Gross
  • Patent number: 10916858
    Abstract: An antenna assembly tunable from remote comprising a main reflector a sub-reflector associated with the main reflector, and a feed adapted receive transmission illuminating the main reflector via the sub-reflector, or to transmit transmission to the main reflector via the sub-reflector. The sub-reflector comprising a plurality of actuators disposed over and attached to its outer face. Each of the actuators is adapted to locally deform the surface of the sub-reflector adjacent to that actuator in response to a change in the actuator position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 9, 2021
    Assignee: NSL COMM LTD
    Inventors: Daniel Spirtus, Raz Itzhaki-Tamir, Daniel Rockberger
  • Patent number: 10775079
    Abstract: The time for steam generated in a low temperature heating device to reach a saturated steam temperature is reduced a low temperature heating device configured to heat supplied water by using heat of sunlight to generate steam; a steam separation device configured to separate two-phase water-steam fluid generated in the low temperature heating device into water and steam; and a high temperature heating device configured to heat the steam separated in the steam separation device by using heat of sunlight reflected by a plurality of heliostats to generate superheated steam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 15, 2020
    Inventors: Kohei Shinozaki, Takahiro Marumoto, Kazuhito Koyama
  • Patent number: 10557646
    Abstract: A solar tracker system comprising a plurality of on sun trackers and a plurality of off sun tracker. Each tracker is selectively adjusted to achieve a desired power output of the solar power plant system in an example.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 10, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 11, 2020
    Assignee: NEXTracker Inc.
    Inventors: Yu Dong Ma, Yang Liu, Francesco Borrelli, Allan Daly, Ricardo Delgado-Nanez, Alexander W. Au
  • Patent number: 10436478
    Abstract: Solar collector modules and techniques for their construction are disclosed. In one aspect, a solar collector module includes a reflector and a three-dimensional structural frame that supports the reflector. The structural frame includes a set of primary structural shapes and a set of axial frame members connected between corners of the primary structural shapes forming helical paths for the transmission of torque from one end of the structural frame to the other. In another aspect, a method for assembling a solar collector module includes pre-assembling part of the module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 19, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2019
    Assignee: Abengoa Solar LLC
    Inventors: Joseph Eisinger, Kerry Manning, Patrick Marcotte, Nathan Stegall
  • Patent number: 10359215
    Abstract: A tracking system for a solar collector is disclosed. The tracking system includes at least two polarization cameras and a tracking controller configured to: determine orientations of maximal intensity of polarized light received from the at least one heliostat mirror; generate radial lines based on the orientation of maximal intensity of polarized light from the at least one heliostat mirror; determine a position of the sun based on an intersection of the radial lines; and re-orient the at least one heliostat mirror based on the determined position of the sun. In the preferred embodiment, the sun position may be determined based on radial lines corresponding to three or more cameras mounted around the receiver aperture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2019
    Inventor: James Baker
  • Patent number: 10267676
    Abstract: A non-power-driven photometer is provided, the photometer comprising: a body; and multiple narrow angle photoreceivers (narrow angle probes) formed in the body, wherein the multiple narrow angle probes receive light in the atmosphere, which is incident over a range of different azimuth angles, and allow the characteristics of the atmosphere to be analyzed with reference to the relationship between the received light and the azimuth angle of the narrow angle probe corresponding to the received light. According to the present invention, since the photometer is driven without being supplied with power, light intensity measurement can be performed in a short time. Further, since light intensity measurement can be performed with no movement or only a short-distance movement of a vehicle or airplane equipped with the photometer, the problem of errors caused by differences in the time and location of measurement can be prevented.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2019
    Inventor: Kyu Young Choi
  • Patent number: 10184883
    Abstract: A meteorological tower is provided in a flux site and a solar array is positioned on the tower to provide power. A laser on the tower receives power from the solar array and produces a laser beam. A multiplicity of individual laser absorption spectroscopy gas cells positioned on the meteorological tower collect samples of the atmosphere. An optical cable connects the laser to each of individual las cell and direct the laser beam into each cell. Each cell includes a multiplicity of mirrors positioned so that the laser beam makes a multiplicity of passes through the samples. An analyzer associated with the cells receives the laser beam after the laser beam has made the multiplicity of passes through the sample of the atmosphere and the analyzer detects concentrations of isotopes of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in concomitance of other gas concentrations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2019
    Assignee: Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC
    Inventors: Tiziana C. Bond, Mihail Bora, Jessica L. Osuna, Sonia Wharton
  • Patent number: 10157945
    Abstract: A solid state imaging device for a wafer-level pinhole camera module is provided by using a mask transfer technique to form, with a high degree of precision, pinhole openings in a light-shielding material formed upon cover glass covering the surfaces of imaging elements for wafer-level camera modules, and then dicing. Also provided is a manufacturing method therefor. Further provided is a compound-eye camera system in which a plurality of pinhole openings are formed. It is also possible to impart an apodization effect by changing the cross-sectional shape of the opening in the light-shielding material to a tapered shape to thereby change the transmission characteristics thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 18, 2018
    Assignee: SETECH CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Hirokazu Sekine
  • Patent number: 10132687
    Abstract: Devices, systems, and methods are disclosed for attaching a sensor system to luminaires of a variety of shapes and sizes. Specifically, a 3D sensor clip is disclosed with adjustable components configured to attached the 3D sensor clip to a luminaire such as to adjust the position of a color sensor in the 3D sensor clip relative to a luminaire. Devices, systems, and methods are also disclosed for using visual light communication (VLC)/dark light communication (DLC) for communications in a lighting system, including automated identification of luminaires.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2018
    Assignee: Gooee Limited
    Inventors: Simon Coombes, Shmuel Silverman
  • Patent number: 10128791
    Abstract: Structures and methods for supporting solar panels are provided. The structure includes a plurality of tee extrusions, a plurality of legs, a plurality of trusses, a plurality of ridge rails, and a plurality of clips. The tee extrusions form two parallel tracks upon which the legs are secured. The legs project upward from the extrusions and are coupled to the trusses, which are above and perpendicular to the trusses. At least four legs support each truss. The ridge rails sit on the truss and a parallel to the extrusions. The solar panels sit on the ridge rails and are secured to the ridge rails by the clips.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2018
    Assignee: Brooklyn Solar Works
    Inventors: Thomas Robert Ludwig, Gaelen Clark McKee, Mark Hilary Cunningham
  • Patent number: 10060417
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a solar power plant comprising a heating assembly (12), a turbine assembly (14) and a cooling assembly (16) connected to form a closed loop. The heating assembly (12) and the cooling assembly (16) comprise a heating unit (20) and a cooling unit (46) respectively, each made up of plurality of metal tubes and metal pipes interconnected to form a continuous channel for passage of a working fluid. The turbine assembly (14) comprises a circular turbine surrounded by a metal conduit on its exterior surface which penetrates the side walls of the circular turbine into interior surface of the circular turbine and ends with a jet facing an impeller. An inconsumable working fluid passes through the closed loop and rotates the impeller which in turn rotates a generator in order to generate power.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 20, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2018
    Inventor: Vikrant Suri
  • Patent number: 10038400
    Abstract: Floating structures for a floating photovoltaic system fixed to fixing blocks or fixing means fixed to the bottom of water, each floating structure having one or a plurality of solar modules disposed thereon, the floating structures comprising: a plurality of ropes or a plurality of connection members having fixing hooks for connecting the floating structures with each other so as to restrain the movements of the floating structures; and connecting and fixing parts disposed below the surface of water under the floating structures in such a manner as to be connected to the ropes or the connection members having the fixing hooks, whereby the ropes or the connection members having the fixing hooks are located below the surface of water to restrain the movements of the floating structures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 31, 2018
    Assignee: W SOLAR CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Seung Seop Kim
  • Patent number: 9927150
    Abstract: A stabilizing system for stabilizing an arrangement for pivoting an elongate assembly plane extending along a longitudinal axis about an axis of rotation oriented along the longitudinal axis, comprising a first tension element and first and second base arrangements each including a deflecting element fixed on the assembly plane, and spaced apart from the axis of rotation to different sides, wherein the base arrangements are offset with respect to one another along the longitudinal axis, the base arrangements the first tension element, or a second tension element is connected the deflecting element to a fixed point and back at a first distance, and wherein the first tension element and/or the tension element is guided between the base arrangements along the longitudinal axis whereby a tension can be built up in the base arrangement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2018
    Inventors: Eduard Eckl, Johann Kufner
  • 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
    Inventors: Braden E. Hines, Richard L. Johnson
  • Patent number: 9897344
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a solar collector (1) having Fresnel mirrors comprising a mounting for a set of mirrors made up of strips of mirrors (2) referred to as primary mirrors (2), each pivoting about a respective axis of rotation (5) referred to as the large axis (5) relative to the mounting, and intended for collecting solar radiation and for concentrating said radiation toward one or more concentrating elements (100) which can be mutually similar or different, carrying a heat-transfer fluid, characterized in that the invention comprises a means (10, 20, 30) for moving one or more concentrating elements (100) such as to make the collector mobile relative to the mounting of the set of primary mirrors (2).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2018
    Assignee: PK-ENR
    Inventor: Philippe Kuzdzal
  • Patent number: 9866170
    Abstract: Extremely fast dynamic control is allowed for hybrid PV/T (photovoltaic/thermal) distributed power production using concentrated solar power by manipulating the transmissive or reflective state of a capture element or mirror or lens that can pass highly concentrated solar light from one energy conversion device to another, such as a thermal collector and a photovoltaic receiver, such as a vertical multijunction cell array. This allows superior quality electrical backfeed into an electric utility, enhanced plant electrical production revenue, and responsiveness to a multitude of conditions to meet new stringent engineering requirements for distributed power plants. The mirror or lens can be physically articulated using fast changing of a spatial variable, or can be a fixed smart material that changes state. A mechanical jitter or variable state jitter can be applied to the capture element, including at utility electric grid line frequency.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 9, 2018
    Inventors: Mei-huan Yang, Jonathan A. Jackson, Terry Zahuranec, Michael J. Creager, Remigio Perales, Cheng-Liang Wu, Chin-Wei Hsu, Chiun-Yen Tung, Ying-Jie Peng, Ping-Pang Lee, Mark J. Elting
  • Patent number: 9857450
    Abstract: The present invention refers to a sensing device for sensing the alignment with respect to the sun of a concentration photovoltaic CPV device of the type which comprises at least one principal optical element POE and a CPV receiver, a CPV system, or module, comprising a CPV receiver and an integrated sensing device, and an optimized method for aligning a concentration photovoltaic CPV system with respect to the sun.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 2, 2018
    Assignee: Ricard Pardell Vilella
    Inventor: Ricard Pardell Vilella
  • Patent number: 9828882
    Abstract: A thermal power generation system includes a combustor burning oxygen and fuel with supercritical CO2, a turbine driven by the supercritical CO2 and water vapor fed from the combustor, a low-pressure supercritical CO2 storage storing low-pressure supercritical CO2 from the turbine, a compressor compressing the low-pressure supercritical CO2, a high-pressure supercritical CO2 storage storing high-pressure supercritical CO2 from the compressor, and a high-pressure supercritical CO2 feeder supplying between the high-pressure supercritical CO2 storage and the combustor, in which the high-pressure supercritical CO2 feeder supplies the high-pressure supercritical CO2 to the combustor at a constant pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2017
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Ltd.
    Inventors: Shohei Numata, Susumu Nakano, Takanori Shibata, Hidefumi Araki
  • Patent number: 9816491
    Abstract: A solar power system includes a solar energy collector that has at least one solar receiver that is operable to carry a working fluid and at least one solar reflector that is operable to direct solar energy towards the at least one solar receiver to heat the working fluid. The working fluid has a maximum predefined operational temperature up to which it can be heated. A first storage unit is connected to receive the working fluid from the at least one solar receiver, and a second storage unit is connected to provide the working fluid to the at least one solar receiver. A power block generates electricity using heat from the heated working fluid. A heater is operable to heat the working fluid to approximately the maximum predefined operational temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2017
    Inventor: Michael L. Perry
  • Patent number: 9803348
    Abstract: Various systems and methods are provided for electrically controlled flush applications. In one embodiment, an apparatus includes an activation assembly configured to initiate a flush of a flush assembly based upon a position of the activation assembly. The activation assembly includes a position sensor that senses a transition from a neutral position to a first position and a restraint mechanism that prevents a return to the neutral position for a predefined period of time corresponding to the flush duration. In another embodiment, a flush activation assembly includes an activation control box with a position sensor that provides an indication that a cable anchor has transitioned from a neutral position to a first position to initiate a flush of the flush assembly and a restraint mechanism that prevents the cable anchor from returning to the neutral position in response to the indication from the position sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 31, 2017
    Assignee: DANCO, INC.
    Inventors: Michael J. Schuster, Duston E. A. Stutzman, Douglas C. Saunders
  • Patent number: 9732989
    Abstract: A heat receiver tube having first, second, and further partial heat receiver tube surfaces for absorbing and transferring solar energy to heat transfer fluid is presented. The first and further partial heat receiver tube surfaces are formed by solar absorptive coatings deposited on partial surfaces of core tube. The second partial heat receiver tube surface is formed by emission radiation inhibiting coating deposited on second core tube surface for inhibiting emissivity for infrared radiation. The further partial heat receiver tube surface is arranged in radiation window of second partial heat receiver tube surface such that direct sunlight impinges further partial heat receiver tube surface. The heat receiver tube is arranged in focal line of parabolic mirror of parabolic trough collector. The first partial heat receiver tube surface and sunlight reflecting surface is arranged face to face, second and further partial heat receiver tube surfaces are averted to reflecting surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2017
    Inventors: Hagai Aran, Menashe Barkai, Gabriel Cohen, Rami Ezer, Eli Lipman
  • Patent number: 9682320
    Abstract: A game controller includes an image capture unit; a body; at least one input device assembled with the body, the input device manipulable by a user to register an input from the user; an inertial sensor operable to produce information for quantifying a movement of said body through space; and at least one light source assembled with the body; and a processor coupled to the image capture unit and the inertial sensor. The processor is configured to track the body by analyzing a signal from the inertial sensor and analyzing an image of the light source from the image capture unit. The processor is configured to establish a gearing between movement of the body and actions to be applied by a computer program.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 20, 2017
    Inventors: Xiaodong Mao, Richard L. Marks, Gary M. Zalewski
  • Patent number: 9677787
    Abstract: Liquid-based adjusting device (100) for a solar system comprising at least one holding element (1) for attaching at least one solar element, a swivel device (2), designed and intended for swiveling the holding element (1) around at least one swivel axis (S) and/or along a guiding curve (F) of the holding element (1), wherein one floating body (1A) of the holding element (1) is at least partially arranged below a filling level (30A) of the liquid tank (3A) and only by the buoyancy thereof the holding element (1) is swivel-mounted relative to one longitudinal axis (L) of the liquid tank (3A) around the swivel axis (S) and/or along the guiding curve (F) and mounted above the filling level (30A) directly on the rim (31A) of the liquid tank (3A), wherein the filling level (30A) of the liquid tank (3A) can be varied by means of a piping system (4) of the swivel device (1).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2017
    Inventor: Claus Tennler
  • Patent number: 9676254
    Abstract: An eco-humidifier for a vehicle performs a humidifying function by using solar light energy without separate power, and includes: a case having space to accommodate water and in which a light collecting device is installed on a top of the case so as to concentrate solar light; multiple metallic nano particles that sink in the water accommodated in the case to absorb the solar light passing through the light collecting device; and a condenser, an evaporator, and a blower motor connected with one upper side of the case via a connection pipe, where the metallic nano particles are heated by a surface Plasmon resonance phenomenon to vaporize the water to vapor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2017
    Assignee: Hyundai Motor Company
    Inventor: Jee-Jung Kim
  • Patent number: 9627921
    Abstract: Solar parking module with integrated Electric Vehicle charging station that, within the same structure, combines energy capture, storage and supply for electric vehicles or for the grid. Each module has an oscillating, counterweighted photovoltaic roof supported by bolts resting on the apexes of three semi-elliptical arches that serve as pillars. The spans of the arches accommodate and protect the energy supply points, accumulators and counterweights that serve as stops for the angle of oscillation of the roof. The roof is fastened on three frames, which are counterweighted, capable of oscillating at the same time by means of linear actuators, enabling the roof to track east to west. Between rows of panels is a trough for protection and for water runoff, which leaves a hollow space for ventilation of the panels. Parking can be expanded by means of lining up modules, without changing the equal distance between the pillars.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 18, 2017
    Assignee: Tempero 2000 S.L.
    Inventor: Manuel Lahuetra Romeo
  • Patent number: 9617983
    Abstract: Systems and methods for collecting, storing, and conveying aqueous thermal energy are disclosed. In a particular embodiment, a floating film retains solar energy in a volume of water located under the film. A series of curtains hanging from a bottom surface of the film define a passage between a periphery of the film and a center of the film to direct the heated water at the center of the film. The heated water is circulated to deliver the heat to a dissociation reactor and/or donor substance. The donor is conveyed to the reactor and dissociated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 11, 2017
    Assignee: McAlister Technologies, LLC
    Inventor: Roy Edward McAlister
  • Patent number: 9606004
    Abstract: A cooking apparatus includes a body, an inner case disposed inside the body in a cooking compartment where food is being cooked, a detection hole formed at a wall of one side of the inner case, so that an infrared ray generated at the cooking compartment is released to the outside of the cooking compartment, and an infrared ray detecting apparatus including a reflecting mirror, which has a plurality of reflection surfaces and configured to change a path of an incident infrared ray, and an infrared ray sensor configured to receive the infrared ray having the path thereof changed to detect an intensity of the infrared ray, thereby reducing the size of a detection hole configured to pass the infrared ray that is generated inside the cooking compartment, so that the adverse effect caused by the leakage of a microwave is minimized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 28, 2017
    Inventors: Yeon A Hwang, Jun hoe Choi, Tae Gyoon Noh, Jong Sung Park, Ji Hoon Ha, Jeong Su Han
  • 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
    Inventors: Braden E. Hines, Terry J. Bailey, Richard L. Johnson, Jr.
  • Patent number: 9546640
    Abstract: Systems and methods for generating electrical power using a solar power system comprising pressurized pipes for transporting liquid water. The pressurized pipes flow through solar collectors which concentrate sunlight on the water flowing through the pipes. The pressurization in the pipes allows the water flowing through the pipes to absorb large quantities of energy. The pressurized and heated water is then pumped to a heat exchanger coil where the thermal energy is released to produce steam for powering a steam turbine electrical generator. Thereafter, the water is returned to the solar collectors in a closed loop to repeat the process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 17, 2017
    Assignee: U S MICROPOWER INC
    Inventor: Michael Newman
  • Patent number: 9540091
    Abstract: A high altitude lighter-than-air (LTA) system can include a zero-pressure balloon (ZPB) attached in tandem with one or more variable ballast air super-pressure balloons (SPB). The ZPB provides lift for the system while the SPB uses a centrifugal compressor to provide a variable amount of ballast air by pumping in or expelling out ambient air. A solar array coupled with an elongated ladder assembly can be coupled to a payload support for a payload carried by the LTA system. Various advanced performance targets relating to ascent rate, descent rate, range and maximum altitude are achievable with various scaled versions of the basic design of the LTA system. Advanced navigation and control techniques, such as efficient high altitude station-keeping approaches, are made possible with the LTA system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 10, 2017
    Assignee: World View Enterprises Inc.
    Inventors: Taber Kyle MacCallum, Sebastian Padilla, Rodger Farley, Iain Beveridge, G. Ryan Lee, Tim Basta, Jared Leidich, John Straus, John Z. Maccagnano
  • Patent number: 9482117
    Abstract: Disclosed illustrative embodiments include systems and methods for power peaking with energy storage. In an illustrative, non-limiting embodiment, a power plant includes a thermodynamic piping circuit having a working fluid contained therein, and the working fluid has a flow direction and a flow rate. Power plant components are interposed in the thermodynamic piping circuit. The power plant components include a compressor system, a recuperator system, a heat source, a turbine system, a heat rejection system, and a thermal energy storage system. A valving system is operable to selectively couple the heat rejection system, the thermal energy storage system, and the compressor system in thermohydraulic communication with the working fluid maintaining the flow direction and the flow rate to implement a thermodynamic cycle chosen from a Brayton cycle, a combination Brayton cycle/refrigeration cycle, and a Rankine cycle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 1, 2016
    Assignee: SuperCritical Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Chal S. Davidson, Steven A. Wright
  • Patent number: 9476625
    Abstract: A system and method for monitoring a floodback condition includes a compressor connected to a condenser, a discharge sensor that outputs a discharge temperature signal corresponding to a discharge temperature, and a control module connected to the discharge sensor. The control module receives compressor power data or compressor current data, determines a saturated condensing temperature based on the compressor power data or compressor current data, calculates a discharge superheat temperature based on the saturated condensing temperature and the discharge temperature, monitors a floodback condition of the compressor by comparing the discharge superheat temperature with a threshold, and, when the discharge superheat temperature is less than or equal to the threshold, increases the speed of the compressor or decreases an opening of an expansion valve associated with the compressor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 25, 2016
    Assignee: Emerson Climate Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Daniel L. McSweeney
  • Patent number: 9354294
    Abstract: A real-time solar tracking system includes: a microcontroller, a light-resistant box, a motor for changing a direction angle of a solar collection board, and a diver for controlling operating condition of the motor. The light-resistant box has a loophole disposed at a top surface of the light-resistant box, a convex lens plane array is disposed parallel to a bottom surface of the light-resistant box, and a photosensitive element array is disposed at a bottom of the light-resistant box. The microcontroller is used for calculating a solar direction angle according to a solar direction angle signal obtained from the photosensitive element array, and sending directions to the driver. With advantages of high detecting accuracy, high degree of automation and intelligence, well environmental adaptability, high reliability, low cost, the present invention is particularly suitable for solar power system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2016
    Inventor: Hefei Zhang
  • Patent number: 9331219
    Abstract: Disclosed is an integrated circuit comprising a substrate having a major surface; a directional light sensor, the directional light sensor comprising a plurality of photodetectors on a region of said major surface, said plurality of photodetectors comprising a set of first photodetectors for detecting light from a first direction and a set of second photodetectors for detecting light from a second direction, wherein a first photodetector is located adjacent to a second photodetector; and a light blocking structure comprising a first portion extending from said major surface in between the first photodetector and the second photodetector; and a second portion extending from the first portion and at least partially overhanging at least one of the first photodetector and the second photodetector. A device including such an IC and a method of manufacturing such an IC are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2016
    Assignee: NXP, B.V.
    Inventors: Zoran Zivkovic, Youri Ponomarev
  • Patent number: 9287430
    Abstract: A photovoltaic solar concentrator is disclosed with one or more transverse-junction solar cells (also termed point contact solar cells) and a lens located above each solar cell to concentrate sunlight onto the solar cell to generate electricity. Piezoelectric actuators tilt or translate each lens to track the sun using a feedback-control circuit which senses the electricity generated by one or more of the solar cells. The piezoelectric actuators can be coupled through a displacement-multiplier linkage to provide an increased range of movement of each lens. Each lens in the solar concentrator can be supported on a frame (also termed a tilt plate) having three legs, with the movement of the legs being controlled by the piezoelectric actuators.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2016
    Assignee: Sandia Corporation
    Inventors: Gregory N. Nielson, Vipin P. Gupta, Murat Okandan, Michael R. Watts
  • Patent number: 9224898
    Abstract: A solar energy collection system for converting solar energy to electricity that includes solar arrays mounted on a frame. Each array is set on a tracker head that is supported on a pedestal; each pedestal mounts onto a beam. Elevators pivot the arrays, where each elevator is made up of a shaft with a threaded end coupled to a drive nut. An upper end of each drive nut gimbal mounts to a portion of the tracker head; rotating a lower end of each shaft raises or lowers the drive nut, thereby pivoting each array. The vertical shafts are ganged together and driven by a single motor. Further included with each pedestal are azimuth orientation shafts that also mount to each tracker head. Rotating each orientation shaft adjusts an azimuth of an associated array. The orientation shafts are ganged together and are rotated by a single motor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 29, 2015
    Inventors: James P. Crimmins, Peter Young, Douglas Kiesewetter
  • Patent number: 9169649
    Abstract: Provided herein is a sunlight generated power device having an upper fixing frame, a lower fixing frame, a main link, and a sub link, which together form a four bar link, and an actuator. The power device may be used to form a photovoltaic module installed at a building, bridge, park, and the like. Solar cell panels positioned on the power device are easily adjustable to enhance photovoltaic efficiency. The power device may also be constructed to display a luxurious image by providing an elegant appearance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 27, 2015
    Assignee: LG HAUSYS, LTD.
    Inventors: Chul June Choi, Dong Hun No, Hyun Young Cho
  • Patent number: 9161385
    Abstract: Embodiments relate to methods and systems of controlling and operating a wirelessly controlled solar field. By placing a higher density of access points in regions close to the solar field border, communication interference may be mitigated. A method of mitigating interference between an access point and a heliostat in a wireless communication system located in a solar field, may include in a first section of the solar field, deploying a first plurality of access points such that each of the access points is a first distance from its neighbor; and in a second section of the solar field, deploying a second plurality of access points such that each of the access points is a second distance from its neighbor. The first distance is greater than the second distance and the second section of the solar field may be closer to a perimeter of the solar field.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 13, 2015
    Inventors: Yossi Azancot, Lev Razamat
  • Patent number: 9022020
    Abstract: Described herein are solar energy collector systems, components for solar energy collector systems, and methods for installing solar energy collector systems. The components for solar energy collector systems include but are not limited to solar radiation absorbers, receivers, drives, drive systems, reflectors, and various support structures. The solar energy collection systems, solar radiation absorbers, receivers, drives, drive systems, reflectors, support structures, and/or methods may be used, for example, in LFR solar arrays. Drives and drive systems are described herein that may provide improved rotational positioning, movement, and/or rotational positional sensing. For example, drives and drive systems are provided which allow operation through a variable frequency drive. The components and methods described herein may be used together in any combination in a solar collector system, or they may be used separately in different solar collector systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 5, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2015
    Assignee: Areva Solar, Inc.
    Inventors: David R. Mills, Philipp Schramek, David B. Degraaff, Peter L. Johnson, Alexander Hoermann, Lars R. Johnson
  • Patent number: 9010316
    Abstract: A housing has a bottom, side panels, end panels, and a top, forming a chamber. The side and end panels have interior sections and slidable exterior sections. A solar energy collector, tubing or solar panels, is within the chamber. A cover plate is fabricated of a transparent material and is secured to the exterior section adjacent to the top. Lenses are coupled to the exterior section, and focus sunlight on the solar energy collector. Lift drivers vary the elevation of the lenses with respect to the solar energy collector. A gimbal assembly with a tilt driver operatively couples the housing to the roof to vary the angular tilt of the housing. A light sensor, a temperature sensor, and an associated controller adjust the elevation of the lenses and the tilt of the housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2015
    Inventor: Wayne Douglas Corbell, Sr.
  • Patent number: 9010317
    Abstract: The invention is a system and method for heliostat mirror control. Here, each heliostat mirror generates a low intensity “signal beam”, directed at an angle off from the heliostat mirror's high intensity and sensor blinding “main beam” of reflected solar energy. The low intensity signal beams may be created by reflecting a small portion of the incident solar light at an angle from the main beam, by reflected artificial light, or from lasers shinning onto mirrors from known locations. The signal beams are detected by optical sensors mounted way from the main heliostat receiver focus, and can be used in a closed loop control system to efficiently ensure that individual heliostat mirrors in a heliostat array accurately track sunlight and direct the sunlight to a central receiver. Because heliostat mirrors need not be taken “off sun” for positioning, the system allows heliostat arrays to be run at high efficiency.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2015
    Assignee: Idealab
    Inventor: William Gross
  • Patent number: 8973570
    Abstract: A solar tracking sensor and methods of tracking the sun. In one embodiment, the solar tracking sensor includes a housing, an inclinometer to output a signal indicative of the angle of the housing relative to the gravitational pull of the Earth, and first and second photosensors located on a first plane located within the housing. An opening on one side of the housing allows solar radiation to pass through the housing and reach the first and second photosensors. A difference calculating module is coupled to the first photosensor and the second photosensor. The difference calculating module determines a photosensor difference value using signals from the photosensors and outputs a photosensor difference value. The photosensor difference value can be used by a controller. The controller is coupled to the inclinometer determines whether the opening is aligned with the Sun based on the photosensor difference value and information or signal from the inclinometer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 10, 2015
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventors: Paul Stavrou, David W. Catter, Sr.
  • Patent number: 8878113
    Abstract: A solar tracking system and method that use a shielding tube that admits solar radiation and has an absorptive inner surface for absorbing the solar radiation that is incident on it. The system has a photodetector for generating a signal related to an intensity of solar radiation at a distal end of the shielding tube and a scan unit for periodically executing a certain scan pattern in an elevation angle El and in an azimuth angle Az of the shielding tube. A processing unit in communication with the photodetector determines an on-sun orientation of the shielding tube based on a convolution of the signal obtained while executing the scan pattern with a trained convolution kernel. The on-sun orientation thus found can be used to update the orientation of one or more solar surfaces, e.g., reflective or photovoltaic surfaces.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2014
    Assignee: QBotix, Inc.
    Inventors: Jos C. Goble, Salomon J. Trujillo, Benjamin D. Sumers, Christopher O. Perkins