Motor Patents (Class 126/605)
  • Patent number: 11323063
    Abstract: A heliostat includes an optical member (e.g., a mirror), a mounting frame under the optical member, a support stand and a hinge assembly. The hinge assembly allows the optical member to pivot about two orthogonal directions relative to the support stand. A drive mechanism adjusts one or both of an elevation angle and a roll angle of the optical member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2020
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2022
    Assignee: Heliogen, Inc.
    Inventors: William Gross, Andrea Pedretti
  • Patent number: 11260315
    Abstract: Methods and systems for separating a first metal from a metal-containing feed stream are provided. The method can include applying solar energy, for example, by focusing one or more mirrors in one or more heliostats, to heat a metal-containing feed stream in a heating zone to a first temperature to produce a first vapor including the first metal. The first vapor can be condensed in a condensation zone to produce a first liquid including the first metal, and the first liquid can be collected. The system can include a separation unit include a heating zone in fluid communication with a condensation zone and a means for applying solar energy to heat a metal-containing feed stream disposed in the heating zone.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2021
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2022
    Assignee: NANT HOLDINGS IP, LLC
    Inventor: Patrick Soon-Shiong
  • Patent number: 11251746
    Abstract: Methods and systems of managing dynamic response to wind in a solar tracker system are provided. The method includes determining a wind speed, comparing the wind speed to a predetermined threshold value to determine if the wind speed equals or exceeds the predetermined threshold, positioning a windward most solar tracker to a predetermined angle based on the comparing, and positioning a leeward most solar tracker to the predetermined angle based on the comparing. The solar trackers are positioned at the predetermined angle at a predetermined interval starting at the windward most solar tracker and the remaining solar trackers remain in a normal operating condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2018
    Date of Patent: February 15, 2022
    Assignee: NEXTRACKER INC.
    Inventors: Stuart Upfill-Brown, Tushar Guha, Jacob Mark Morin
  • Patent number: 11166420
    Abstract: A hydroponic growth system comprises grow tubes and a misting assembly. Each of the grow tubes, of a generally hollow cylindrical configuration, are mounted vertically on a support assembly and comprise openings configured on an outer surface of the grow tube for receiving receptacles containing plants. Each of the grow tubes comprise a top vent and a bottom vent. The misting assembly comprises spray tubes inserted into a middle section of the grow tubes to distribute and spray a nutrient solution into an inner surface of each of the grow tubes. The nutrient solution is absorbed by roots of the one or more plants extending into the inner surface of the grow tubes. Unused nutrient solution is drained into a sump positioned beneath the grow tubes via the bottom vents and recirculated within the misting assembly for spraying the nutrient solution to grow the plants.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 9, 2021
    Inventor: Patrick Allan Diehl
  • Patent number: 11146208
    Abstract: A solar generator includes a base, a rotary plate provided to the base such that the rotary plate can rotate with respect to the base, a cover disposed atop the rotary plate, solar panel disposed atop the cover such that the solar panel is angled with respect to a horizontal plane, and a motor provided to the rotary plate such that the motor can engage the base to enable rotation of the rotary plate with respect to the base. A photosensor and a method of rotationally aligning a solar panel with the sun in an azimuth orientation are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 2019
    Date of Patent: October 12, 2021
    Assignee: Electronic Controlled Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Lael King
  • Patent number: 11035592
    Abstract: A solar collector system comprising at least one heliostat and an inflatable cover configured to protectively conceal the at least one heliostat while it tracks the sun. The inflatable cover comprises a flexible membrane, which is transparent and colorless so that sunlight is transmitted through the cover. The cover may comprise an elastomeric material such as ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE). The solar collector system may further include a pump for inflating the inflatable cover, a pressure relief valve configured to prevent air pressure in the inflatable cover from exceeding a predetermined threshold, and a pressure sensor configured to automatically turn on the pump when the internal pressure falls below a predetermined threshold. The inflatable cover effectively removes wind loading from the heliostats, thus enabling the heliostats to use low-power, less-expensive actuators.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 15, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2021
    Assignee: Heliogen, Inc.
    Inventors: William Gross, Andrea Pedretti
  • Patent number: 10976113
    Abstract: A solar concentrator (100) comprising: a base (190); a framework (170), the framework (170) being hingedly joined to the base (190) such that the framework (170) can be rotated relative to the base (190); and a plurality of mirrors (110) arranged relative to a first axis (200) of the framework (170), such that all of the mirrors (110) are located on one side of a plane which contains the first axis (200), each mirror being fixed to the framework (170) and each mirror being arranged to reflect light travelling parallel to the first axis (200) towards a common focus which lies on the first axis (200).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2021
    Assignee: Storenergy Holdings, Ltd.
    Inventor: Marko Vuksanovic
  • Patent number: 10965243
    Abstract: A solar tracking system for tracking the orientation of solar energy is disclosed. The solar tracking system may be integrated with solar cells and solar concentrators. The solar tracking system may have a first (22) and second (24) tracker module array that are opposite from another, aligned in substantially identical orientation, and form a tracker module pair array (1000). Tracker module pairs (12, 14; 12, 144) may allow motion relative to one another while maintaining substantially identical orientation. Solar concentrators may be attached to opposing tracker modules of a tracker module pair forming an array of solar concentrators. A base bar array (28) may be coupled to at least one tracker module pair. A transmission may operably rotate the base bar array and the tracker module pair array simultaneously.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2021
    Assignee: The Regents of the University of Michigan
    Inventors: Stephen R. Forrest, Kyusang Lee, Boning Qu
  • Patent number: 10903781
    Abstract: A solar power system for a marine dock includes a telescoping vertical member affixed to a dock via a bracket. A solar panel is pivotably and rotatably affixed to the top end of the telescoping vertical support. A weatherproof equipment container is affixed to the telescoping vertical support. A meter unit, battery, and inverter are housed within the weatherproof equipment container. First leads connect the solar panel to the meter unit, which is configured to measure and display energy and/or power generated by the solar panel. Second leads are configured so that current is passed through the meter unit to the battery in a charging configuration. A third lead connects one terminal of the battery to a measurement terminal on the meter unit, which is configured to measure and display the output voltage of the battery. Fourth leads connect the battery to the inverter in a discharge configuration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2018
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2021
    Assignee: Designer Direct, Inc.
    Inventor: Kerry Ira Levin
  • Patent number: 10662703
    Abstract: An improved double skin facade system for buildings is disclosed. In one embodiment, the double skin facade system is a multi-functional device that can be used in a variety of ways to provide heat, produce and store solar and wind electricity, take advantage of natural and biological properties of plants, and provide cooling and natural ventilation. In one embodiment, the device is comprised of a mounting structure, and multiple columns of interconnected modules. Through the interconnected movable modules, the double skin facade system can easily switch functionalities between a heater, ventilator and cooling system. The device is easy and inexpensive to operate and its functionalities can be changed with simple touches of buttons.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 31, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2020
    Inventors: Mannan Ghanizadehgrayli, Masoud Valinejadshoubi, Masoud Rasoulilarmaeie
  • Patent number: 10597309
    Abstract: Systems and methods for the desalination of water. A system includes a concentrated solar power (CSP) system, the CSP system operable to concentrate solar energy to increase temperature and pressure of a heat transfer fluid and operable to produce steam utilizing heat from the heat transfer fluid; a photovoltaic (PV) system, the PV system operable to collect solar energy to produce electricity; a desalination system in fluid communication with the CSP system and in electrical communication with the PV system, the desalination system operable to produce desalinated water from a salt water source utilizing the steam from the CSP system and electricity from the PV system; and a pump station in fluid communication with the CSP system and the desalination system, and in electrical communication with the PV system, the pump station operable to transmit the desalinated water to consumers for use.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2020
    Assignee: Saudi Arabian Oil Company
    Inventor: Yazeed Safar Alshahrani
  • Patent number: 10340840
    Abstract: A solar-tracking photovoltaic array is described. The photovoltaic array includes mounting hardware configured to rotate photovoltaic modules associated with the photovoltaic array about one or more axes. In some embodiments, the photovoltaic modules can be coupled to a torque tube oriented in a substantially North-South direction. An orientation motor can then rotate one end of the torque tube in a manner that causes the photovoltaic modules to track the sun. The photovoltaic array can also include a locking mechanism that secures another end of the torque tube during times in which the orientation motor is not rotating the torque tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2019
    Assignee: SolarCity Corporation
    Inventors: Charles Almy, Soren Jensen
  • Patent number: 10082316
    Abstract: Solar energy generates steam in a “once-through” configuration without recirculation, with closely managed steam quality, to produce wet steam from high-contaminant feed water without scaling or fouling. Feed water is pressurized, preheated, and evaporated in a series of pipes exposed to concentrated solar energy to produce a water-steam mixture for direct distribution to an industrial process such as enhanced oil recovery or desalination. Water flow rates are managed based on measurements of solar energy and steam production to manage variations in the solar energy. Steam generator piping system uses continuous receiver pipe that is illuminated by segmented parabolic mirrors enabled to track the sun. Provisions for steam generator piping recurring maintenance are provided. Thermal energy from hot condensate and/or from low quality steam is recaptured and warms inlet water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2018
    Assignee: GlassPoint Solar, Inc.
    Inventors: John Setel O'Donnell, Peter Emery von Behrens, Stuart M. Heisler
  • Patent number: 10014819
    Abstract: A mounting system for solar panels that is adjustable to allow for ease of installation. An adjustable leg or strut includes a telescoping portion that is connected to a base by a compound ball joint. At an upper end, an angularly adjustable bracket allows for connection to a rail for supporting the solar panel. In a typical installation, two series of adjustable legs are used to support two rails at differing heights to support a panel in a desired position. The adjustable nature of the components allows for a faster installation compared to known solar panel mounting systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2018
    Assignee: Precision Tech Welding & Machine, Inc.
    Inventors: Terry Roderick Van Otten, Rick Swenson
  • Patent number: 9927149
    Abstract: The method is for using solar power in an efficient manner. A solar concentrator is provided in operative engagement with a storage unit. The storage unit has at least one glass rod disposed therein and at least one sheet enclosing the storage unit. The solar concentrator receives solar power as sunrays and conveys the solar power to the glass rod disposed in the storage unit. The solar power is in the glass rod is converted to heat to heat to the storage unit. Gas flows between the storage unit and the sheets. The storage unit heats the gas. The gas flows to a heat exchanger to exchange heat with steam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2018
    Assignee: Rodluvan Inc.
    Inventors: Kenneth Nordin, Mats Olof Erik Mattsson
  • Patent number: 9772121
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus for concentrating electromagnetic waves coming from a moving source at a focal point fixed to the ground. The invention discloses a tracking system for a device capable of concentrating incoming electromagnetic waves at a fixed focal point. This concentration of the electromagnetic waves may be done by reflection, as in the case of a reflecting dish, or by refraction as in the case of a concentrating lens, which is impeded in a hemisphere, which can be real or imaginary, such that its focal point coincides with the center of the hemisphere and using this apparatus to track such moving source by rotating around said hemisphere's fixed center, so as to face the incoming electromagnetic rays normally. A receiver can be kept at the focal point of the device which uses the concentrated rays for various applications such as melting metals or charging a solar cell.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 28, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 26, 2017
    Inventor: Adnan Ayman Al-Maaitah
  • Patent number: 9714521
    Abstract: A self-draining canopy that includes a covering, an orthogonal support structure, and a drainage system. The covering can have a substantially quadrilateral shape in a horizontal plane. The orthogonal support structure can be coupled to the covering. When erected, non-vertical elements of the orthogonal support structure that the covering rests upon can be positioned substantially orthogonally within the horizontal plane. A natural contour of the formed canopy can automatically direct environmental substances deposited upon the top surface toward the corners of the canopy where the drainage system is installed. The drainage system can transport environmental substances from the top surface of the canopy to an outlet location. Transportation of the environmental substances can be provided by the force of gravity. The drainage system can prevent the accumulation of environmental substances on the top surface of the canopy and deformation of the canopy due to such accumulations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 25, 2017
    Inventor: Peter Aloumanis
  • Patent number: 9644616
    Abstract: A disc-type concentrator comprises a disc rack vertical post, a disc rack, a rotating shaft, a rotating reflection mirror, a power driving device, and a control system. The rotating shaft is arranged on the disc rack and rotatably connected with the disc rack. The rotating reflection mirror is arranged on a side of the rotating shaft and fixedly connected with the rotating shaft. The power driving device is arranged on the disc rack or on the back surface of the rotating reflection mirror and driving the rotating reflection mirror to rotate. The control system is connected with the power driving device and controlling the working state of the power driving device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 9, 2017
    Assignees: Xiangtan Liyuan Electric Tooling Co., Ltd., Xiangtan Electric Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Anwang Dang, Yingzhao Ma, Kai Zhu, Min Huang, Shuai Liu, Bugen Wang, Xuegao Fu
  • Patent number: 9453899
    Abstract: A system for effecting the rotational movement of a solar tracker about an axis of rotation includes a bow mounted on the solar tracker and comprising a rack and a worm engaging with the rack to effect the rotational movement, the rack having a plastic tooth set and the bow having a damper configured to dampen the connection with the solar tracker.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 3, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 27, 2016
    Assignee: EXOSUN
    Inventor: François Paponneau
  • Patent number: 9440546
    Abstract: A vehicle and a vehicle battery charging system are disclosed. The vehicle charging system includes a parking structure having solar collector. The solar collector is configured to collect and concentrate solar energy. The concentrated solar energy is then transferred to a solar panel located on the vehicle in order to charge a battery of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2016
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Donna L. Bell, David McCreadie, Michael Robert Tinskey
  • Patent number: 9441858
    Abstract: Solar heating systems and methods are described. In one aspect, a system is described that includes multiple mirror row holders, with each row holder configured to hold a row of mirrors at angles to track sunrays and reflect the rays onto a focal point. Each row holder has a single pinion device of multiple pinion devices associated with the multiple row holders. The system also has a sun tracking latitudinal slider (STLS) rack configured to interface with each pinion device on a respective mirror row holder. This interface tilts the mirrors in each row holder an amount to adjust mirror angles to reflect latitudinal sun motion to concentrate rays of the sun onto the focal point. The system also includes an azimuth adjustment mechanism to control mirror angles with respect to the sun to reflect sun motion during daylight.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2016
    Assignee: King Saud University
    Inventors: Mazen Ba-abbad, Hany Al-Ansary, Essam Al-Ammar
  • Patent number: 9318994
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a multistage vertical solar module holder. According to the present invention, because solar modules are installed between vertical members vertically installed on the bottom surface in a ladder type in multiple stages to be inclined by inclination maintenance units, a large number of solar cell modules can be installed in a single area and a large number of modules can be installed in a plurality of rows. Further, a shadow of an upper module does not hide a lower module by maintaining the vertical interval of the modules sufficiently, and the holders can be installed while rows of modules and the sunlight irradiation angle can be sufficiently maintained, so that high efficiency of solar power generation can be realized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2016
    Inventor: Jae Taek Park
  • Patent number: 9239444
    Abstract: An array of Fresnel reflectors is presented with an adjustable focus. The focus of the array is controlled by only a few mechanical parts and simple inputs. One preferred embodiment of this device is to collect sunlight and focus it onto a photovoltaic (PV) cell or a boiler, for the purpose of collecting solar energy. This solar collector, or heliostat, is easily adjusted so that it always directs the sun's rays onto the PV cell or boiler.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 19, 2016
    Inventor: Austin R Gurley
  • Patent number: 9180383
    Abstract: The disclosure is directed to high efficiency solar still assemblies and their components, and more particularly, to a solar still capable of absorbing direct sunlight and redirected sunlight using a mobile heliostat configured to align the still evaporator, the heliostat and a counter-current heat exchanger with the sun.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2015
    Inventors: Shimon Ben Dor, Ronald Silver
  • Patent number: 9175877
    Abstract: The present invention provides a solar energy concentrating reflection system comprising multiple arrays of solar reflectors arranged adjacent to one another on a generally planar support structure where each of the reflector arrays configured into a first Fresnel array in a first dimension. Each of the first Fresnel array of reflectors are in turn arrayed and supported in a support frame in a configuration of second Fresnel arrays in a second dimension such that solar energy from the sun is reflected and concentrated to a predetermined focal line. A solar receiver is disposed in the focal line of the configured solar reflectors such that the first and second Fresnel arrays uniformly reflect and concentrate solar energy from the sun onto the solar receiver within the first and second dimensions with a uniform solar intensity profile.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 3, 2015
    Assignee: The United States of America, as Represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventor: Randall B. Olsen
  • Patent number: 9086059
    Abstract: We present an improved system for solar energy collection and electricity generation, comprising a solar collector apparatus, said apparatus comprising an array of square Fresnel lenses arranged in rows with modular energy absorption devices located below, wherein the array is mounted on arms at a low height above ground, the rows of said array are rotatable horizontally about their lengthwise axis, and the array is mounted on a rotatable base The system further comprises transportable insulated storage tanks containing a storage medium, Stirling engines and generators. The solar collection apparatus heats the storage medium, the storage medium supplies the Stirling engines with heat, and each engine is coupled to a generator. In a preferred embodiment, the system additionally comprises embedded controllers using real-time algorithms providing smart on-the-fly management of the system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 21, 2015
    Inventor: Georgios Logothetis
  • Publication number: 20150128930
    Abstract: A sun tracking mechanism is provided for solar power generation, including a power unit, a linear actuator and at least two universal joints. The sun tracking mechanism outputs an angle of high precision by two axial directions provided from the universal joints, the power unit and the linear actuator. A solar power module disposed on the sun tracking mechanism generates electricity in the best light incident angle. In addition, the linear actuator provides an auxiliary supporting force to improve the wind-resistant capability.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 18, 2014
    Publication date: May 14, 2015
    Inventors: Edward-Yi Chang, Wei-Hua Chieng, Shyr-Long Jeng, Stone Cheng, Binhan Lue, Yuang Ming Hsu, Chih-Chiang Wu, Ching-Wei Shih
  • 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: 8997734
    Abstract: The concentrating heat receiver (10) is provided with a casing (41) which has an opening portion (15) into which sunrays are made incident, a heat receiving portion (42) which is accommodated inside the casing (41) so that a working fluid flows therethrough and receive heat from sunrays made incident from the opening portion, thereby raising the temperature of the working fluid, and hanging members (61, 62) in which the upper end sides thereof are coupled to an upper angle (14) and the other end sides thereof are loosely inserted into through holes (44a, 44b) of the casing (41), thereby supporting in a hanging manner the heat receiving portion (42) inside the casing (41).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2015
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
    Inventors: Kimihiko Mitsuda, Yasuharu Yamamoto, Toshiyuki Osada, Masashi Tagawa, Kazuta Kobayashi
  • Patent number: 8950391
    Abstract: A drive mechanism for a solar concentrator assembly. In one embodiment, a drive mechanism for a linear solar concentrator assembly which includes an elongate reflector support frame which is rotatable about an axis which is parallel to the length of the frame and is defined by a support for the frame includes: a first elongate arm fixable at one end to the frame for rotation about the axis with the frame; a second elongate arm rotatable at one end about the axis independently of the first arm; a first reversible linear drive device coupled between the second arm and the first arm which is operable to rotate the first arm about the axis relative to the second arm; and a second reversible linear drive device coupled between the support and the second arm which is operable to rotate the second arm about the axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 10, 2015
    Assignee: Gossamer Space Frames
    Inventor: Glenn A. Reynolds
  • Patent number: 8915244
    Abstract: A protective transparent enclosure (such as a glasshouse or a greenhouse) encloses a concentrated solar power system. The concentrated solar power system includes one or more solar concentrators and one or more solar receivers. Thermal power is provided to an industrial process, electrical power is provided to an electrical distribution grid, or both. In some embodiments, the solar concentrators are parabolic trough concentrators with one or more lateral extensions. In some embodiments, the lateral extension is a unilateral extension of the primary parabolic trough shape. In some embodiments, the lateral extensions are movably connected to the primary portion. In some embodiments, the lateral extensions have a focal line separate from the focal line of the base portion. In some embodiments, the greenhouse is a Dutch Venlo style greenhouse.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2014
    Assignee: Glasspoint Solar, Inc.
    Inventor: Peter Emery von Behrens
  • Patent number: 8895834
    Abstract: An assembly is disclosed for adjusting the position of a solar array or device to enable it to maintain a desired solar energy reception throughout each day's operation of the assembly. Solar panels are mounted on a first axle and a second axle, and the axles are mutually orthogonal. The assembly also includes a first motor for rotating the array and the panels relative to the first axle in a direction providing azimuth angle position adjustment and a second motor for rotating the array and the panels and the second axle in a direction providing elevation angle position adjustment. The motors are electrically connected to and powered by their respective solar panels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 25, 2014
    Inventor: Jack Nachamkin
  • Patent number: 8887711
    Abstract: A solar tower system including an array of individually controlled carousel-type heliostats, where each heliostat includes a rotatable D-shaped carousel, a mirror array including horizontal, elongated flat mirrors supported in a tiltable (e.g., louvered) arrangement on the carousel, and a mirror positioning system that is disposed next to the carousel and controls the tilt position of each mirror and a rotational position of the carousel to reflect light onto a solar receiver. The heliostats are arranged in a closely-spaced (e.g., square or hexagonal) pattern that both maximizes the effective ground coverage ratio of solar power harvesting system and facilitates the formation of service pathways that allow access to any of the heliostats in the array (e.g., by aligning the straight peripheral wall portions of adjacent carousels in parallel with each other).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 18, 2014
    Assignee: Palo Alto Research Center Incorporated
    Inventors: Philipp H. Schmaelzle, Patrick C. Cheung
  • Patent number: 8877016
    Abstract: Systems and methods for solar steam generation are described. The systems and methods include moving at least one frame mounted optical focusing lens to track the sun in two axes and disposing a water boiler at a focus of each optical focusing lens. Raw water is pumped through an inlet at a bottom of each boiler and solar energy is concentrated, using each optical focusing lens, on each boiler, heating the raw water in each boiler and evaporating steam from the raw water. The steam exits each boiler, via a steam outlet pipe. Remaining salts and solids in each boiler are ground by rotation of salt grinding-cleaning gears. These ground salts and solids are drained and/or pumped out of each boiler from an exit in the bottom of each boiler.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2014
    Assignee: King Saud University
    Inventors: Mazen A. Ba-abbad, Hany A. Al-Ansary, Essam A. Al-Ammar
  • Patent number: 8863739
    Abstract: It allows lifting the heliostat in the warehouse and placing it on the cart, and once it reaches the installation spot in the field, the lifting structure is used to lift the heliostat from the cart and place it on a previously installed pedestal. The structure formed by an upper arch and two lower bases, being the upper arch, comprised at the same time by a central, elongated and horizontal profile, which presents two lateral profiles on its ends, from which vertical plates start at the bottom, provided with a hole in the proximity of its lower ends, through which the upper arch (2) is linked to the lower bases through some fixing mechanism, having the lower bases a semicircular support adapted to receive one of the support arms of the heliostat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2014
    Assignee: Abengoa Solar New Technologies S.A.
    Inventors: Francisco Cerón García, Emiliano Cornago Ramírez, Joaquín De Río Martín
  • Publication number: 20140299121
    Abstract: A device for collection, concentrating and storing solar energy comprises an optical concentrator in operative connection with a transmission means which is also operatively connected to an energy recovery device. Concentrated solar energy is transmitted from the optical concentrator to the energy recovery device where it is stored until it is deployed as an energy source for generating electricity.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 27, 2013
    Publication date: October 9, 2014
    Inventor: William Stevens Taber, JR.
  • Patent number: 8844515
    Abstract: A low profile heliostat with elongated louvered mirror segments is provided. Its envelope of revolution has the shape of a flat disc to enable heliostat fields with very high ground coverage ratio. The heliostat's disc-shaped footprint rotates around a substantially vertical axis (akin to a carousel). The short dimension of the mirror segments is drastically shorter than the disc's diameter. Embodiments are described in which the motion relies on two concentric rings, which are individually rotated around a vertical axis. The lower ring acts as a platform providing mainly azimuth tracking, carrying the upper ring. The differential rotation between the upper ring and the lower ring is translated into a rotation of the mirror segments around a second, perpendicular, axis and used for elevation tracking. Disc-shaped heliostat with D-shaped cut-offs are described, to facilitate the required maintenance access even in highly dense heliostat fields.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2014
    Assignee: Palo Alto Research Center Incorporated
    Inventors: Philipp H. Schmaelzle, Patrick Y. Maeda, Patrick C. Cheung
  • Patent number: 8839783
    Abstract: The present invention provides for a hybrid solar radiation collection and distribution system comprising both passive solar and active solar components, generating electric potential, generating heat, and distributing visible light to numerous endpoints.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 2010
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2014
    Inventor: Jorge Simon Hernandez
  • Publication number: 20140261391
    Abstract: A Fresnel lens-type solar heater including an outer enclosure having at least an upper portion for admitting solar energy to be directed to a Fresnel lens mounted above a heat sink mounted within a solar energy collector which is pivotally mounted to be movable in an east-west manner within a support cradle that is pivotally mounted to be movable in a north-south manner such that the lens is correctly oriented toward the sun during each day of a year and wherein fluid directed through the outer enclosure is heated by energy from the heat sink before being exhausted from the heater to an area to be heated.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 14, 2014
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Inventor: George E. TAYLOR
  • Patent number: 8835747
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus are described for a two axis tracking mechanism for a concentrated photovoltaic system. Two or more paddle structures containing multiple CPV modules are installed onto each tilt axle on the common roll axle as part of the two-axis tracking mechanism's solar array. The two or more paddle structures couple across the common roll axle on that tilt axle. The common roll axle and each paddle assembly are manufactured in simple modular sections that assemble easily in the field while maintaining the alignment of the tracker assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2014
    Assignee: Soitec Solar GmbH
    Inventors: Wayne Miller, Jerry Dejong, Victor Ocegueda, Vayardo Lalo Ruiz, Anthony Wlodarczyk
  • Patent number: 8807129
    Abstract: A tracker drive system is provided for rotatably driving one or more objects, for example solar panels or other equipment. The system comprises a torque element mounted for rotation about a generally horizontal axis, wherein the torque element can support one or more objects for rotation therewith about the generally horizontal axis; a lever arm connected with the torque element, the lever arm being movable to rotate the torque element; a movable drive member that is drivable by a drive mechanism; and a dynamic coupler coupling the drive member with the lever arm such that the lever arm is drivable by the drive member to rotate the torque element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2014
    Inventor: Kevin Keith Mackamul
  • Patent number: 8807128
    Abstract: Disclosed herein are examples and variations of solar energy collector system comprising an elevated linear receiver (5) and first and second reflector fields (10P, 10E) located on opposite sides of, and arranged and driven to reflect solar radiation to, the receiver (5). Also disclosed herein are examples and variations of receivers (5) and reflectors (12a) that may, in some variations, be utilized in the disclosed solar energy collector systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2014
    Assignee: Areva Solar, Inc.
    Inventors: David R. Mills, Philipp Schramek, Peter K. Le Lievre, David B. Degraaff, Peter L. Johnson, Alexander Hoermann
  • Publication number: 20140182577
    Abstract: A drive can include a positional sensor within an outer housing of the drive so as to provide an output indicative of a position of the drive. The positional sensor can be an inclinometer. The inclinometer can be used for feedback control of an inclination of the drive. The drive can further include control electronics within the same housing, so as to provide feedback control of a motor of the drive. The control electronics can include an input for receiving a requested inclination and can be configured to drive the motor until the inclinometer outputs a signal indicative of the requested angle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 28, 2012
    Publication date: July 3, 2014
    Applicant: SUNPOWER CORPORATION
    Inventors: Ryan Linderman, Nicholas Barton
  • Patent number: 8763602
    Abstract: The invention relates to a device, in particular a heliostat or photovoltaic device, having a stand (12), having a carrier device (14) disposed thereon and mounted rotatably about an azimuth axis (36) on the stand (12) and comprising a rotary beam (18) on which a support frame (17) for receiving at least one reflector (16) or at least one photovoltaic module is pivotally disposed, so that the support frame (17) can pivot about an elevation axis (37), having a hydraulic drive controller (28) actuating at least one hydraulic lift cylinder (25, 26) for inducing the rotary motion about the azimuth axis (36) and at least one hydraulic lift cylinder (27) for inducing the pivot motion about the elevation axis (37), wherein at least one azimuth drive (34) comprising at least the one hydraulic lift cylinder (25, 26) actuating the rotary motion of the rotary beam (18) is disposed in the interior (44) of the rotary beam (18).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 28, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2014
    Assignee: Lehle GmbH
    Inventor: Robert Lehle
  • Patent number: 8752380
    Abstract: A solar-thermal concentrator for a expeditionary power generator system including a portable power plant that utilizes a hybridized solar/fuel Stirling engine to supply electric power in an expeditionary setting. The concentrator includes a collapsible dish assembly that is pivotably and tiltably mounted on a portable base assembly, where the dish assembly includes a lightweight frame including a central mounting structure and multiple truss-like radial arms that are rigidly connected to and extend radially from the central mounting structure, and a reflector panel assembly including multiple flat, fan-shaped reflector panels that are secured to the frame and disposed in a semi-circular pattern. Each reflector panel includes multiple reflectors that collectively form a substantially flat Fresnelized reflective surface that redirects incident sunlight into a focal region. The power plant is maintained in the focal region by a support structure that extends perpendicular to the flat reflective surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 22, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2014
    Assignee: Palo Alto Research Center Incorporated
    Inventors: Patrick C. Cheung, Alexander S. Tuganov, Sean Garner
  • Publication number: 20140090638
    Abstract: A sun tracking solar power generation system can include drive members for driving a plurality of parallel sun tracking assemblies. The drive components of the drive system can be arranged in a recess or trench created in the ground. This arrangement can reduce the material and labor costs for constructing a solar power system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 28, 2012
    Publication date: April 3, 2014
    Applicant: SUNPOWER CORPORATION
    Inventor: Tyler Grushkowitz
  • Patent number: 8671930
    Abstract: The present invention proposes a one-axis solar tracker system and apparatus which is simple to install, lower cost and with the provision of an electric-magnetic locking device to resist from medium to strongest wind condition like hurricane or typhoon. Solar farms is more and more popular to use one-axis tracker due to lower cost, higher wind resistance and easier for large scale solar farm installation, especially at lower latitude tropic zones. This disclosure proposes a one-axis tracker with multiple posts support using a single or dual linear actuators driving mechanism for rotation. It is also equipped with a wind lock device to lock the solar tracker in horizontal neutral position during strong wind condition such as hurricane or typhoon. The stepwise wind lock device can further be applied to locking the solar tracker following each step of linear actuator activation enabling the disclosed solar tracker to operate in windy conditions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2014
    Assignee: The Liao's Family Limited Partnership
    Inventor: Henry H. Liao
  • Publication number: 20140034805
    Abstract: A shadow band assembly includes a platform and an arcuate shadow arm extending upward from the platform and terminating in a free end above the platform. A sun sensor mounting location is located below the free end of the shadow arm. The arm is preferably further supported by a vertical strut. According to other embodiments, the arm is hollow and contains a fluid conduit and/or an electrical cable. A sun sensor may be mounted on top of the free end of the arm and a fluid nozzle may be mounted under the free end. A shadow band pyranometer includes the shadow band assembly, a sun sensor mounted at the mounting location and a motor drive coupled to the platform for azimuth tracking Additional sensors with zenith tracking may also be provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 12, 2013
    Publication date: February 6, 2014
    Applicant: AccuFlux Inc.
    Inventor: Robert Dolce
  • Patent number: 8622056
    Abstract: A solar energy power generation system generates AC electrical power from solar radiation through the use of parabolic troughs to capture the energy and a fluid turbine to convert the solar energy to mechanical energy. The turbine is directly coupled to a generator to produce AC electrical power.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 2010
    Date of Patent: January 7, 2014
    Assignee: Solar Logic Incorporated
    Inventor: Gregory Bohl
  • Publication number: 20130333690
    Abstract: Solar tracker comprising a pedestal (1) upon which a structural support (10) is fixed for a reflective surface (15), which comprises: a fixed base (2) anchored to the floor, which comprises a flat upper surface (7) with an opening, a vertical axis mechanical rotation element (3) arranged in the opening of the flat surface (7) of the fixed base (2) and fixed to the pedestal (1) and an azimuthal rotation actuator cylinder (4) of the structural support (10), comprising a first end fixed to the floor by an anchoring means (16, 2) and a second end fixed to the mechanical rotation element (3) by fixation means, the mechanical rotation means being configured in such a way that when the actuator cylinder carries out its movement, the mechanical rotation element transmits the rotational movement of the second end of the actuator cylinder to the pedestal (1).
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 28, 2012
    Publication date: December 19, 2013
    Applicant: ABENGOA SOLAR NEW TECHNOLOGIES, S.A.
    Inventors: Francisco Jose Ceron Garcia, Emiliano Cornago Ramirez