Parabolic Patents (Class 126/690)
  • Patent number: 10340843
    Abstract: A solar array (50) for a spacecraft (10), comprising a solar concentrator that is provided with photovoltaic cells and reflective areas configured for reflecting solar radiation towards the photovoltaic cells, wherein the reflective areas and the photovoltaic cells are provided on opposite surfaces of concentrator reflector sheet members (56) that are repositionable from a retracted state wherein the concentrator reflector sheet members are in a substantially flat arrangement, to a extended state wherein the concentrator reflector sheet members are raised to allow the reflective areas to reflect solar radiation towards the exposed photovoltaic cells. Alternatively or in addition, the solar array may comprise a support panel, which may be at least partially flexible for retaining the support panel in a bent panel shape when the solar array is in the stowed state fixed at a position near a body of the spacecraft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2019
    Assignee: Airbus Defence and Space Netherlands B.V.
    Inventors: Johan Hendrik Cruijssen, Petrus Cornelis Datema
  • Patent number: 9945361
    Abstract: Aircraft with an emission-free drive and method for emission-free driving of an aircraft. The aircraft includes a drive device structured and arranged to generate thrust, a lift device structured and arranged to generate lift, and a heat engine structured and arranged to convert thermal energy into kinetic energy to drive the drive device. The heat engine includes at least one flat-plate Stirling engine drivable by solar thermal radiation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2018
    Assignee: EADS DEUTSCHLAND GMBH
    Inventor: Jost Seifert
  • Patent number: 9006560
    Abstract: A lightweight reflector with a load bearing structure based on a tensile spoke-wheel. The spoke structure is especially compatible with dish parabolic mirrors, but has utility as a carrier structure for any round functional surface, including flat or slightly-curved mirrors used in central tower solar systems, parabolic dishes for radio telescopes and antennas, and for non-concentrating thin film solar panels. There are no radial members loaded in compression. All the spokes pull the rim inwards, and the rim is compressed in the circumferential direction. The imbalance in spoke tension results from the application of load provides the rigidity of the rim in respect to the hub, both for in-plane and out-of-plane forces. Ribs stiffen the spokes to resist wind and gravity, but are not structurally supported by either the hub or the rim. Lightweight reflector tiles match the wheel structure and create the reflective surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2015
    Inventors: Ben Shelef, Shmuel Erez
  • Patent number: 8984839
    Abstract: A revolution-of-a-parabolic-curve is sliced by two planes to form a reflecting-parabolic-splice-solar-smelter so as to focus the sun's noon light to a crucible for smelting rocks, glass and metals and for processing of chemicals, using zero degrees of freedom.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2015
    Inventor: Martin E. Nix
  • Patent number: 8960187
    Abstract: The present disclosure is directed to concentrating sunlight. In some implementations, a concentrator includes a plurality of reflector support structures and a plurality of reflector segments associated with each reflector support structure. Each reflector support structure formed to include a curved surface that receives an associated reflector segment and a bottom portion that distributes the weight of the reflector segment along a surface area. Each reflector segment includes a reflecting surface adjacent a flexible element such that the reflecting surface reflects incident sunlight light. In some examples, the reflector support structures may comprise a light weight material such as a polyurethane and/or the reflecting surface may be 5 mils or less.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2015
    Assignee: Stellar Generation, LLC
    Inventor: Jerome Lee Elkind
  • Publication number: 20140331991
    Abstract: This product is a solar cooker that combines portability with the precision of a mathematically-designed parabolic reflector. It comprises a rigid framework and a semi-rigid reflector surface. The framework has a cross-shaped footprint. The upper surface of the framework is a parabolic dish roughly two feet in diameter. The contour of the dish may be a simple paraboloid, compound paraboloid, or semi-compound paraboloid. The framework is lightweight and may be hollow and/or deconstructible for ease of portability. An alternative embodiment allows the dish to incline at various angles. The reflector surface is formed from sheets that fit atop the framework and assume the shape of the parabolic dish. Securing means on the upper surface of the framework hold the reflector sheets in place in a precisely parabolic configuration.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 23, 2014
    Publication date: November 13, 2014
    Inventor: Karsten L. van Sander
  • Patent number: 8813741
    Abstract: A solar energy collector system includes a base, and a parabolic trough collector carried by the base for reflecting sunlight to a longitudinal focal line. The parabolic trough collector includes a center section horizontally positioned with respect to ground, and opposing end sections adjacent the center section. Each end section is angled towards the ground. A conduit is positioned along the longitudinal focal line to receive the reflected sunlight. The conduit circulates a heat transfer liquid therethrough to be heated by the reflected sunlight.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2014
    Assignee: D & D Manufacturing
    Inventor: Dale E. Polk, Jr.
  • Patent number: 8764207
    Abstract: A solar trough including a reflective surface formed parabolic along an axis and a parabolic trough structure composed of at least one cementitious material. The trough structure is made strong and light by the addition of a filler material within the cement, such as a bale of straw or other fibers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2014
    Inventor: Jacque A. Neff
  • Patent number: 8680391
    Abstract: A solar concentrator comprises a pair of concentric reflectors having a spindle toroid geometry for focusing the collected solar radiation into a ring-shaped focal area, as opposed to the “point” or “line” focus of prior art configurations. In a preferred embodiment, each reflector is formed of a plurality of curved petals that are disposed in a contiguous, keystone arrangement that requires no additional fixturing to hold the petals in place. Such an arrangement reduces the weight, complexity and cost of the final solar concentrator structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2014
    Assignee: Cewa Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: John Stewart Fangman, Michael E. Fangman, John Matthew Fangman, Sudhakar Neti, Arati Shah-Yukich
  • Patent number: 8671931
    Abstract: A multiplexed torque brake (MTB) system for preventing the accumulation of torsional forces at a center drive and thereby significantly reducing the design load requirements for trough frames of a corresponding solar concentrator assembly (SCA). In one embodiment, an MTB system for an SCA having a plurality of solar reflector frames spaced along a length of the SCA includes a plurality of brake mechanisms arranged at locations spaced apart from each other along the length of the SCA, each of the brake mechanisms coupled to a corresponding one of a plurality of supporting pylons and configured to constrain the solar reflector frames from rotating when subjected to torsional loads, the brake mechanisms adapted to transfer the torsional loads to the corresponding supporting pylons.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2014
    Assignee: Gossamer Space Frames
    Inventors: Gary Noble Curtis, Dean Robert Hackbarth, Glenn Alan Reynolds
  • Patent number: 8656717
    Abstract: A solar powered generator assembly is provided for driving a turbine using steam produced by solar power. The assembly includes a fluid tank and a fluid line having a first end and a second end each in fluid communication with the fluid tank. A fluid is positioned in the fluid tank and the fluid line. A lens focuses solar rays into a heat collector coupled to the lens. The heat collector has a reflective curved interior surface configured for reflecting solar rays to facilitate heating the heat collector. A medial portion of the fluid line is wrapped around and heated by the heat collector converting the fluid into a gaseous state. A turbine is operationally coupled to the fluid line driving the turbine to produce electrical current.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2014
    Inventor: Robert M. Parker
  • Patent number: 8631995
    Abstract: The present invention consists of developing a technology with different processes to realize an optimal solar approach using a solar concentrator where distance screws are used that, when moving, allow the positioning of the mirrors whereby the reflected solar beam is directed to a focal point; the advantage of these processes is that each movement of the screws involves adjusting the position of all the neighboring mirrors, which allow a perfect alignment and adjustment of the mirrors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 21, 2014
    Assignee: Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico
    Inventors: Ernst Kussul, Tetyana Baydyk, Felipe de Jesús Lara Rosano, José Manuel Saniger Blesa, Gabriel Ascanio Gasca, Neil Charles Bruce Davidson
  • Patent number: 8627815
    Abstract: The invention relates to a support arm for a cylindrical-parabolic collector, which is intended to be coupled to a central body (1) of the collector in the form of a bracket in a direction that is substantially perpendicular to a focal line (2) of the collector. The inventive arm takes the form of a wedge comprising: a first side (10) which is provided with support devices (11) for supporting at least one mirror (3), a second side (20), and a third side (30) which is provided with support devices (31) such that the arm is supported by the central body (1). The arm is formed by at least one press-formed plate such as to obtain a resistant structure that provides stiffness and a carrying capacity by means of a plurality of ribs (42) which form a lattice comprising a plurality of laminar segments (41) between said ribs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 14, 2014
    Assignee: Sener, Ingenieria y Sistemas, S.A.
    Inventors: Jorge Vazquez Ingelmo, Miguel Domingo Osle
  • Patent number: 8585225
    Abstract: A reflector (e.g., mirror) for use in a solar collector or the like is provided. In certain example embodiments of this invention, a reflector is made by (a) forming reflective coating on a thin substantially flat glass substrate (the thin glass substrate may or may not be pre-bent prior to the coating being applied thereto), (b) optionally, if the glass substrate in (a) was not prebent, then cold-bending the glass substrate with the reflective coating thereon; and (c) applying a plate or frame member to the thin bent glass substrate with the coating thereon from (a) and/or (b), the plate or frame member (which may be another thicker pre-bent glass sheet, for example) for maintaining the thin glass substrate and coating thereon in a desired bent orientation in a final product which may be used as parabolic trough or dish type reflector in a concentrating solar power apparatus or the like.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2013
    Assignees: Guardian Industries Corp., Centre Luxembourgeois de Recherches pour le Verre et la Ceramique S.A. (C.R.V.C.)
    Inventors: Kevin J. O'Connor, Yei-Ping (Mimi) H. Wang, Duane O. Recker, Robert A. Vandal, Shane Hadfield, Jean-Marc Sol, Greg Brecht
  • Patent number: 8546681
    Abstract: A photovoltaic device comprising an array of elongate reflector elements mounted substantially parallel to one another and transversely spaced in series, at least one of the reflector elements having an elongate concave reflective surface to reflect incident solar radiation towards a forward adjacent reflector element in the array. The at least one reflector element includes a photovoltaic receptor mounted on the reflector element by a mounting arrangement to receive reflected solar radiation from a rearward adjacent reflector element The reflector element also includes a heat sink in heat transfer relationship with the photovoltaic receptor, thermally isolating the photovoltaic receptor, at least partially, from the reflector element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2013
    Assignee: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Brian Wares, Stephan Barsun, Tom Dinwoodie
  • Publication number: 20130233299
    Abstract: A solar collection system includes a double parabolic reflector and a light trap. The solar collection system also includes a lens configured to receive light from the double parabolic reflector and focus the reflected light into the light trap. The system may be configured to resist seismic activity and extreme weather conditions.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 30, 2012
    Publication date: September 12, 2013
    Inventor: Virgil Dewitt Perryman
  • Publication number: 20130233300
    Abstract: A solar energy collection system includes a reflector configured to reflect and focus a majority of solar energy from visible light and infrared spectra. The solar energy collection system also includes a light trap configured to receive concentrated solar energy from the reflector. The light trap includes a black body that is configured to absorb a majority of the concentrated visible light and infrared energy and convert the absorbed energy into thermal energy.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 9, 2012
    Publication date: September 12, 2013
    Inventor: Virgil Dewitt Perryman
  • Publication number: 20130234069
    Abstract: Solar receivers which produce heat at very high temperatures (in excess of 1000° C.) are described herein. The receiver produces the high temperature heat and radiates the heat to a containment element (e.g., pipe) that contains a heat transfer fluid which absorbs the heat. The fluid is preferably a material which is thermally and chemically stable at the temperatures involved. The heat transfer fluid absorbs the heat and can deliver it to a reactor system to drive an endothermic reaction, such as thermochemical water splitting, CO2 capture, and/or syngas production. Alternatively, the heat can be used to directly generate electricity through a high temperature heat engine such as a Brayton or combined Brayton+Rankine cycle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Publication date: September 12, 2013
    Inventor: Asegun Henry
  • Patent number: 8528541
    Abstract: A mirror or other reflecting surface is used for collecting and reflecting incident solar radiation. The mirror is supported for independent motion about a pair of axes. An accelerometer generates signals representative of an amount and direction of motion of the mirror about each of the axes. Motors or other drive mechanisms independently drive the mirror about each of the axes. A tracking device provides information about the current position of the Sun. A control is connected to the accelerometer, the motors and the tracking device for maintaining a predetermined optimum orientation of the mirror as the Sun moves across the sky.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2013
    Assignee: Seesean, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark S. Olsson, Ransom H. Byers
  • Patent number: 8420925
    Abstract: A solar energy collector produces electricity and heat using an optically transparent vessel containing one or more photovoltaic cells and a liquid that substantially fills the vessel. The vessel has a top with a flat exterior surface and a bottom with a concave exterior surface that is coated on the outside with a reflective material. Solar radiation traveling through the top of the vessel into the liquid and through the bottom strikes the reflective material on the outside of the vessel and is reflected back through the bottom, into the liquid and to a focal line adjacent to the interior surface of the top. Cooled liquid is fed into the vessel through an entry port and heated liquid is removed through an exit port. One or more photovoltaic solar cells are located adjacent to the interior surface of the top aligned with the focal line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2013
    Inventor: Yi Pang
  • Publication number: 20130068285
    Abstract: The present invention discloses a method and device for two-stage solar concentration and a spectrum splitting dish reflector based on dish concentration. A parabolic dish reflector is provided with a central light hole. A CPV panel and a solar-to-heat receiver are positioned at the two sides of the axial line of dish reflector, respectively, under the light hole. A splitting lens is placed at a certain distance from the apex of dish reflector over the light hole. The splitting film is applied to the curved surface of the lens near the parabolic dish, as a spectrum splitting surface. The curved surface of the lens far from the parabolic dish is covered by silver, as a reflecting surface. A supporting structure is provided between the dish reflector and the splitting lens. The whole system with a dual-axis tracking system is placed on the foundation of a support.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 30, 2011
    Publication date: March 21, 2013
    Applicant: ZHEJIANG UNIVERSITY
    Inventors: Mingjiang Ni, Gang Xiao, Zhongyang Luo, Kefa Cen, Xiang Gao, Mengxiang Fang, Jinsong Zhou, Zhenglun Shi, Leming Cheng, Qinhui Wang, Shurong Wang, Chunjiang Yu
  • Patent number: 8397505
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides an apparatus for collecting solar energy for electrical energy generation through one or more thermodynamic closed-cycle heat engines or the like. The present invention includes new designs for solar collectors that concentrate solar energy, and mechanisms for transporting and transferring the concentrated solar energy directly into the working fluid (e.g., a liquid, a gas, or a phase change substance) of the closed cycle thermodynamic engines without heating the outside surface of the engines. In an exemplary embodiment, the present utilizes an inflatable design for a dual-surface reflector which provides low cost and weight, protection from external elements, and the ability to inflate/deflate as required.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2013
    Assignee: Pulsar Energy, Inc.
    Inventor: Cristian Penciu
  • Patent number: 8360052
    Abstract: Melting metals using the sun's energy is not new, but is new is making the technology ergonomic, and easy to use. Invented is a half-circular-planar-reflector with a cut-a-way-triangle, hinged and attached a half-shell-parabolic-reflector. When the sun is overhead, the sun's energy reflects off the flat half-circular-planar-reflector to a half-shell-parabolic-dish-reflector, which redirects the sun's energy to a crucible for smelting metals, which is also the focus of the sun's energy. The entire assembly rotates on top of a turntable, which can be steel wheel, floating on compressed air, bicycle wheels, or other suitable methods. The entire assembly rotates about a crucible located at the focal of the sun's energy. A smaller version of the smelter can be used for solar cooking.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2013
    Inventor: Martin E Nix
  • Patent number: 8303124
    Abstract: A reflector (e.g., mirror) for use in a solar collector or the like is provided. In certain example embodiments of this invention, a reflector is made by (a) forming a reflective coating on a thin substantially flat glass substrate (the thin glass substrate may or may not be pre-bent prior to the coating being applied thereto), (b) optionally, if the glass substrate in (a) was not prebent, then cold-bending the glass substrate with the reflective coating thereon; and (c) applying a plate or frame member to the thin bent glass substrate with the coating thereon from (a) and/or (b), the plate or frame member (which may be another thicker pre-bent glass sheet, for example) for maintaining the thin glass substrate and coating thereon in a desired bent orientation in a final product which may be used as parabolic trough or dish type reflector in a concentrating solar power apparatus or the like.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2012
    Assignees: Guardian Industries Corp., Centre Luxembourgeois de Recherches pour le Verre et la Ceramique S.A. (C.R.V.C.)
    Inventors: Kevin O'Connor, Yei-Ping (Mimi) H. Wang, Duane O. Recker, Robert A. Vandal, Shane Hadfield, Jean-Marc Sol, Greg Brecht
  • Patent number: 8304644
    Abstract: A photovoltaic device comprising an array of elongate reflector elements mounted substantially parallel to one another and transversely spaced in series, at least one of the reflector elements having an elongate concave reflective surface to reflect incident solar radiation towards a forward adjacent reflector element in the array. The at least one reflector element includes a photovoltaic assembly which is removably and replaceably mounted on the reflector element. The photovoltaic assembly includes a photovoltaic receptor to receive reflected solar radiation from a rearward adjacent reflector element. The photovoltaic assembly also includes a heat sink in heat transfer relationship with the photovoltaic receptor, thermally isolating the photovoltaic receptor, at least partially, from the reflector element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2012
    Assignee: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Brian Wares, Stephan Barsun, Tom Dinwoodie
  • Publication number: 20120228883
    Abstract: The present invention relates to concentrating solar-power systems and, more particularly, beam-forming concentrating solar thermal array power systems. A solar thermal array power system is provided, including a plurality of solar concentrators arranged in pods. Each solar concentrator includes a solar collector, one or more beam-forming elements, and one or more beam-steering elements. The solar collector is dimensioned to collect and divert incoming rays of sunlight. The beam-forming elements intercept the diverted rays of sunlight, and are shaped to concentrate the rays of sunlight into a beam. The steering elements are shaped, dimensioned, positioned, and/or oriented to deflect the beam toward a beam output path. The beams from the concentrators are converted to heat at a receiver, and the heat may be temporarily stored or directly used to generate electricity.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 9, 2012
    Publication date: September 13, 2012
    Applicant: CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
    Inventors: Thomas A. Cwik, Paul E. Dimotakis, Daniel J. Hoppe
  • Publication number: 20120204862
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a low cost parabolic solar concentrator and method to develop the same. The parabolic solar concentrator can be formed by deforming a hybrid plate. Force can be placed on an edge portion of the hybrid plate and/or a middle portion of the hybrid plate. The selective application of the force deforms the hybrid plate into a parabolic solar concentrator, instead of a sinusoidal shape. The hybrid plate can be formed from a first plate, a second plate, and a third plate attached to each other. The characteristics of the first plate, the second plate, and the third plate, can be chosen to allow the hybrid plate to be deformed into the parabolic shape with the selective application of forces.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 16, 2011
    Publication date: August 16, 2012
    Applicant: TOYOTA MOTOR ENGINEERING & MANUFACTURING NORTH AMERICA, INC.
    Inventor: Umesh N. Gandhi
  • Patent number: 8215298
    Abstract: A solar module system includes a self-supporting structure and at least one solar module element or reflector element which can be arranged on the support structure. The support structure includes a plurality of juxtaposed support profiles in the form of self-supporting hollow chamber profiles, which have front parabolic concentrator reflector functional surfaces and solar module functional surfaces on the side facing away from the front. The system is used e.g. for photovoltaic systems outdoors or on buildings.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2007
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2012
    Inventor: Fritz Klotz
  • Patent number: 8210164
    Abstract: A quasi-parabolic reflector and method are provided for a solar concentrator which produces a unique radiation pattern which is less susceptible to surface defects, less sensitive to target distance irregularities, and having greater uniformity of intensity for PV applications in comparison to that produced by true parabolic reflectors. Cross-sections of the quasi-parabolic reflector include spaced reflective surfaces which have focal areas spaced one from the other about an axis of symmetry. A method for forming petals of a quasi-parabolic reflector includes stamping them into shape using a stamping apparatus with a higher radius of curvature than the finished petal and iteratively testing and stamping the petal until the petal passes or fails a quality and accuracy threshold.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 3, 2012
    Inventor: Edward Herniak
  • Publication number: 20120132258
    Abstract: A solar collector includes a concentrator having a circular paraboloid-shaped reflective surface, and receiver facing the concentrator. The concentrator has a plurality of circular paraboloid-portion-shaped mirrors, made of hot formed glass, and has respective circle-arc-shaped inner edges, which, in the mutually assembled condition, delimit a discharge hole at the center of the concentrator.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 19, 2010
    Publication date: May 31, 2012
    Inventors: Emanuele Albanese, Andrea Benini
  • Patent number: 8166966
    Abstract: In a reflector dish, a small quantity of elongate mirror-surfaced reflector panels are structurally integrated with a support framework that is configured to enable convenient shipping and on-site assembly and erection of a reflector dish assembly with an effective reflecting surface that closely approximates a desired parabolic dish shape with short focal length, synthesized from combination of the reflector panels originally procured as flat rectangular sheet metal panels and formed to provide the desired dish curvature. The panels can be conveniently shipped to location along with a corresponding quantity of reinforced crescent-shaped support frames to which the panels are made to attach as structural elements, by novel attachment hardware, for erection at the operational site.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2012
    Inventor: John W. Detch
  • Publication number: 20120060831
    Abstract: A passive solar collector utilizes a support constructed of precisely machined foam to simplify the construction and calibration of the reflective surface. Further improvements include sensor-based positioning, and a receiver having inflow and outflow conduits adapted to improve thermal efficiency.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 14, 2011
    Publication date: March 15, 2012
    Applicant: MATALON ENERGY, LLC
    Inventor: David Matalon
  • Patent number: 8088994
    Abstract: A light concentrating module for transforming light into at least one of electrical and thermal energy is provided. The light concentrating module may be coupled in flow communication with a fluid conversion module and include a primary optical element that has a reflective surface with a plurality of contoured sections. Each contoured section is shaped to reflect light that impinges the contoured section toward a corresponding focal region. The module may also have a receiver system that includes a plurality of energy conversion members positioned proximate to corresponding focal regions. The receiver system also has a working fluid passage for carrying a working fluid that absorbs the thermal energy. The working fluid can be conveyed away from the receiver system through a mounting post that holds the receiver system. In addition, the module may also generate electricity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2007
    Date of Patent: January 3, 2012
    Assignee: Solergy, Inc.
    Inventors: Yoav Banin, Gino D'Ovidio, Giovanni Lanzara
  • Patent number: 8074638
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present invention relate to concentrating solar radiation using an assembly of at least one clear and one reflective film that inflates into a shape reflecting parallel rays of light to a concentrated focus in the interior or immediate proximity of the assembly. Embodiments of the present invention can be assembled in a substantially flat stack with bonds or welds between the films, compatible with conventional high-throughput film manufacturing processes. Embodiments in accordance with the present invention may employ external circumferential rings or a “harness” assembly to support and point the balloon against wind forces and the like without severe stress localization. Embodiments in accordance with the present invention may also employ film attachments to facilitate feedthroughs, reduce stress concentrations, and modify the inflated shape. Embodiments in accordance with the present invention may also employ film modifiers, including laminated films, adhesives, printing, etc.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 13, 2011
    Assignee: CoolEarth Solar
    Inventor: Eric Bryant Cummings
  • Patent number: 8069849
    Abstract: A passive solar collector utilizes a support constructed of precisely machined foam to simplify the construction and calibration of the reflective surface. Further improvements include sensor-based positioning, and a receiver having inflow and outflow conduits adapted to improve thermal efficiency.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2011
    Assignee: Matalon Energy, LLC
    Inventor: David Matalon
  • Patent number: 8058546
    Abstract: An apparatus is provided comprising a compound parabolic concentrating (CPC) trough, a target, a plurality of sunlight diverters, and a tracker. The CPC trough is for concentrating sunlight and is symmetric about an imaginary plane of symmetry. The target is for absorbing sunlight concentrated by the trough. The plurality of sunlight diverters is to increase the sunlight received by the trough. The tracker is to orient the trough so that the sun is positioned on the plane of symmetry.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 8, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2011
    Inventor: John R. Casperson
  • Publication number: 20110247679
    Abstract: A lightweight reflector with a load bearing structure based on a tensile spoke-wheel. The spoke structure is especially compatible with dish parabolic mirrors, but has utility as a carrier structure for any round functional surface, including flat or slightly-curved mirrors used in central tower solar systems, parabolic dishes for radio telescopes and antennas, and for non-concentrating thin film solar panels. There are no radial members loaded in compression. All the spokes pull the rim inwards, and the rim is compressed in the circumferential direction. The imbalance in spoke tension results from the application of load provides the rigidity of the rim in respect to the hub, both for in-plane and out-of-plane forces. Ribs stiffen the spokes to resist wind and gravity, but are not structurally supported by either the hub or the rim. Lightweight reflector tiles match the wheel structure and create the reflective surface.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 13, 2011
    Publication date: October 13, 2011
    Inventors: Ben Shelef, Shmuel Erez
  • Patent number: 8011361
    Abstract: A tower type heat dissipating structure is applied to dissipate the heat of a solar power system. The solar power system is provided with a reflector having a hemispheric surface for reflecting the sunlight to a solar cell. The heat dissipating structure comprises a heat-conducting plate, a plate type heat pipe and a plurality of heat dissipating fins. One side of the heat-conducting plate is connected with the solar cell, and the other side is provided with a groove for being embedded an end of the plate type heat pipe. The heat dissipating fins is arranged with an inclination angle against the plate type heat pipe that can promote the heated air within the gaps to rise. The heat is rapidly conduced to prevent the solar cell from being destroyed by overheating for reducing the repairing costs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2011
    Assignee: Celsia Technologies Taiwan, Inc.
    Inventors: George Anthony Meyer, IV, Chien-Hung Sun, Chieh-Ping Chen
  • Patent number: 7975685
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a solar collecting and utilizing device, comprising: one or more paraboloidal light collecting mirrors for collecting/converging the sunlight; a light guider including a light guider mirror for receiving the sunlight converged by said paraboloidal light collecting mirrors and converting it into parallel light beams in a desired direction; one or more curved surface condenser mirrors for receiving/converging substantially parallel light beams from said light guider; a solar storage and conversion device for storing/converting the energy converged by said curved surface condenser mirrors; a solar tracking equipment for tracking automatically the sunlight so as to always keep the opening surface of said paraboloidal light collecting mirrors substantially vertical to the sunlight. The focus of said light collecting mirror always superposes the focus of the corresponding light guider mirror.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 12, 2011
    Inventor: Xiaofeng Zhao
  • Patent number: 7973235
    Abstract: A hybrid solar lighting distribution system and components having at least one hybrid solar concentrator, at least one fiber receiver, at least one hybrid luminaire, and a light distribution system operably connected to each hybrid solar concentrator and each hybrid luminaire. A controller operates all components.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 5, 2011
    Assignee: UT-Batelle, LLC
    Inventors: Jeffrey D. Muhs, Dennis D. Earl, David L. Beshears, Lonnie C. Maxey, John K. Jordan, Randall F. Lind
  • Patent number: 7946287
    Abstract: Solar concentrator system(s) that include parabolic Total Reflection Reflectors with corrected Curved Rectangular Total Reflection Prisms are provided. The corrected Curved Rectangular Total Reflection Prisms remove optical imperfections of diffusion typically present at conventional rectangular prisms of conventional parabolic and paraboloid TRR, and enable accurate focusing and high concentration ratios. A variation of the corrected Curved Rectangular Total Reflection Prisms allows the construction of a corrected solar wave guide with total reflection walls (Solar Artery), which enables the removal of the diffusion (and losses) typically present at conventional Hollow Solar Wave Guides, and increase by one or more orders of magnitude the light-propagation range of Solar Arteries for the same level of losses.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2011
    Inventor: Alexandros Papadopoulos
  • Publication number: 20110100358
    Abstract: In accordance with one embodiment, a parabolic trough system is disclosed to capture solar heat. It has low mass, high rigidity and precise robust rotational control. The trough does not require massive supports, since it use a “sandwich structure” where the core is lightweight urethane foam and the skin is made of aluminum sheet. The inside skin also functions as the parabolic reflector. The shape minimizes wind loads by centering the receiver in the parabola and by making the center of focus the center of rotation. The system can be rapidly built in the field since there are few parts. Assembly does not require heavy equipment. Support posts are used on both sides of the trough to minimize the anchoring requirements in wind loads. The trough bodies are rotated in a rotational control mechanism that uses circumscribing rings to support a continuous row of troughs that can sustain 120 mile per hour winds. Optical performance is improved with the drive ring design.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 1, 2010
    Publication date: May 5, 2011
    Inventor: Randal Jerome Perisho
  • Publication number: 20110041836
    Abstract: The invention relates to a novel design for a solar concentrator formed by: a first upper bushing, a second upper bushing, a third upper bushing, a fourth upper bushing, a fifth upper bushing, a sixth upper bushing, a first lower bushing, a second lower bushing, a third lower bushing, a first upper bar, a second upper bar, a third upper bar, a first lower bar, a second lower bar, a third lower bar, a first vertical bar, a second vertical bar, a third vertical bar, a first diagonal bar, a second diagonal bar, a third diagonal bar, a first mirror, a second mirror, a third mirror and a fourth mirror. The solar concentrator is formed by small flat mirrors which can be adjusted using nuts in order to obtain the desired parabolic curvature, thereby providing a higher concentration coefficient.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 15, 2009
    Publication date: February 24, 2011
    Applicant: UNIVERSIDAD NACIONAL AUTONOMA DE MEXICO
    Inventor: Ernst KUSSUL
  • Publication number: 20100326425
    Abstract: In a reflector dish, a small quantity of elongate mirror-surfaced reflector panels are structurally integrated with a support framework that is configured to enable convenient shipping and on-site assembly and erection of a reflector dish assembly with an effective reflecting surface that closely approximates a desired parabolic dish shape with short focal length, synthesized from combination of the reflector panels originally procured as flat rectangular sheet metal panels and formed to provide the desired dish curvature. The panels can be conveniently shipped to location along with a corresponding quantity of reinforced crescent-shaped support frames to which the panels are made to attach as structural elements, by novel attachment hardware, for erection at the operational site.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 24, 2009
    Publication date: December 30, 2010
    Inventor: John W. Detch
  • Publication number: 20100326426
    Abstract: The invention relates to a solar tracker with parabolic concentrator, comprising a parabolic concentrator (1) formed by a composition of mirrors (4) focused towards a Stirling engine (3), the mirrors (4) being located on a bearing structure (5), with securing by means of anchors (6) which allow a regulation in a vertical direction, in a lateral direction and in a depth direction, whereas the Stirling engine (3) is secured on the same bearing structure (5) by means of ties (10) which are attached to said Stirling engine (3) by means of two securing elements which can be adjusted in length, the bearing structure (5) being formed by parallel vertical lattices (14) comprising in their formation sheet metal boxes attached to one another by means of other intermediate sheet metal boxes.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 23, 2009
    Publication date: December 30, 2010
    Applicant: MECANIZADOS SOLARES, S.L.
    Inventor: Jose Abel Gonzalez Moreno
  • Patent number: 7845345
    Abstract: A solar-powered system and method for producing a utility, such as electricity, hot water, and/or potable water is disclosed. The system may be configured to produce the utilities alone or in combination. The system may comprise a fluid medium, a converter, one or more solar concentrators, a storage tank, a collection tank, a dehydration tank, and one or more safety features. The system may be closed-loop or open-loop.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 7, 2010
    Inventors: Cheryl Glazer, Elliott Glazer, Steven Glazer
  • Publication number: 20100078012
    Abstract: Melting metals using solar energy is not new, but is new is making the technology ergonomic, and easy to use. Invented is a half-shell-parabolic-dish reflector, which has in front an adjustable flat planar reflector. When the sun is overhead, the sunlight reflects off the flat planar reflector to a half-shell-parabolic-dish, which redirects the light to a crucible for smelting metals, which is also the focus of the sunlight. The entire assembly rotates on top of a turntable, which can be steel wheel, floating on compressed air, bicycle wheels, or other suitable methods. The entire assembly rotates about a crucible located at the focal of the sun's rays. A smaller version of the smelter can be used for solar cooking.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 30, 2008
    Publication date: April 1, 2010
    Inventor: Martin E. Nix
  • Patent number: 7665459
    Abstract: A solar collector includes a plurality of elongated parabolic reflectors mounted within a glass-topped enclosure for pivotal movement such that each reflector is incrementally pivoted throughout the course of a day to remain substantially perpendicular to the sun. The incremental pivotal movement is caused by a motor energized from a solar switch having solar cells that also pivot throughout the day so that in one position of the switch, no electricity is being generated and transferred to the motor, but in a second position, the switch receives solar radiation and energizes the motor to again incrementally pivot each reflector along with the solar switch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 23, 2010
    Assignee: Energistic Systems, LLC
    Inventor: William R. Lowstuter, Jr.
  • Patent number: 7550054
    Abstract: A method of manufacturing a mirror for a dish reflector of a system for generating electrical power from solar radiation is disclosed. The method includes the steps of: (a) shaping a blank of a deformable material to have a concave surface that is a required surface profile for a mirror; and (b) glueing, laminating or otherwise adhering together a back surface of a sheet of reflective glass and the concave surface of the shaped blank to form the mirror.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2009
    Assignee: Solar Systems Pty Ltd.
    Inventor: John Beavis Lasich
  • Publication number: 20090148556
    Abstract: A brewery plant with at least one mash container, a lauter tun, a wort pan and a water housing, wherein at least part of the thermal energy requirement of the brewery is covered with solar collectors, and the solar collectors directly or indirectly heat a fluid. Also, a brewing method where the thermal energy requirement for at least of a part of the brewing process stages is at least partially covered with a fluid heated directly or indirectly by solar collectors.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 22, 2006
    Publication date: June 11, 2009
    Applicant: Krones AG
    Inventors: Kurt Stippler, Klaus-Karl Wasmuht