Solar Energy Type Patents (Class 136/206)
  • Patent number: 11050382
    Abstract: The present invention is aimed at providing a float aggregate which can be manufactured at low cost and has countermeasures against wind pressure suitable for use on water. According to the present invention, provided is a float aggregate formed by connecting a plurality of floats configured for mounting a solar panel thereon, wherein the solar panel is provided on at least one of the plurality of floats so as to be inclined with respect to a surface of the float and to face a rear side of the float aggregate, the plurality of floats includes a base end float located along an end portion of on a front side of the float aggregate, and the base end float is provided with a windbreak member inclined with respect to a surface of the base end float and to face the front side of the float aggregate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2021
    Assignee: KYORAKU CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Yoshinori Motohashi, Seiji Ono, Tsutomu Sakaguchi, Yasunobu Ueda
  • Patent number: 11005414
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present disclosure are related to solar module mounting systems. A system may include an adhesion sheet configured to be secured to a roof of a structure via an adhesive. The system may further include at least one clamp configured for securing at least one solar module to the adhesion sheet. Other embodiments are related to methods of attaching one or more solar modules to a structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2021
    Assignee: Vivint Solar, Inc.
    Inventors: Willard S. MacDonald, Gregory N. Nielson, Roger L. Jungerman
  • Patent number: 10873018
    Abstract: A thermoelectric generator system according to the present disclosure includes first and second thermoelectric generator units, each including tubular thermoelectric generators. Each of the generators has a flow path defined by its inner peripheral surface, and generates electromotive force in an axial direction thereof based on a temperature difference between its inner and outer peripheral surfaces. Each unit further includes: a container housing the generators inside; and electrically conductive members providing electrical interconnection for the generators. The container has fluid inlet and outlet ports through which a fluid flows inside, and openings into which the generators are inserted. A buffer vessel is arranged between the first and second units, and has a first opening communicating with the flow paths of the generators in the first unit and a second opening communicating with the flow paths of the generators in the second unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 22, 2020
    Assignee: Panasonic Corporation
    Inventors: Tsutomu Kanno, Akihiro Sakai, Kohei Takahashi, Hiromasa Tamaki, Hideo Kusada, Yuka Yamada
  • Patent number: 10868077
    Abstract: In some embodiments, thermoelectric apparatus and various applications of thermoelectric apparatus are described herein. In some embodiments, a thermoelectric apparatus described herein comprises at least one p-type layer coupled to at least one n-type layer to provide a pn junction, and an insulating layer at least partially disposed between the p-type layer and the n-type layer, the p-type layer comprising a plurality of carbon nanoparticles and the n-type layer comprising a plurality of n-doped carbon nanoparticles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 15, 2020
    Assignee: Wake Forest University
    Inventor: David L Carroll
  • Patent number: 10804420
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a solar cell array configuration comprising a plurality of solar cells provided on at least one substrate, a plurality of contact pads, one contact pad for each of the plurality of solar cells, provided on the at least one substrate, electrical wiring connecting each of the plurality of solar cells with a corresponding one of the plurality of contact pads and a diode electrically connected with at least two of the plurality of solar cells.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2012
    Date of Patent: October 13, 2020
    Assignee: Saint-Augustin Canada Electric Inc.
    Inventors: Eckart Gerster, Martin Ziegler
  • Patent number: 10730772
    Abstract: A system to treat effluent in a septic tank includes filter sections having kerfs. A strainer removes solid debris from the filter for removal without allowing the solid debris to pass. An aerator includes an eight to twelve inch diameter pipe 4 to 6 feet tall matching tank invert height. The aerator has bottom inlet holes, each with an elbow on the outside with a vertical standpipe taking effluent from the clear zone, sending it through the aerator. Air inlet piping is attached to a “T” shaped air diffuser producing bubbles traveling upward through plastic media. Aerator height is field adjusted to approximately 2 inches below static water level. Holes in the upper sidewalls just below the top let air bubbles out sideways. At its top, the aerator has a slotted, sliding, anti-turbulation collar adjusted to be one to two inches above the static water level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2020
    Assignee: SCAT Enterprises LLC
    Inventor: John C. Baas, III
  • Patent number: 10710339
    Abstract: A laminated automotive glazing unit including two glass sheets joined by a thermoplastic interlayer sheet, a system of conductive layers applied to one of the sheets, and including on an edge of the same sheet a substantially opaque masking strip, making contact with the glass sheet, the system of conductive layers covering at least partially the masking strip. The glazing unit further includes busbars for supplying electrical power, the busbars making contact with the layer system in the portion covering the masking strip. The masking strip includes a set of layers that absorb visible radiation, the layers being formed by cathodic sputtering.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2020
    Assignee: AGC GLASS EUROPE
    Inventors: Jacques Dumont, Peter Masschelein, Jean-Michel Depauw
  • Patent number: 10686113
    Abstract: A power generating brick comprising a brick body with a through hole provided along a vertical direction; a thermoelectric unit disposed in the through hole and comprising a heat collecting assembly, a thermoelectric power generation sheet and a heat sink; wherein, the heat sink is disposed at the lower end of the through hole; the thermoelectric power generation sheet is disposed on the heat sink; the heat collecting assembly is disposed on the thermoelectric power generation sheet; so as to generate electrical energy from a temperature difference between the cold and hot sides of the thermoelectric power generation sheet, and output electrical energy via wires connected to the positive and negative electrodes of the thermoelectric power generation sheet. The power generating brick can be laid on the pedestrian streets, squares, roads and roofs of a city or used as walls of a building.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 28, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 16, 2020
    Inventor: Chunsong Jin
  • Patent number: 10658968
    Abstract: A thermoradiative device for generating power includes a thermoradiative element having a top surface and a bottom surface, wherein the thermoradiative element is a semiconductor material having a bandgap energy Eg. The device includes a thermal conductive element having a first surface and a second surface, wherein the first surface is arranged to face the bottom surface of the thermoradiative element, and the first surface is a structured surface having a periodic structure, wherein the structured surface is separated from the bottom surface with a distance d to establish near-field resonance between the bottom surface and the structured surface. The device further includes supporters configured to bond the thermoradiative element and the thermal conductive element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2020
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories, Inc.
    Inventors: Bingnan Wang, Chungwei Lin, Koon Hoo Teo
  • Patent number: 10651683
    Abstract: An electronic device 50 has at least one harvesting unit 52 for harvesting power from ambient energy. At least one circuit 54, including processing circuitry 56, is supplied with power from the harvesting unit 52. Control circuitry 60 is provided to adjust at least one property of the processing circuitry 56 or the at least one harvesting unit 52 to reduce impedance mismatch between an output impedance of the harvesting unit 52 and an input impedance of the at least one circuit 54.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2020
    Assignee: ARM Limited
    Inventors: Parameshwarappa Anand Kumar Savanth, James Edward Myers, David Walter Flynn
  • Patent number: 10550034
    Abstract: The invention relates to an almost opaque decorative glass panel comprising a substrate made of a vitreous material bearing a multilayer stack including at least one light-absorbing functional layer and transparent dielectric coatings such that the light-absorbing functional layer is enclosed between dielectric coatings. The light-absorbing functional layer has a geometric thickness comprised between 25 and 140 nm, and an extinction coefficient k of at least 1.8. The multilayer stack in addition comprises at least one attenuating layer placed between the substrate and the light-absorbing functional layer, having a thickness comprised between 1 and 50 nm, having a refractive index n higher than 1 and an extinction coefficient k of at least 0.5. Furthermore, a transparent dielectric coating the optical thickness of which is comprised between 30 and 160 nm, and the refractive index n of which is higher than 1.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2015
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2020
    Assignee: AGC GLASS EUROPE
    Inventors: Jacques Dumont, Jean-Michel Depauw
  • Patent number: 10523151
    Abstract: An electrical transmission system has solar electrical generation stations mounted directly to existing utility poles along a transmission line. Solar panels and securing brackets define each solar electric generation station. Each station has at least one generally East facing panel, at least one generally South facing panel, and at least one generally West facing panel. A power coupling conducts electricity generated by the solar electric generation station into the transmission lines. In one embodiment, a plurality of spacer members support the separate and distinct solar collector surfaces in a fixed position relative to the utility pole and have a plurality of clamp passages. A plurality of clamps pass through the clamp passages to guide and retain the clamps. In another embodiment, a plurality of adjustable brackets affix with the spacer members adjacent a first end and to the utility pole adjacent a second end distal to the first end.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2019
    Inventor: Lonnie L. Kornovich
  • Patent number: 10476114
    Abstract: A battery includes: 1) an anode; 2) a cathode; 3) a separator disposed between the anode and the cathode, wherein the separator includes at least one functional layer; and 4) a sensor connected to the at least one functional layer to monitor an internal state of the battery.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2019
    Assignee: The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University
    Inventors: Yi Cui, Hui Wu, Denys Zhuo
  • Patent number: 10447200
    Abstract: A solar photovoltaic cell system used for supply of electrical power for various uses. The cell system includes photovoltaic cells received around a tubular shaped, elongated tank. The tank is disposed in front of a concave light reflector. The light reflector is rotatably mounted on a latitude adjustable stand. The stand is also used to hold opposite ends of the tank. The light reflector is used for reflecting increased sun light onto the photovoltaic cells. Electrical energy from the photovoltaic cells is used to power various types of electrical applications.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2019
    Inventor: Ali A. Fakih
  • Patent number: 10383289
    Abstract: Covering and method for promoting local rainfall are provided. The covering has a skin to cover a field that can get thermal energy. An edge part of the skin is installed at a surface of the field, and the inner part of the skin surrounded by the edge part can be lifted up from the surface to form a space to store air. The covered air receives thermal energy and the skin prevents air convection and reduces thermal energy loss, thereby generating a temperature difference between the inside and outside of the skin. By utilizing buoyancy resulted from the air temperature difference to lift up the inner part of the skin, a huge space is formed to contain a large amount of air. Thereafter, the covered air continues to receive thermal energy, causing huge thermal energy to be stored in the covered air, which is then used to promote rainfall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 20, 2019
    Inventor: Pang-Yien Lin
  • Patent number: 10373812
    Abstract: A thermionic energy converter includes an anode, a cathode spaced from the anode to define a gap therebetween and an operating environment of hydrogen wherein the anode and the cathode are disposed in the hydrogen operating environment so that molecular hydrogen is incorporated into the gap and the anode and the cathode are substantially exposed to the molecular hydrogen. Exposure of diamond samples to a hydrogen plasma reduces the resistance of the bulk diamond film. Hydrogen enhances electron transport through the bulk of the diamond and improves the thermionic emission current. Impregnation of a diamond electrode with hydrogen enhances bulk electron transport of the diamond due to hydrogen lying in the interstitial space between the carbon atoms. Hydrogen increases the bulk conductivity of diamonds films by interact with the diamond surface to form polarized C—H bonds reducing the electron affinity and in turn, reducing the work function.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 6, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2019
    Inventors: William F. Paxton, IV, Jim L. Davidson, Weng P. Kang, Mick E. Howell
  • Patent number: 10361652
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present disclosure are related to solar module mounting systems. A system may include an adhesion sheet configured to be secured to a roof of a structure via an adhesive. The system may further include at least one clamp configured for securing at least one solar module to the adhesion sheet. Other embodiments are related to methods of attaching one or more solar modules to a structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2019
    Assignee: Vivint Solar, Inc.
    Inventors: Willard S. MacDonald, Gregory N. Nielson, Roger L. Jungerman
  • Patent number: 10355152
    Abstract: A solar module includes a laminate structure having at least two solar cells. Each of the solar cells has an individual reinforcement laminated to one face of each of the solar cells. The solar cells are spaced apart from each other and the individual reinforcements are spaced apart from each other such that a gap is defined between each of the solar cells. The solar module includes flexible conductors that extend through the gap between the solar cells and electrically connect the solar cells to each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2019
    Assignee: Sunpower Corporation
    Inventors: Nathan Stoddard, Mukesh Dulani
  • Patent number: 10305273
    Abstract: Disclosed are a photovoltaic system and its rapid shutdown method. The photovoltaic system includes a photovoltaic array including a photovoltaic array panel and a shutdown device, a junction box and an inverter, the shutdown device is electrically connected to the photovoltaic array panel and is connected to the inverter; the photovoltaic system further includes a shutdown device controller, which is coupled to the high voltage wires, and is configured for receiving a first detection signal reflecting a state of the AC side of the inverter, determining whether the AC side of the inverter is in a power-off state, outputting a first power-off signal when the AC side of the inverter is in the power-off state, and transferring the first power-off signal to the shutdown device; and the shutdown device receives the first power-off signal and prohibits the electric energy from transferring to the inverter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 10, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 28, 2019
    Assignee: Delta Electronics (Shanghai) CO., LTD
    Inventors: Xuancai Zhu, Jianming Chen, Bingwen Weng, Zhiying Zhao
  • Patent number: 10284069
    Abstract: A voltage conversion device can selectively switch between and perform voltage control and current control of a voltage conversion unit in a suitable manner in which output characteristics of a power source are reflected. A control unit (10) of the voltage conversion device (1) selectively switches the control mode of the voltage conversion unit (3) to a current control mode or a voltage control mode on the basis of current-voltage characteristics of the power source (2) and performs a control process of each control mode. The power source (2) has current-voltage characteristics such that the output voltage changes according to the output current and such that a rate of change of the output voltage with respect to a change of the output current changes according to the output current.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2019
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Ryota Kitamoto
  • Patent number: 10276770
    Abstract: A flexible thermoelectric element and a method for manufacturing the same is provided. The thermoelectric element is disposed between a high temperature portion and a low temperature portion and includes a plurality of p-type materials and n-type materials formed at a predetermined interval and is folded at sections of the p-type materials and sections of the n-type materials to form folding components. An insulating filler is coated between the p-type materials and the n-type materials that are folded. A module is formed by folding the flexible thermoelectric element, and separate cutting and alignment of the thermoelectric element are omitted at portions that contact with the high and low temperature portions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2019
    Assignee: Hyundai Motor Company
    Inventors: Eun Yeong Lee, Sung Geun Park, Sang Hak Kim, Mi Yeon Song
  • Patent number: 10193377
    Abstract: An embodiment includes a system, comprising: a circuit; an energy harvesting device configured to convert energy from the circuit to electrical energy; an energy storage device configured to store the electrical energy; and a power supply configured to supply power from the energy storage device, and multi-sensor module including such a system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2019
    Assignee: SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Zhan Ping
  • Patent number: 10141468
    Abstract: The present device is a thermophotovoltaic (TPV) cell adapted to charge the battery of an electronic device efficiently and cost-effectively. This is accomplished by specifically layering N-Type and P-type semiconductors in several layers while also introducing extrinsic doping agents that add to the conductivity of the oxides used for generating energy using ambient thermal energy. As such, electrical energy can effectively be drawn from a single heat reservoir.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2018
    Assignee: Atrius Energy, Inc.
    Inventor: Malcolm L. Brown
  • Patent number: 9997942
    Abstract: In embodiments, apparatuses, methods and systems associated with battery charging are disclosed herein. In various embodiments, a reference current selector may receive a battery voltage sense input and output a reference current level signal, a power point check detector may receive a power supply sense input and output a power point check signal, and a controller coupled to the reference current selector and the power point check detector may receive a battery current sense input and switch a control output based at least in part on the reference current level signal, the battery current sense input, and the power point check signal. Other embodiments may be described and/or claimed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2018
    Assignee: INTEL CORPORATION
    Inventors: Lilly Huang, Suvankar Biswas, Vaibhav Vaidya, Krishnan Ravichandran
  • Patent number: 9972744
    Abstract: A light emitting element includes a first electrode, a second electrode overlapping the first electrode, and an emission layer between the first electrode and the second electrode. The emission layer includes a quantum well that includes a first layer and a second layer, each having a different band gap. The first layer includes magnesium, and the second layer includes zinc. The first layer and the second layer are amorphous.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2018
    Assignee: Samsung Display Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Dong Chan Kim, Dong Kyu Seo, Yoon Hyeung Cho, Won Suk Han
  • Patent number: 9923374
    Abstract: A photovoltaic system includes solar cells and an inverter configured to convert direct current generated by the solar cells to alternating current. The photovoltaic system includes a maximum power point (MPP) tracking module configured to perform MPP tracking for the photovoltaic system. The MPP tracking module is configured to detect shading of the solar cells and to modify its MPP tracking to prevent tracking of local MPPs. The MPP tracking module may be incorporated in the inverter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 20, 2018
    Assignee: SunPower Corporation
    Inventors: Zachary S. Judkins, Keith Johnston
  • Patent number: 9774295
    Abstract: A photoelectric conversion element includes a ferroelectric layer; a first electrode and a second electrode provided on a surface or a surface layer portion of the ferroelectric layer; a common electrode provided on a surface or a surface layer portion of an opposite side to a side of the ferroelectric layer on which the first electrode and the second electrode are provided; and a pair of lead-out electrodes extracting electric power from the ferroelectric layer, in which the first electrode and the second electrode are arranged alternately in a predetermined direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 26, 2017
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Satoru Hosono, Satoshi Kimura, Setsuya Iwashita, Yasuaki Hamada
  • Patent number: 9753511
    Abstract: A method of managing power between the multiple components of a hybrid electrical energy storage system (HESS) that includes providing at least two power storage elements, and at least one renewable power source. The method further includes managing the power flow among the at least two power storage elements with a fuzzy logic controller. The fuzzy logic controller uses a hardware processor that is configured to increase or decrease current to each of the at least two power storage elements using a fuzzy rule base that is dependent upon at least one of a state of charge for each of the at least two power storage elements, and a requested power demand of the hybrid electrical storage system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2017
    Assignee: NEC Corporation
    Inventors: Yanzhu Ye, Ratnesh Sharma
  • Patent number: 9748466
    Abstract: An integrated circuit may include a substrate and a dielectric layer formed over the substrate. A plurality of p-type thermoelectric elements and a plurality of n-type thermoelectric elements may be disposed within the dielectric layer. The p-type thermoelectric elements and the n-type thermoelectric elements may be connected in series while alternating between the p-type and the n-type thermoelectric elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 29, 2017
    Assignee: Analog Devices, Inc.
    Inventors: Baoxing Chen, Patrick M. McGuinness, William Allan Lane, Jane Cornett
  • Patent number: 9620698
    Abstract: An integrated circuit may include a substrate and a dielectric layer formed over the substrate. A plurality of p-type thermoelectric elements and a plurality of n-type thermoelectric elements may be disposed within the dielectric layer. The p-type thermoelectric elements and the n-type thermoelectric elements may be connected in series while alternating between the p-type and the n-type thermoelectric elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 11, 2017
    Assignee: Analog Devices, Inc.
    Inventors: William Allan Lane, Baoxing Chen
  • Patent number: 9599376
    Abstract: The disclosure is directed to an energy efficient thermal protection assembly. The thermal protection assembly can comprise three or more thermoelectric unit layers capable of active use of the Peltier effect; and at least one capacitance spacer block suitable for storing heat and providing a delayed thermal reaction time of the assembly. The capacitance spacer block is thermally connected between the thermoelectric unit layers. The present disclosure further relates to a thermoelectric transport and storage devices for transporting or storing temperature sensitive goods, for example, vaccines, chemicals, biologicals, and other temperature sensitive goods. The transport or storage device can be configured and provide on-board energy storage for sustaining, for multiple days, at a constant-temperature, with an acceptable temperature variation band.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2017
    Assignee: Ambassador Asset Management Limited Partnership
    Inventor: Alp Ilercil
  • Patent number: 9583658
    Abstract: A solar cell panel and method of forming a solar cell panel. The method includes a: forming an electrically conductive bus bar on a top surface of a bottom cover plate; forming an electrically conductive contact frame proximate to a bottom surface of a top cover plate, the top cover plate transparent to visible light; and placing an array of rows and columns of solar cell chips between the bottom cover plate and the top cover plate, each solar cell chip of the array of solar cell chips comprising an anode adjacent to a top surface and a cathode adjacent to a bottom surface of the solar cell chip, the bus bar electrically contacting each cathode of each solar cell chip of the array of solar cell chips and the contact frame contacting each anode of each solar cell chip of the array of solar cell chips.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2010
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2017
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Harold John Hovel, Rainer Klaus Krause, Xiaoyan Shao, Steven Erik Steen
  • Patent number: 9581142
    Abstract: An energy conversion device generates electrical power responsive to a flow of thermal power. An energy radiator is in thermal communication with the energy converter and includes an input side for receiving the flow from the energy converter and an output side that is tuned for selectively emitting at least a portion of the thermal flow in a bandwidth at which the atmosphere of Earth is substantially transparent and/or with a sufficiently small radiation angle such that the portion of the thermal flow can be radiated to outer space. In one system, the energy conversion device held at least near an ambient temperature. In another system, the energy conversion device is maintained below an ambient temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 28, 2017
    Assignee: The Regents of the University of Colorado, A Body Corporate
    Inventor: Garret Moddel
  • Patent number: 9570679
    Abstract: A semiconductor structure is described containing a deflector between a first nanoscale device and a second nanoscale device. The deflector is designed to deflect near-field radiation from emanating from the first nanoscale device to the second nanoscale device. In some embodiments, this may be accomplished using at least one nanoscale element located between the first and second nanoscale device, where the nanoscale element is tuned to the proper plasmon-polariton frequency to deflect the near field radiation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 14, 2017
    Assignee: GLOBALFOUNDRIES INC.
    Inventors: Daniel Krebs, Gabriele Raino
  • Patent number: 9559388
    Abstract: Electrochemical systems for harvesting heat energy, and associated electrochemical cells and methods, are generally described. The electrochemical cells can be configured, in certain cases, such that at least a portion of the regeneration of the first electrochemically active material is driven by a change in temperature of the electrochemical cell. The electrochemical cells can be configured to include a first electrochemically active material and a second electrochemically active material, and, in some cases, the absolute value of the difference between the first thermogalvanic coefficient of the first electrochemically active material and the second thermogalvanic coefficient of the second electrochemically active material is at least about 0.5 millivolts/Kelvin.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 31, 2017
    Assignees: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The Board of Trustees of the Leland Staford Junior University
    Inventors: Seok Woo Lee, Yuan Yang, Hadi Ghasemi, Gang Chen, Yi Cui
  • Patent number: 9496475
    Abstract: A method and device produce thermoelectric power and thermoelectric modules. In one embodiment, a thermoelectric module comprises N-type carbon nanotube film and P-type carbon nanotube film.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2016
    Assignee: The Texas A&M University System
    Inventors: Jaime C. Grunlan, Choongho Yu
  • Patent number: 9496423
    Abstract: A light converter for the photovoltaic conversion of light, having a support, a first semiconductor body, and a second semiconductor body. A first surface and a second surface are designed as receiving surfaces for light. An electrically conductive connector having a first arm and a second arm is provided, and the first arm is arranged on the first surface and interconnected with the first surface, and the second arm is arranged below the second rear surface and interconnected with the second rear surface. The second arm is at least partially embedded in a conductive material, the conductive material being arranged between the second rear surface and a second conductive track, and the second conductive track is formed as part of the support.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2016
    Assignee: Azur Space Solar Power GmbH
    Inventors: Ruediger Loeckenhoff, Klaus-Dieter Rasch
  • Patent number: 9423157
    Abstract: Selective solar absorbent coating and manufacturing method, with solar absorption and low emissivity properties. The coating comprises a substrate (1) of metal, dielectric or ceramic material, at least one highly reflective metal layer (2) in mid-far infrared applied to the substrate itself which provides low emissivity properties, a multi-layer structure of alternating dielectric and metallic layers (3) of subnanometric thickness applied to the reflective metal layer and at least one dielectric layer (4) that acts as an anti-reflective layer for the solar spectrum. The coating is applicable as a selective absorbent coating in absorbent tubes for parabolic-trough solar collectors, in solar panels for hot water, heating or domestic cooling, both in the form of absorbent tubes and absorbent sheets, in capture systems in tower solar thermoelectric power plants, and in capture systems in Stirling disk systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2016
    Assignee: Abengoa Solar New Technologies, S.A.
    Inventors: Francisco Villuendas Yuste, Carlos Alcañiz Garcia, Rafael Alonso Esteban, Javier Pelayo Zueco, Jesus Mario Subias Domingo, Carlos Heras Vila, Noelia Martinez Sanz
  • Patent number: 9413290
    Abstract: The invention relates to a suitable control method for a system of photovoltaic concentration modules, which can be used to maintain the correct orientation of the modules in order to track the sun without requiring the use of positioning sensors. The sun is tracked by performing angular movements in relation to each of the degrees of freedom at given intervals, measuring the power or current supplied by the energy collection module(s). The estimation of the sun's position and the strategy for subsequent movements are determined as a function of the reading.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2016
    Assignee: ABENGOA SOLAR NEW TECHNOLOGIES, S.A.
    Inventors: Manuel Gil Ortega Linares, Francisco Rodríguez Rubio, Manuel Guerrero Cano, Pablo Noriega Gil
  • Patent number: 9385256
    Abstract: A solar cell panel is discussed, which includes a plurality of solar cells, each solar cell including a substrate having a first surface and a second surface opposite the first surface, and a plurality of first electrodes extending in a first direction; an interconnector that is positioned in a second direction crossing the plurality of first electrodes and electrically connects adjacent ones of the plurality of solar cells to one another; and a conductive adhesive film including a resin and a plurality of conductive particles dispersed in the resin, the conductive adhesive film being positioned between the plurality of first electrodes and the interconnector in the second direction crossing the plurality of first electrodes to electrically connect the plurality of first electrodes to the interconnector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 5, 2016
    Assignee: LG ELECTRONICS INC.
    Inventors: Jongkyoung Hong, Minpyo Kim
  • Patent number: 9385292
    Abstract: A solar thermoelectric generator (STEG) is disclosed. A STEG includes a thermoelectric generator (TEG) configured to convert light energy from solar light into electrical energy, and a heat transfer structure coupled to the TEG where a portion of the heat transfer structure is configured to be embedded in the earth. The TEG includes a first side and a second side, wherein the solar light is incident on the first side of the TEG and the heat transfer structure is configured to provide cooling for the second side of the TEG using geothermal cooling. The use of geothermal cooling to provide cooling for the second side of the TEG increases the temperature difference across the TEG of the STEG, thereby increasing the net generation efficiency of the STEG.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 5, 2016
    Assignee: Alcatel Lucent
    Inventors: Kyoung Joon Kim, Todd R. Salamon
  • Patent number: 9331258
    Abstract: Solar thermoelectric generators (STEGs) are solid state heat engines that generate electricity from concentrated sunlight. A novel detailed balance model for STEGs is provided and applied to both state-of-the-art and idealized materials. STEGs can produce electricity by using sunlight to heat one side of a thermoelectric generator. While concentrated sunlight can be used to achieve extremely high temperatures (and thus improved generator efficiency), the solar absorber also emits a significant amount of black body radiation. This emitted light is the dominant loss mechanism in these generators. In this invention, we propose a solution to this problem that eliminates virtually all of the emitted black body radiation. This enables solar thermoelectric generators to operate at higher efficiency and achieve said efficient with lower levels of optical concentration. The solution is suitable for both single and dual axis solar thermoelectric generators.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2016
    Assignee: Colorado School of Mines
    Inventors: Eric S. Toberer, Lauryn L. Baranowski, Emily L. Warren
  • Patent number: 9324887
    Abstract: A solar cell element according to an embodiment of the present invention includes a semiconductor substrate that includes a first semiconductor layer of one conductivity type and a second semiconductor layer of the opposite conductivity type, and a plurality of linear current collector electrodes that are arranged on a first main surface of the semiconductor substrate at the second semiconductor layer side, the plurality of linear current collector electrodes being arranged at intervals in a direction from a middle part toward both end parts of the first main surface. A distance between neighboring ones of the current collector electrodes located in the middle part and a distance between neighboring ones of the current collector electrodes located in the both end parts are different from each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 27, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2016
    Assignee: KYOCERA CORPORATION
    Inventor: Naoya Kobamoto
  • Patent number: 9306143
    Abstract: A thermoelectric power generating system is provided that includes at least one thermoelectric assembly. The at least one thermoelectric assembly includes at least one first heat exchanger in thermal communication with at least a first portion of a first working fluid. The first portion of the first working fluid flows through the at least one thermoelectric assembly. The at least one thermoelectric assembly includes a plurality of thermoelectric elements in thermal communication with the at least one first heat exchanger. The at least one thermoelectric assembly further includes at least one second heat exchanger in thermal communication with the plurality of thermoelectric elements and with a second working fluid flowing through the at least one thermoelectric assembly. The second working fluid is cooler than the first working fluid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 30, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2016
    Assignee: Gentherm Incorporated
    Inventors: Marco Ranalli, Martin Adldinger, Douglas T. Crane
  • Patent number: 9297556
    Abstract: Selective solar absorbent coating and manufacturing method, with solar absorption and low emissivity properties. The coating comprises a substrate (1) of metal, dielectric or ceramic material, at least one highly reflective metal layer (2) in mid-far infrared applied to the substrate itself which provides low emissivity properties, a multi-layer structure of alternating dielectric and metallic layers (3) of subnanometric thickness applied to the reflective metal layer and at least one dielectric layer (4) that acts as an anti-reflective layer for the solar spectrum. The coating is applicable as a selective absorbent coating in absorbent tubes for parabolic-trough solar collectors, in solar panels for hot water, heating or domestic cooling, both in the form of absorbent tubes and absorbent sheets, in capture systems in tower solar thermoelectric power plants, and in capture systems in Stirling disk systems.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2016
    Assignee: Abengoa Solar New Technologies, S.A.
    Inventors: Francisco Villuendas Yuste, Carlos Alcañiz Garcia, Rafael Alonso Esteban, Javier Pelayo Zueco, Jesus Mario Subias Domingo, Carlos Heras Vila, Noelia Martinez Sanz
  • Patent number: 9263660
    Abstract: A generator includes a heat-electricity transforming device and a heat collector. The heat-electricity transforming device is configured to transform heat into electricity. The heat collector includes at least one heat absorption module. The at least one heat absorption module includes a carbon nanotube structure. The at least one heat absorption module is connected to the heat-electricity transforming device and transfers heat to the heat-electricity transforming device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 16, 2016
    Assignees: Tsinghua University, HON HAI PRECISION INDUSTRY CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Peng Liu, Wen-Mei Zhao, Li Qian, Liang Liu, Pi-jin Chen, Shou-Shan Fan
  • Publication number: 20150136194
    Abstract: A solar energy heat to electricity conversion device is provided that includes a thermally conductive solar receiver having a cylinder with an open end and a cup-shape closed end and a thermally conductive fin disposed on an outside surface of the cup-shape closed end, where the thermally conductive solar receiver is capable of absorbing solar energy directed into the cylinder, a thermoelectric module (TEM) that includes a first plate and a second plate, where the first plate is in contact with a surface of the thermally conductive fin, where the conductive fin is capable of transferring heat to the first plate, and a thermally conductive water block in contact with the TEM that is capable of cooling the TEM, where the water block includes a fluid input and a fluid output, where the TEM generates electricity according to a temperature difference between the first plate and the second plate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 8, 2014
    Publication date: May 21, 2015
    Inventors: Hohyun Lee, Claire Kunkle, Mark F. Wagner, Rachel Donohoe
  • Publication number: 20150114442
    Abstract: A photoelectric cell includes at least one photoelectric conversion module. The at least one photoelectric conversion module includes a first photoelectric conversion element and a second photoelectric conversion element. The first photoelectric conversion element includes a first absorbing part and a first non-absorbing part. An angle between the first absorbing part and the first non-absorbing part is less than 90 degrees. The second photoelectric conversion element includes a second non-absorbing part and a second absorbing part electrically connected with the second absorbing part. An angle between the second absorbing part and the second non-absorbing part is less than 90 degrees. The first absorbing part is electrically connected with the second absorbing part.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 26, 2014
    Publication date: April 30, 2015
    Inventors: CHUN-HUA HU, CHANG-HONG LIU, SHOU-SHAN FAN
  • Patent number: 9006556
    Abstract: Traditional power generation systems using thermoelectric power generators are designed to operate most efficiently for a single operating condition. The present invention provides a power generation system in which the characteristics of the thermoelectrics, the flow of the thermal power, and the operational characteristics of the power generator are monitored and controlled such that higher operation efficiencies and/or higher output powers can be maintained with variably thermal power input. Such a system is particularly beneficial in variable thermal power source systems, such as recovering power from the waste heat generated in the exhaust of combustion engines.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2015
    Assignee: Genthem Incorporated
    Inventors: Lon E. Bell, Douglas Todd Crane
  • Patent number: 9000541
    Abstract: A photoelectric conversion device includes circuit portions disposed on a substrate, a first electrode electrically connected to one of the circuit portions, an optically transparent second electrode opposing the first electrode, and a photoelectric conversion portion disposed between the first electrode and the second electrode. The photoelectric conversion portion has a multilayer structure including a light absorption layer made of a p-type compound semiconductor film having a chalcopyrite structure, an amorphous oxide semiconductor layer, and a window layer made of an n-type semiconductor film.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2015
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Yasunori Hattori, Tomotaka Matsumoto, Tsukasa Eguchi