Scalable Concentrated Photovoltaic Technology-Three New Patents
Skyline Solar today announced that the company has been awarded three new patents, including two through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Officeâ€™s (USPTO) Green Technology Pilot Program, bringing the total number of patents related to the companyâ€™s field-proven concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) systems to seven. The patents cover 108 specific claims related to innovations that reduce balance of system (BoS) costs and boost performance to lower the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE).
â€œthe key driver enabling CPV to win projects in high-solar resource locations is CPV’s ability to provide developers with superior economics, as CPV has a lower LCOE versus the non-concentrating PV alternatives.â€
.â€œWith tens of thousands of hours of performance data and several successful installations, Skyline Solarâ€™s technology is amongst the most proven in the CPV industry,â€ said Tom Rohrs, CEO of Skyline Solar. â€œAlong the way, weâ€™ve worked to patent and protect the key intellectual property elements that generate significant performance and BoS cost improvements that drive overall LCOE. Weâ€™re committed to continuing our innovation in the areas of system design, installation, manufacturing and upgradability to deliver maximum value to our customers, partners and investors, and drive the industry forward.â€
In March of 2009, Skyline Solar unveiled its scalable CPV system in response to demand for solar technologies that reduced system costs while increasing energy production. More than two years later, the companyâ€™s CPV technology is patented and field-proven, with several successful installations in North America, including a planned 500 kilowatt (kW) project in Durango, Mexico. In March of this year, the company introduced the Skyline Solar X14 System, which in sunny climates and with U.S. federal incentives can deliver an LCOE of less than 10 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh).
Skyline Solarâ€™s growing patent portfolio covers the PV panel, reflector design, optics, support structure, tracker and thermal management designs. Skyline Solar has a total of 34 patent filings in the U.S. and 20 patent filings outside the U.S. The company was recently awarded the following three patents related to its CPV architecture:
â€¢U.S. Patent #7,968,791â€”Titled â€œSolar Energy Collector System,â€ the patent protects design attributes involving lining up coupled solar collectors into a collector row that is centered on a longitudinally oriented axis. This allows for more effective system design and layout to maximize energy production from solar fields.
â€¢U.S. Patent #7,952,057â€”Titled â€œReflective Surface for Solar Energy Collector,â€ the patent covers elements of Skyline Solarâ€™s unique reflective rack design that minimizes the use of materials for structural support, thereby lowering material costs and speeding installation time.
â€¢U.S. Patent #7,932,461â€”Titled â€œSolar Collector Framework,â€ the patent covers overall design characteristics related to the positioning of Skyline Solarâ€™s collectors, troughs and other elements of the system.
According to recent research from Greentech Media, the CPV market is expected to reach 1GW in annual installations by 2015. The report states that, â€œthe key driver enabling CPV to win projects in high-solar resource locations is CPV’s ability to provide developers with superior economics, as CPV has a lower LCOE versus the non-concentrating PV alternatives.â€
As more and more project developers, investors and system owners evaluate technologies that deliver on CPVâ€™s LCOE promise, the Skyline X14 System is seeing increased demand in North America, including the Durango, Mexico project, and a contract with the Department of Defense (DoD) to install two 100 kW plants on military bases in the American Southwest.
The Skyline X14 System is named for its ability to concentrate sunlight 14 times using durable glass reflectors. Concentrated light illuminates the Skyline X14 Panels made with industry-proven silicon cells backed with metal cooling fins. An integrated and reliable single-axis tracker ensures that the Skyline X14 System is productive from dawn to dusk.
Skyline Solar executives will be attending and presenting at Intersolar North America in San Francisco from July 11â€”July 14, 2011. Tim Keating, vice president of marketing and field operations, presented at SolarTechâ€™s Performance Symposium on Monday, July 11. CTO Bob MacDonald will present High Volume Silicon Cell Technologies Enabling Low Cost CPV Systems on Thursday, July 14 at 10:20 a.m.
To learn more about the patented Skyline X14 System please visit www.skyline-solar.com.
About Skyline Solar
Skyline Solar manufactures integrated concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) systems, incorporating industry-proven silicon cells, durable mirrors and single-axis tracking into easy-to-deploy energy solution. The Skyline Solar X14 System delivers a levelized cost of energy (LCOE) below ten cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), including incentives, in areas with high sun exposure. Built primarily out of commodity materials and assembled using globally available manufacturing processes, the Skyline X14 System offers customers excellent financial returns and outstanding scalability.
Skyline Solar was founded in 2007 and is led by veterans of the solar energy and high volume manufacturing industries. The company is funded by NEA and other investors, and has been awarded contracts by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Defense (DOD). Skyline Solar has seven patents to date on its CPV architecture. For more information, visit www.skyline-solar.comThe patents cover 108 specific claims related to innovations that reduce balance of system (BoS) costs and boost performance to lower the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE).
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