Licensing Secured for Solar Thermal Concentrator

This week, Calgary-based Barnabus Energy signed a licensing contract for Suncone, a solar thermal concentrating technology developed by Dr. Melvin Prueitt, an inventor and former senior physicist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

According to Barnabus Energy and Prueitt, the Suncone technology can operate at higher temperatures and higher efficiencies than parabolic trough solar collectors and is less expensive than troughs or parabolic dish concentrators. Like the parabolic dish, it must be pointed toward the sun but requires less sun-tracking precision than a parabolic dish or parabolic trough. Suncone is less prone hail damage than troughs or dishes. Extensive patent searches have been made and a patent application has been filed. Suncone uses non-imaging optics with cones made of aluminized plastics that concentrate sunlight onto a target. A major innovative principle of Suncone is the manner in which the cones are held in position. The cones stay cool, while the target reaches high temperatures. In addition to improving solar electric power generation, Suncone can be applied to seawater desalination utilizing the Kinetic Pump (another new patent-pending invention being developed by HYTEC, the same company behind the Suncone). The resulting desalination plant could economically produce fresh water with no fossil fuel energy required, says the company. “If the next stage of development is successful, we are confident that we can commercialize solar systems that will provide cost competitive electricity to industrial parks, remote villages, and even urban power grids,” said David Saltman, senior advisor to Barnabus. HYTEC, the company behind Suncone, is an engineering firm that designs and fabricates precision equipment for the Los Alamos National Laboratory and for other institutions and companies. HYTEC has won R&D 100 Awards on its products.


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