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Sopogy in the Wave

January 18, 2010

Sopogy, Inc. (Sopogy), founded in 2002 and headquartered in Honolulu, specializes in the development, design, manufacture, and distribution of MicroCSP™ technology. Their award-winning solar collectors are used for power, steam/process heat, hybrid, desalination, refrigeration, and solar cooling. Sopogy is focused on expanding the middle market for MicroCSP™ in areas that conventional large-scale Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) is not viable. Their goal is to lower the cost of smaller-scale CSP in order to become competitive in areas with high utility costs.

Sopogy is the world’s first micro-concentrated solar power provider. The concept of scaled down Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) is what distinguishes MicroCSP™ from large scale CSP.  MicroCSP™ is intended to broaden the market for solar technology and applications for commercial, industrial, and utility use.

Concentrated Solar Power systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of the sun’s heat into a small beam. The concentrated heat can then used as a heat source for a conventional power plant or any heat driven process like steam generation. Sopogy utilizes concentrated solar power in the form of a parabolic trough to create solar solutions that improve the quality of life and simplify the solar power business to efficiently address the 100kW-50MW gap that PV and large Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) companies cannot accommodate.

Sopogy’s highly differentiated approach to solar energy brings solar solutions to all energy users in a modular, rugged, concentrating solar thermal system.

Sopogy is uniquely positioned with scalable solutions to quickly produce power.

Sopogy invented a new way to take proven CSP systems and reduce the product size to be appropriate for Hawaii. This includes redesigning the space-frame so the collector can withstand Hawaii’s tropical storms and rains, changing the metals to survive the salty and volcanic atmosphere, and using local contractors to bring green-collar jobs to Hawaii while giving the systems reliability.

The company also developed a proprietary manufacturing and assembly process to make the deployment of solar thermal systems internationally inexpensive and more efficient.

“Sopogy has incorporated our unique frame, ready-to-assemble manufacturing, and automated controls into a new compact product designed for rooftop installation.  This brings concentrating solar power to the commercial and industrial facility in a cost effective, space efficient, and contractor friendly solution.  All combined, our customers receive the fastest paybacks available in solar, helping them save money and fight global warming,” said Darren T. Kimura, President and CEO, Sopogy, Inc. 

Sopogy’s key products are the SopoNova™, SopoFlare™, and SopoLite™. The SopoNova™ is a larger ground-mounted solar collector used to create electricity, or any of the other applications listed above. The SopoFlare™ is a smaller rooftop product designed for generating air conditioning or producing drinking water from seawater. SopoLite™ is a fully functional mobile lab unit used to gather data at any given location and evaluate a project site’s potential. Independent energy analysts have observed the MicroCSP™ market as being over a $20 billion dollar industry.

The actions of the company have not gone unnoticed.  Sopogy’s activities have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, LA Times, BBC, National Public Radio, and in China, Singapore, Spain, Australia and Japan.  Some of the headlines include: “Sopogy™’s MicroCSP™ technologies are the next CFL” and “If large solar farms are the mainframe, Sopogy is making the personal computer.”

Sopogy’s collector SopoNova™ was recognized by Plant Engineering as the 2008 Product of the Year Gold Award, a win over companies like Mercedes-Benz and Siemens. National Society of Professional Engineers awarded Sopogy’s SopoNova4.0TM New Product Award for 2008.

Recently, Sopogy introduced SopoFlare™ the newest MicroCSP™ product in the world of Concentrating Solar Power solutions at Solar Power International 2009 in Anaheim, the largest solar conference and expo in the U.S. SopoFlare™ is the first commercially available Concentrating Solar Power technology designed specifically for rooftop installations with a unique, easy mounting and fastening system. The system easily retrofits into existing facilities, reducing natural gas consumption, giving users an estimated 3-year payback on installation.

Locally, Sopogy has been integral in creating green jobs in Hawaii, encouraging the growth of the technology industry in our State, promoting economic diversification, and attracting foreign and mainland investors.  Sopogy’s homegrown Hawaiian technology will help us become independent from foreign oil.  We have the intelligence here in Hawaii to make us a beacon for the rest of the world when it comes to clean and green power.

Sopogy understands that the community is a part of our company growth and we have been working hard in giving back as volunteers in community service events.  In 2009 Sopogy supported the Aloha United Way, Ma’o Farms, Hawaii Humane Society, the Food Kitchen for Homeless, Keep America Beautiful clean-up, Alzheimer’s Association, and helped organize a toy drive for Institute for Human Services Women’s Shelter. In addition, company executives have donated over 50 hours to educate the public through educational outreach.

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