Sunlight’s heat will cool down youth center at Davis-Monthan

March 23, 2012

Michelle A. Monroe Arizona Daily Star | Posted: Saturday, March 10, 2012 12:00 am

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base will be using Arizona’s sun to cool its youth center by summer.

Sopogy Inc., a Hawaii-based energy company, is installing a new type of solar-energy system on the roof of the building that will use heat from sunlight to create chilled air.

The project is part of the military’s plan to cut installations’ energy costs.

The Department of Defense found that air conditioning accounts for 30 percent to 60 percent of its total facility energy expenditures. Officials decided that switching from fossil fuels to solar heat would help the department meet its renewable-energy targets.

Sopogy’s system uses heat from sunlight to create cool air in a process known as absorption chilling.

By May 1, there will be 72 mirrored “micro-concentrated” solar collectors, which are about 12-feet long, weigh less than 200 pounds and will provide about 66 tons of cold air, according to a Davis-Monthan spokesman.

The mirrors focus the sunlight on a pipe filled with a heat transfer fluid that runs to a solar absorption chiller, which reacts to the heat and creates cold air, said Darren Kimura, president and CEO of Sopogy.

The parabolic mirrors are motorized to track the sun’s movement, Kimura said. Most air-conditioning systems in the United States use a compressor and a refrigerant, which creates cold air but uses a large amount of electricity. Industrial absorption chillers are typically driven by natural gas or waste heat.

Kimura said Sopogy installed the first air-conditioning system using the technology in 2009 in California.

All of the materials used in the system are nonhazardous, Kimura said. The liquid that reacts with heat to make cold is lithium bromide, which is found naturally in ocean water.

“It takes the same reaction that you would find if you were on a beach on a hot day,” Kimura said. “There’s the hot sun but then that cool air, the cool breeze, that’s the same effect that the chiller has except the chiller is much more concentrated.”

Davis-Monthan will be the second military installation to use the technology. The first was Fort Bliss, near El Paso.

The company began working with NASA on the technology years ago, Kimura said, adding that the Pentagon identified Davis-Monthan as a prime site.

Sopogy’s system also will provide thermal storage and natural gas as backup for the cooling system on cloudy days.

“This gives you cold air 24 hours, seven days a week,” Kimura said, adding that the cost is less than half of the cost of electric refrigeration.

For now, the technology is only for businesses or big buildings like schools.

“We’re trying to downsize it so it can be cost-effective in your home and we’re not quite there yet,” Kimura said.

Michelle A. Monroe is a University of Arizona journalism student and a NASA Space Grant intern. Contact her at mmonroe@azstarnet.com

Read more: http://azstarnet.com/business/local/sunlight-s-heat-will-cool-down-youth-center-at-davis/article_fe6f4ec9-a41c-58d5-942b-00eeacb5ca4b.html#ixzz1py0N4uQM

Sopogy’s Technology Receives SRCC Certification

September 26, 2011

Highest Efficiency Factor of Micro Concentrating Solar Collectors

Honolulu, September 26, 2011—Sopogy, the world leader in micro concentrated solar power (MicroCSP), has successfully received certification from the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC) in its recently established OG-100 classification for Concentrating Solar Collectors. Sopogy is the first MicroCSP company with utility-scale collectors used in power generation, air conditioning and process heat to receive the certification.

Darren T. Kimura, Sopogy’s CEO and President said, “The SRCC rating enables applications where Sopogy’s technologies are installed to qualify for numerous state solar programs and validates the performance of Sopogy’s collector technology. The SRCC certification confirms that Sopogy’s MicroCSP collectors are built to international standards of excellence, an important factor for clients considering an investment in Concentrating Solar Power.”

Sopogy’s MicroCSP collectors generate utility-scale solar power, air conditioning and process heat at 18 installations around the world.  At 175 pounds or just under 80 kilograms, Sopogy’s collector is the lightest of all SRCC certified concentrating collectors.  Sopogy’s collector efficiency factor is 0.5897, the highest SRCC rating for MicroCSP collectors .

Sopogy’s MicroCSP collector passed all of the SRCC’s third-party laboratory and outdoor tests.  SRCC awarded Sopogy’s concentrating solar collector the OG (Official Guidelines) 100 certification for meeting all durability, safety and thermal performance requirements.  The SRCC is the nation’s independent accreditor established to provide authoritative performance ratings, certifications and standards for solar thermal products.

California, Arizona and other states, require SRCC certification to qualify for rebates and incentives.  The SRCC’s performance tests are conducted in accordance with international standards.

About Sopogy
Sopogy revolutionized solar thermal technology with MicroCSP.  Developing modular collectors less than one-third the size of a traditional concentrated solar power mirror, Sopogy cut the cost of solar thermal energy to a fraction of the cost.  Proprietary storage units stabilize volatile energy production when cloudy and prolong production after sunset.  Sopogy’s thermal energy is the fuel for stable, renewable power generation, air conditioning, and process heat.  Please visit www.sopogy.org for more information.

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Media Contact:
Tsurumi Hamasu, PR Specialist
Sopogy, Inc.
thamasu@sopogy.org
808-237-2439

Inc. Magazine: Incubation Nation – Where Great Ideas Are Born – Sopogy of Hawai

May 26, 2010

Spun out of university research labs or started by local entrepreneurs trying to supercharge their hometowns, business incubators are everywhere. This map puts the spotlight on 20 initiatives.

Hawaii is leveraging its most abundant resources — sun and sea. The 45 tenants at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority are developing applications in aquaculture, renewable energy, and marine biotechnology. Who gets in:Innovative start-ups nationwide.Breakout company: Sopogy has raised nearly $20 million for development of its micro-solar panels.

Incubation Nation: Where Great Ideas Are Born - Kona, Hawaii

Incubation Nation: Where Great Ideas Are Born

Click map to see the original, interactive version

Source: Inc.

Sopogy wins New Product of the Year from National Society of Professional Engineers

July 26, 2008

Sopogy, Inc. wins “New Product of the Year” from the National Society of Professional Engineers

National Society of Professional Engineers New Product Award

July 26, 2008

SOPOGY PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: 7/26/08

Contact: Sopogy Corporate Communications

Email: media@sopogy.org

808-237-2324

Subject: Sopogy wins New Product of the Year award from the National Society of Professional Engineers.

Portland, OR – Sopogy, Inc., wins the National Society of Professional Engineers’ (NSPE) New Product of the Year Award for its MicroCSP Solar Collector “SopoNova 4.0” at the NSPE’s Annual Conference this year held in Portland, Oregon.

The NSPE New Product of the Year Awards look for new and improved products that stimulate the life and growth of our country. These benefits result from research and development to which engineers make their unique contribution. This competition recognizes the results of those efforts and the foresight of the companies whose aggressive policies bring new products to the marketplace.

“SopoNova 4.0 combines the reliable performance of conventional Concentrating Parabolic Trough technologies with several novel concepts that include the World’s first integrated 270 degree MicroCSP tracker, integrated stands and custom controls” said Darren T. Kimura, CEO of Sopogy.  He continued “after 40+ unique prototypes and thousands of engineering hours invested in the SopoNova product line, this award from one of the Nation’s most respected engineering societies is tribute to Sopogy’s spirit of innovation”.

Sopogy is the first renewable energy and solar technology to ever be awarded this honor.  Previous winners of NSPE’s New Product of the Year include Boeing’s 777, Mercedes Benz M-Class All Activity Vehicle and Chrysler’s PT Cruiser.

About the National Society of Professional Engineers
Founded in 1934 NSPE is one of the nations oldest and most respected engineering associations with over 54,000 members and the public through more than 500 chapters and 53 state and territorial societies.

About Sopogy
Sopogy specializes in MicroCSP solar technologies that bring the economics of large solar energy systems to the industrial, commercial and utility sectors in a smaller, robust and more cost effective package. Sopogy’s goals include to create solar solutions that improve the quality of life for all human kind and to bring order and simplicity to the chaos which is the current solar power business.  Please visit www.sopogy.org for more information.

Sopogy names Van Matsushige Market Manager of the Pacific Region

April 1, 2008

PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: 4/1/08
Subject: Sopogy names Van Matsushige Market Manager of the Pacific Region
Contact: Jane Dore, Communications
Tel: (408) 722-6292
Email: jdore@sopogy.org

Sopogy names Van Matsushige Market Manager of the Pacific Region

Honolulu, HI – Sopogy, Inc. manufacturer of MicroCSP™ solar technologies announced the appointment of Van Matsushige as Market Manager of the Pacific Region. Based in the company’s Honolulu, Hawaii office, Matsushige will oversee the Pacific Region which includes Hawaii, Oceania and Asia. In his role he will be responsible for marketing, policy, sales and strategic planning. He will report directly to Vice President of Business Development Jim Maskrey.

Most recently Matsushige served as General Manager and Director of Operations at national energy services company Energy Industries (www.energy-industries.com). Prior to EI he spent 10 years in Hong Kong working for various corporations including the Executive Center Limited.

Matsushige earned his B.S. from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

About Sopogy
Sopogy manufactures the innovative MicroCSP™ solar concentrator technology. MicroCSP™ uses optics and mirrors to focus and intensify the energy of the sun for electricity production, solar air conditioning and process heating. The technology uses traditional economics from large solar energy deployments to the industrial, commercial and utility sectors in a smaller more cost effective and robust package. Please visit www.sopogy.org for more information.