Sopogy Strengthens Execution Capabilities

March 19, 2013

Management changes are focused on rapid commercialization of solar steam and process heat markets.

Belmont, CA. — March 19, 2013 – Sopogy, Inc., a concentrating solar thermal technology company, today announced that it has appointed David Fernandez as its President and Chief Operating Officer to strengthen its execution capabilities. Furthermore, the company has appointed Darren T. Kimura as Chief Global Strategist and Chief Marketing Officer.

David Fernandez will assume responsibilities for day to day activities and report to the Board of Directors. Before joining Sopogy, Mr. Fernandez was the Vice President of North American Operations at SunEdison, one of the largest solar companies in the world. Prior to joining SunEdison, he was the Senior VP of Operations for FRV, Inc. (Fotowatio Renewable Ventures), a leading global operator in photovoltaic and thermosolar energy plants. He previously served as COO with GES USA (Global Energy Services) where he worked on wind and solar renewable energy projects. Mr. Fernandez has an MBA from Instituto de Empresa, a Masters in Aeronautical Engineering from Purdue University and a BA from Western Michigan University also in Aeronautical Engineering.

“We are very pleased to have Mr. Fernandez join Sopogy as President and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Fernandez will strengthen Sopogy’s core business. It is important that we take that step forward to achieve the great potential in our business,” said Taro Inaba, member of the Board of Directors.

“Sopogy has an exciting technology platform and I’m honored to join the team. My strong background in engineering and operations will help improve our products and the customer experience,” said David Fernandez.

Mr. Kimura, Sopogy’s founder and previously Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and President, will now be responsible for the company’s domestic and international expansion and will oversee marketing efforts.

“Darren is a world class entrepreneur. His success in raising capital, building teams and leading the company in its growth is second to none. Sopogy now needs Darren to lead us in global marketing. This role takes advantage of his skills and creates value for all shareholders. I’m confident he will take us to new heights,” said Carlos Domenech, member of the Board of Directors.

“At this stage in our growth, serving as the Company’s Chief Global Strategist and Chief Marketing Officer will enable me to develop our brand and drive our sales and commercialization efforts forward,” said Darren T. Kimura.

All appointments are effective immediately.

About Sopogy
Sopogy revolutionized solar thermal technology with MicroCSP. Developing modular collectors about 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 process heat, air conditioning, and power generation. For more information please visit www.sopogy.org.

Sopogy Receives 2012 Hawaii Venture Capital Association Deal of the Year Award

January 25, 2013

HVCA logo

The Hawaii Venture Capital Association awarded its 2012 HVCA Deal of the Year to Darren Kimura, CEO of Sopogy, maker of concentrated thermal solar collectors. In addition five local entrepreneurs were acknowledged in various categories with the HVCA Entrepreneur of the Year award. The Young Entrepreneur award went to Scott Mercer of Volta Industries, makers of advertising driven free electric vehicle charging stations. Dan Leuck, co-founder of CONTIX and CEO and founder of Ikayzo won the Software Entrepreneur award. Ken Berkun, founder of Labels That Talk won the Inventor Entrepreneur award for his patented invention, Soundpaper. Winner of the Socially Responsible Entrepreneur of the Year award is Elyse Petersen, founder of Tealet, a social enterprise that connects tea drinkers with small tea growers around the world. David Watumull, co-founder of CARDAX Pharmaceuticals and former CEO of Hawaii Biotech was acknowledged for his many years of devoted entrepreneurship in biotech as the 2012 Legacy Entrepreneur.

“These entrepreneurs are local heroes and role models. They have worked long hard days, made personal sacrifices and taken extreme risks that prove there are people in Hawaii that have what it takes to build great companies,” said Bill Spencer, President of the Hawaii Venture Capital Association. The Hawaii Venture Capital Association was founded in 1988 to promote venture capital formation, entrepreneurship and economic diversification in Hawaii. Spencer has served as its president since 1999. This is HVCA’s 12th annual Deal of the Year and 5th annual Entrepreneur of the Year award ceremony.

Deal of the Year – Darren Kimura – CEO – Sopogy has pioneered the concept of MicroCSP(tm) using its mirrored concentrating solar thermal solar collectors to create high quality thermal heat. This heat is used in the industrial process and as solar steam. The International Energy Agency has estimated that only 17% of final energy consumption is for electricity while 47% of final energy consumption is in the generation of thermal energy. Sopogy’s technologies are poised to capture the thermal energy market by harnessing the power of the sun. Sopogy’s thermal energy is the fuel for stable, renewable process heat and solar steam. Please visit www.sopogy.org for more information.

Young Entrepreneur – Scott Mercer is the Co-Founder and CEO of Volta Industries, LLC. An automobile enthusiast since birth, Mercer began by trading Hot Wheels cars with his friends at age five and never looked back!
Mercer founded Volta, an electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure firm, in Hawaii in August 2010. He and business partner Christopher Ching developed Volta’s proprietary revenue model based on public EV charging stations, and successfully launched this business model on Oahu in 2012, quickly expanding the number of EV charging stations throughout the island. Today Mercer is leading Volta’s strategic expansion to ten cities on both U.S. coasts by heading up efforts to secure capital from outside investors. In addition, Mercer is working to establish partnerships both regionally in Hawaii and nationally.

Software Entrepreneur – Dan Leuck – Contix Chairman & Co-Founder
Dan is the CEO and Owner of Ikayzo, a software development and interactive design firm servicing customers such as Bank of America, Nomura Securities, PIMCO, Sony and Oracle. Previously, Dan served as SVP of R&D for ValueCommerce, Asia’s largest online marketing company, Global Head of Development for London-based LastMinute.com, Europe’s largest B2C website, and President of the US division of DML. Daniel has extensive experience managing teams of 150+ developers in five countries. He has served on numerous advisory boards and panels for companies such as Macromedia and Sun Microsystems.

Inventor Entrepreneur – Ken Berkun founded LABELS THAT TALK in 2006 and has invented and patented its core technology, Soundpaper that lets you record sound on everything from labels to greeting cards. He has extensive background in high tech companies, both as an individual contributor and in management. Prior to Labels That Talk, he was a co-founder of Singingfish, the world’s first audio/video search engine (now owned by AOL). Ken was responsible for Singingfish’s business plan and strategy.

Social Entrepreneur – Elyse Petersen worked as a Global Tea Ambassador in Wazuka, Kyoto, Japan with the International Tea Farms Alliance. Through her time in Japan she made many connections with tea farmers and was inspired by the passion farmers had for their tea. She is now the founder of Tealet, a social enterprise that connects drinkers with tea growers around the world.

Legacy Entrepreneur – Mr. Watumull has more than twenty years experience as a biotechnology industry executive, analyst, and investment banker. He is co-founder of Cardax Pharmaceuticals and co-inventor of the Cardax technology with 14 U.S. and global patents to his name.Cardax has developed and patented a novel class of anti-inflammatory compounds with the potency of steroids or NSAIDS such as aspirin or Celebrex but with the safety of food. He has raised more than $12 million for Cardax since it spun out from Hawaii Biotech in May of 2006. As CEO of Hawaii Biotech, he led efforts that resulted in more than $25 million in investor financing and $30 million in federal grant and contract funding.

Source: http://hvca.org/?p=589

Hawaii’s solar power flare-up: Too much of a good thing?

November 20, 2012

By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles TimesNovember 17, 2012, 5:53 p.m.

Darren Kimura, chief executive of Sopogy, shows how his technology uses the Big Island’s abundant sunshine to return electricity to the power grid. Solar power is now so popular that Hawaii’s utilities worry about damage from excess electricity pumped back into their systems. (Alana Semuels / Los Angeles Times / December 21, 2009)

WAILUKU, Hawaii — On an island whose stock in trade is sun, and lots of it, Lawrence and Cindy Lee figured they’d be foolish not to join their neighbors and put a few solar panels on the roof.The Lees called one of the solar contractors racing around Hawaii these days, and put in their order. Eleven months later, in October — after endless consultations, emails and a $3,000 study required by Maui Electric Co. — they were still waiting for a permit.”Instead of it being like they want to help you get your solar system in,” Lawrence Lee said, “it’s more like they don’t want you to.”

Solar power has grown increasingly popular across the U.S. Sun Belt, but hardly anywhere has it taken hold as it has in Hawaii. Friendly tax credits, the highest average electricity rates in the nation and the most aggressive renewable energy program adopted by any state have sent homeowners scrambling to install photovoltaic systems on their roofs.

The number of solar power systems across the island state has doubled every year since 2007, with nearly 20,000 units installed. But with homeowners and businesses now producing nearly 140 megawatts of their own power — the equivalent of a medium-size power plant — and solar tax credits biting seriously into the state budget, Hawaii legislators and electrical utilities are tapping the brakes.

Solar tax credits cost the state $173.8 million this year in foregone revenue, up from $34.7 million in 2010, prompting state tax authorities to announce this month that they will temporarily cut the tax credit in half, effective Jan. 1.

Hawaiian Electric Co. on Oahu, which oversees subsidiary utilities on Maui and the Big Island, has warned that the explosion of do-it-yourself solar could threaten parts of the power grid with the possibility of power fluctuations or sporadic blackouts as the power generated by homeowners —unpredictable and subject to sudden swings — exceeded output from power plants in some areas.

So rapid is the growth that Hawaiian Electric at one point proposed a moratorium on solar installations, a plan that met with immediate outrage and was quickly withdrawn. But utilities are requiring expensive “interconnection” studies, such as the one the Lees had to do, in solar-saturated areas to analyze what impact a new unit is going to have on the utility system beforeit can connect to the grid.

“The last three months are turning into a madhouse of solar here on Oahu,” Hawaiian Electric spokesman Peter Rosegg said. “We’re doing everything we can to get in as much solar as possible, but there’s a strong sense that we’re kind of at a crossroads here in trying to deal with these issues.”

Hawaii has become a solar laboratory for the rest of the country. Many states are experiencing sun-power booms, but few have had their grids overwhelmed to the extent seen in Hawaii.

“No one knows exactly when this is going to take place, but we are approaching a red line…. We will reach a point where they will not accept any more generating capacity,” said Marco Mangelsdorf, who runs a private solar company, ProVision Solar, and teaches energy politics at the University of Hawaii in Hilo.

Historically, power is supplied to homes and businesses from big central power plants, easily controlled by engineers who dial up the turbines when demand peaks, such as on hot afternoons when customers come home and turn on air conditioners. But the push for renewable energy has introduced into the equation “nonfirm” power — electricity generated by wind, which comes and goes, or sun, which can suddenly disappear behind a cloud.

As customers generate more than they need and feed the excess back into the grid for others to use, it makes managing the system much more complex. What happens when a cloud passes over and dozens of rooftop units suddenly grind to a halt? What’s to be done on a sunny autumn day, when rooftop solar systems are producing way more power than the grid can use?

The problem is especially pronounced in Hawaii, where each island has its own isolated power grid and can’t quickly compensate with power generated elsewhere. The result, if not carefully managed, can be computer-killing power surges (in cases of excess generation), flickering lights, isolated blackouts or worse.

“It can crash the entire system,” said Robert Alm, executive vice president of Hawaiian Electric.

California, which has more than 120,000 solar energy systems online, doesn’t have Hawaii’s serious overload problems, but has recently faced its own debate over how much can be paid to solar-equipped homeowners for power they feed into the grid. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District is studying Hawaii’s operations to learn what happens when solar power inundates a power system.

“As an engineer, you always want to look at the worst-case scenario. Well, they have it,” project manager Elaine Sison-Lebrilla said.

Hawaii finds itself pushing the envelope not just because of its abundant sunshine. A bigger driver has been the state’s reliance on oil to fuel its power plants. Oil is always more expensive than natural gas, but prices shot up even higher last year when Japan’s nuclear disaster sent demand, and soon prices, skyrocketing on the Asian markets where Hawaii buys its supplies.

The state has set a goal of obtaining 40% of its power from locally generated renewable sources by 2030. Already, the Big Island has jumped ahead and is producing 44% of its power from renewable sources, and it could hit 100% by the end of the decade.

Kauai announced earlier this month that it would build its third large-scale solar plant and expected to generate half the island’s power by the sun soon. “Our understanding is that would be the highest penetration of any utility, certainly in the United States,” said Jim Kelly, spokesman for Kauai Island Utility Cooperative.

The state is studying a multibillion-dollar undersea cable that would connect outlying islands — the big generators of wind, geothermal and solar power — to Oahu, home to most of Hawaii’s population. This would not only allow them to serve as energy farms for the state, but it would also allow the kind of interconnected grid that would alleviate wind and solar variability problems.

Over the last few months, new rules have liberalized the standards for allowing solar connections, and a week ago, the Lees completed their long journey through the energy bureaucracy: They had their rooftop unit installed. They’re no longer worried about turning off the lights in empty rooms.

“I wish I hadn’t had to go through all this,” Lawrence Lee said. “But it was worth it.”

kim.murphy@latimes.com

Copyright © 2012, Los Angeles Times

Desalination Pilot Project Harnesses Solar Power

June 26, 2012

JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM
Renewable Water Technologies LLC is developing a new seawater desalination process that uses less energy than conventional methods. Project engineer Riley McGivern, shown at RWT’s Kakaako facility, says the pilot project’s objective is to show that such a system can work in a real-world setting.

On a sun-soaked patch of gravel in Kakaako a small group of entrepreneurs are pioneering technology that uses solar energy to turn salt water into fresh water.

The work being done by Renewable Water Technologies is early in the research and development process, but the company’s founders say it has the potential to be scaled up for commercial applications.

Much of seawater desalination done in Hawaii and elsewhere is accomplished through reverse osmosis, a relatively energy-intensive process that removes the salt and other solids from water by forcing it through a membrane under high pressure.

By comparison, RWT’s technology uses solar thermal collectors to heat the water and remove the salt through a humidification-dehumidification (HDH) process. The company’s pilot project features solar panels similar to those found in home rooftop water heating systems. The company is installing photovoltaic panels that will power the low-wattage pumps needed to move the water through the system.

“It is designed to be modularized and deployable,” said John Chock, one of the company’s principals. “That’s the way the business will grow. Our business model is to produce small-scale, solar-powered desalination systems.”

Potential customers include the military and oceanfront hotels, Chock said.

RWT will hold an open house at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Kakaako facility, 40 Ahui St.

Chock teamed up with University of Hawaii School of Engineering professor Weilin Qu and his former student Riley McGivern to form RWT in late 2010. The company’s technology is adapted from work Qu and McGivern did in a UH laboratory. RWT placed second in the 2011 UH Business Plan Competition.

RWT’s technology is particularly attractive in a place like Hawaii, where there are limits to the amount of fresh water that can be pumped from aquifers and high energy costs make other forms of desalination expensive, Qu said.

The output of the Kakaako pilot project so far has been limited to a few gallons an hour as the water samples are tested to make sure the system is meeting its benchmarks, McGivern said.

The objective is to show that such a system can work in a real-world setting, said McGivern, who has a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from UH. “It’s a stand-alone system. A lot of this is proof of concept,” said McGivern, 25.

RWT is being funded by the Hawaii Technology Development Venture, a project administered by the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research that receives funding from the Office of Naval Research. The site near the Children’s Discovery Center is being provided by the Hawaii Community Development Authority.

Qu received an initial $50,000 grant from the Hawaii Technology Development Venture in 2009 with renewable energy company Sopogy Inc. as his corporate partner. Based on success in the lab, RWT was formed and received $300,000 in funding under a contract with the Hawaii Technology Development Venture to do the Kakaako pilot project. Oceanit Laboratories Inc. is RWT’s partner under the contract.

Chock, the former head of the state-run Hawaii Strategic Development Corp., said RWT is an example of what new UH-Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple referred to when he emphasized the need to make a greater effort to maximize the school’s income potential.

“We have some very good technology coming out of university research that often doesn’t reach the commercial stage because the typical professor doesn’t have the necessary entrepreneurial skills,” Chock said. Projects like RWT show that local research and development has the potential to be successfully commercialized, he said.

The University of Hawaii has not fared well in terms of generating licensing revenue from spending on research. UH received $256 million in research money in fiscal 2010 and took in $107,702 in licensing income, according to the latest data from the Association of University Technology Managers.

A 2010 report by the UH Office of Technology Transfer and Economic Development acknowledged the school’s shortcomings in generating revenue from its R&D efforts.

The report, prepared for UH President M.R.C. Greenwood, said “there is much room for improvement” within university’s technology transfer office, which was established in 1989 and reorganized in 2000.

Among the challenges facing the office are establishing new relationships between the school and outside investor groups and entrepreneurs, according to the report. Officials also must work to change the culture of the school by “hiring and supporting entrepreneurial faculty and rewarding their efforts to move promising scientific developments into broader use for the benefit of society,” according to the report.

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

White House Environmental Quality Chair Visits Innovative Sopogy Project in Tucson

February 3, 2012

First project in Arizona to use Concentrated Solar Power with Dual Effect Absorption Chiller

Tucson, Arizona – February 3, 2012 – Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Nancy Sutley, will visit Davis-Monthan Air Force Base today to inspect an air conditioning project that will be fueled by the sun. In a collaborative RDT&E effort, ESTCP, the US Navy and NASA have partnered to build the solar air conditioning system on the Air Force Base. They have selected Sopogy, a Hawaii-based clean tech, as technology provider.

Sopogy’s technology is called MicroCSP for micro-concentrated solar power. MicroCSP is a renewable source of energy delivered through modular, parabolic solar collectors. Sopogy’s collectors are twelve feet long, and weigh less than two-hundred pounds.

At Davis-Monthan AFB, the solar air conditioning system will provide sixty-six tons of chilled air to the Youth Center. Seventy-two MicroCSP collectors will concentrate the sun’s heat onto receiver tubes carrying heat transfer fluid to fuel the chiller. The dual-effect absorption chiller generates cold air with heat, not electricity, the hotter the sun, the more effective the chiller. In addition to the solar collectors, Sopogy is providing proprietary thermal storage to back-up the cooling system. MicroCSP thermal storage is low cost relative to batteries. When clouds roll in, hot fluid will flow from storage to the chiller for continuous production.

Department of Defense studies have concluded that air conditioning accounts for 30-60% of its total facility energy expenditures. Switching from fossil fuels to solar heat will help the DOD to meet is aggressive renewable energy targets. The demonstration project at Davis-Monthan AFB is scheduled for completion in March 2012.

Here’s a video explaining how Solar A/C works: /video/sopohow_how_it_works_ep2.html

About Sopogy
Sopogy revolutionized solar thermal technology with Micro Concentrated Solar Power, or MicroCSP. Developing modular collectors about 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. Please visit www.sopogy.org.

Media Contact
Tsurumi Hamasu
808-237-2439
thamasu@sopogy.org

Sopogy Appoints Craig Lobdell Vice President of Strategy

October 24, 2011

Honolulu, HI—October 24, 2011— Sopogy®, the world’s leading developer of micro concentrated solar power (MicroCSP) technologies, has appointed Craig Lobdell to the newly created position of Vice President of Strategy.

Lobdell is a veteran of the clean energy industry, with over 21 years of energy, clean technology and venture capital experience.  Most recently he was a Director of Advisory Services in San Francisco for KPMG where he led the Cleantech Advisory Services practice.

Darren T. Kimura, President and CEO of Sopogy said, “The solar power industry is undergoing change and through our unique offerings in thermal energy storage, solar air conditioning and industrial heat applications, Sopogy is undergoing rapid growth.  Craig’s experience and wealth of sector knowledge will help us grow strategically and continue to deliver outstanding value to our customers.”

Prior to joining KPMG, Lobdell was a management consultant with CSC Index, Arthur Andersen, and BearingPoint.  In addition he has worked for GE Capital and was a Legislative Affairs Analyst for the Department of Energy (DOE).  Lobdell earned his BA from Carleton College, an MA from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University and an MBA from Yale School of Management, Yale University.

About Sopogy and MicroCSP
Sopogy revolutionized solar thermal technology with MicroCSP.  Developing modular collectors about 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

Sopogy Launches Next Generation of Concentrating Solar Thermal Collector

October 17, 2011

Cost per Watt Reduced on Solar Thermal Installations

Dallas, TX—October 17, 2011— Sopogy® the world leader in micro concentrated solar power (MicroCSP) technologies, launches SopoHelios™, its next generation, parabolic solar collector today at the Solar Power International Conference in Dallas, Texas.

SopoHelios features Sopogy’s patented, award-winning MicroCSP technology.  MicroCSP uses mirrors and optics to intensify the heat energy from the sun creating thermal energy.  Thermal energy is the fuel for clean, renewable power generation, air conditioning, and process heat.

The new collector is designed for “high heat” temperatures ranging between 50-326 degrees C or 122-620 degrees F which directly address power generation, solar thermal air conditioning and solar process heat applications.  The collector spanning 7.61 meters squared or 82 square feet, reduces the number of collectors required to power a solar electric power field by 33%.

“Requiring fewer collectors reduces engineering and construction costs and speeds up solar field assembly” said Darren T. Kimura, President and CEO of Sopogy, Inc.  “SopoHelios maximizes the efficiency for our solar thermal systems and significantly improves the system paybacks,” he added.

Tested in the hot, lava field deserts of Kona for strength, torsion and durability, SopoHelios features a light-weight core, solar tracking, all-weather stow mode, ease of assembly, low maintenance and the capability to enable local manufacturing.

SopoHelios collectors are scheduled for installation in Kalaeloa Solar One, a five megawatt power plant 15 miles from urban Honolulu.  Kalaeloa Solar One will also feature Sopogy’s proprietary thermal heat storage system.  Storage stabilizes production when cloudy and prolongs energy production after sunset.

About Sopogy
Founded in Hawaii, Sopogy has deployed MicroCSP systems around the world, including Hawaii, California, Texas, Florida, Mexico and Abu Dhabi, with projects underway in Hawaii, Florida, Arizona, Japan, Jordan and Papua New Guinea.  Please visit www.sopogy.org for more information.

Sopogy's SopoHelios MicroCSP Collector

SopoHelios MicroCSP Collector by Sopogy

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Media Contact:
Tsurumi Hamasu, PR Specialist

Sopogy, Inc.
thamasu@sopogy.org
808-237-2439

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’s Solar Air Conditioning cools Sempra Utility energy center

January 30, 2009

Sopogy technology to be used in California project

Pacific Business News (Honolulu)

Honolulu-based solar energy company Sopogy Inc. will be part of a California demonstration project that aims to showcase six new solar technologies.

Nine of Sopogy’s patented solar concentrators, which the company designs, engineers and manufactures in Hawaii, will be used to run air conditioning units on a 45,000 square-foot building in Downey, Calif.

Sopogy’s technology, resembling large silver troughs, uses mirrors and lenses to concentrate the sun’s rays on fluids, creating steam that turns turbines to generate electricity.

The demonstration project was announced Friday by the Southern California Gas Co. and San Diego Gas & Electric.

The California utilities said they will be testing solar technologies at different California sites over the next 18 months. The utilities are testing five other solar technologies, and says the project should help accelerate the commercialization of the new technologies.

The names of the other five technology companies were not released.

Sopogy — the name combines the words solar, power and technology — was launched in 2007 after five years of research and development. It was spun off from Energy Industries, which Darren Kimura founded in 1994.

Sopogy Wins Innovative Company of the Year 2008

November 17, 2008
Business News - Local News

Sun and creativity power Sopogy’s success

Pacific Business News (Honolulu) – by Nanea Kalani Pacific Business News

Christina Failma, PBN
Darren Kimura, president and CEO of Sopogy Inc., with one of the company’s solar collectors, which generate more power faster than typical photovoltaic systems.

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Darren Kimura considers himself a problem solver, always looking for solutions to the world’s troubles.

The Hawaii entrepreneur has built several successful technology companies around that trait, most of them focused on energy-efficient technologies.

“I do one thing — look for customer-based problems,” said Kimura, 33.

Combining this skill with an innovative mindset, Kimura started tinkering with ideas in 2002 to create an affordable technology that could ease electricity costs for businesses.

The tinkering led to building prototypes and eventually the launching last year of Sopogy Inc., PBN’s 2008 Innovative Company of the Year.

Sopogy’s name combines the words solar, power and technology. It was spun off from Energy Industries, which Kimura founded in 1994.

The company has invented a new kind of solar concentrator for generating electricity from the sun’s heat. The technology, resembling large silver troughs, uses mirrors and lenses to concentrate the sun’s rays on fluids, creating steam that turns turbines to generate electricity.

These collectors are very different from the more common photovoltaic panels, which are typically designed for roof-top systems and convert the sun’s energy directly into electricity.

Sopogy’s solar collectors are designed as ground units that can function as solar farms producing huge amounts of energy — up to 50 megawatts, or enough to power 15,000 homes. (The company does, however, also make a roof-top version.)

“At the core of the problem is the fact that as a society, we use more energy than we make,” Kimura said. “The only way to have a fast impact is to take big bites of the apple. You can’t do that with photovoltaics.”

Another distinct feature is the collectors’ capability to store solar energy that can be used after the sun goes down. They also are equipped with tracking systems, which Sopogy engineers created, to maximize productivity and efficiency.

“The software tied to our collectors account for factors such as cloudy skies, high wind speeds and rain,” said Kimura, who serves as president and CEO. “The programming allows the collector to be smart and encodes it with logic, so it can turn itself upside down if it’s cloudy. Although there’s layers and layers of complexity, of course, we’ve tried to make it simple for our customers.”

Kimura said Sopogy has a couple thousand of its collectors — called the SopoNova 4.0 — in use worldwide, including on the West Coast and in Asia, the Middle East and Spain.

“What’s exciting about solar technology is that it can be everywhere and anywhere,” he said. “The technology is made here in Hawaii, tested here, our company is based here, but we just export it out. I think innovation is about trying to create technologies that you can export around the world.”

Most of Sopogy’s 41 employees are based in Hawaii, while some are stationed at the company’s sales offices in San Jose, San Diego and Phoenix.

Kimura said Sopogy is on track to generate $10 million in revenue this year. The privately held company got its start using a combination of venture capital and personal investment from Kimura.

Locally, Sopogy’s technology is in use at the Big Island’s Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority in Kona.

The company sells power from a 1-megawatt system to Hawaii Electric Light Co. The project was designed in phases so that Sopogy could expand the system to up to 10 megawatts.

Sopogy received approval for up to $10 million in state revenue bonds for the NELHA project. It also was approved for up to $35 million in bonds to build a solar farm on Oahu that could generate another 10 megawatts, or enough power for about 3,000 homes, for Hawaiian Electric Co.

Sopogy last year built a 16-collector, 50-kilowatt system in Spokane, Wash., which generates power for the local utility. Sopogy will add a dozen more collectors to the system by next summer.

Sopogy’s collector already has caught the attention of several national and international technology groups.

The National Society of Professional Engineers named it its 2008 new product award winner in the small company category. Meanwhile, the technology is one of four finalists for the Platts Global Energy Awards’ sustainable technology innovation of the year.

“In our world, these awards are like the Emmys or the Academy Awards; all the energy geeks want to win these,” Kimura said. “Out of the hundreds of tech companies in Silicon Valley that are well financed and have great technologies, we’re the one they picked. It’s really exciting.”

Sopogy wants to expand its solar plants around the world and Kimura ultimately wants to take the firm public.

nkalani@bizjournals.com | 955-8001

Pacific Business News (Honolulu) – November 17, 2008
http://pacific.bizjournals.com/pacific/stories/2008/11/17/focus19.html

Sopogy is selected as a finalist for 2008 Global Energy Awards

November 17, 2008

Sopogy is Selected as Finalist to the 2008 Global Energy Awards

Sopogy is selected as a finalist at the Global Energy Awards 2008 in the category of: “Sustainable Technology Innovation of the Year”, a new award category that specifically recognizes the enormous efforts currently going into technology research and development in the quest for a carbon neutral world.

“Being acknowledged in this category along side the top leaders in the renewable and energy efficiency field is a great honor and pays tribute to the focus and efforts of the Sopogy team.” Said Darren T. Kimura, President and CEO, Sopogy, Inc. “Its a compliment to be the representing the solar energy industry in this prestigious event.”

2008 Platts Global Energy Awards
Save the date for the 2008 Platts Global Energy Awards. Join the companies and individuals who consistently set a high standard of excellence within the energy industry as they are honored by Platts in New York City on December 3, 2008.

View award website

Sopogy is named Innovative Company of the Year 2008

November 17, 2008
Sopogy is nominated for Business Leadership Hawaii Awards 2008

Sopogy Receives Business Leadership Hawaii 2008 “Innovative Company of the Year” Award

HONOLULU –(Business Wire)– Before 1,000 members of the business community, Sopogy, Inc. was presented the Business Leadership Hawaii (BLH) 2008 “Innovative Company of the Year” Award. The event, which took place at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, honors the best in the business. The Innovative Company of the Year Award recognizes organizations dedicated to developing new approaches to creating products, winning customers, and tackling problems. Sopogy was chosen based on its innovative MicroCSP technologies, used to create Process Heat, Solar Air Conditioning, and Electrical Power, and its commitment to leading Hawaii to a sustainable future and curbing the effects of global climate change.

The 7th annual BLH 2008 awards program is a premier event recognizing leaders in business and non-profits. Finalists were judged by a panel of respected business leaders, many of whom are previous BLH winners. Since its launch in 2002, BLH has recognized more than 160 companies, individuals, and nonprofits. Pacific Business News created BLH to spread the word that Hawaii is a great place to do business because of outstanding and committed leaders.

“The culture of innovation is key to our company’s growth and the development of new products. Sopogy is honored to receive the Business Leadership Hawaii Innovative Company of the Year award,” said Darren T. Kimura, Sopogy Chief Executive Officer.

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. Please visit www.sopogy.org for more information.

Sopogy is selected as a finalist for Business Leadership Hawaii

September 30, 2008
Sopogy is nominated for Business Leadership Hawaii Awards 2008

Sopogy is selected as a finalist for Business Leadership Hawaii Awards 2008

Sopogy is selected as a finalist for Business Leadership Hawaii awards 2008.

Please join Pacific Business News and our sponsors on Thursday, November 13, at 5:30 p.m in the Coral Ballroom at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, as we honor, award and celebrate the best in business at the 2008 Business Leadership Hawaii (BLH) awards event.

Registration Form

Sopogy receives Innovation Award by Governor of Hawaii

September 23, 2008
Governor's Innovation Award

Governor Lingle Presents Innovation Award to SopogyHONOLULU – Governor Linda Lingle today recognized three recipients of the Governor’s Innovation Awards for their ingenuity and commitment to developing creative ways to improve Hawai‘i and help the state meet the challenges of the 21st century.

“Our most recent Innovation Award winners are outstanding examples of the ingenuity and innovation of Hawai‘i residents, businesses and government agencies,” said Governor Lingle.  “They are applying creative ideas and developing new technologies that will transform our economy away from an over-reliance on land development and position Hawai‘i to compete successfully in the global, 21st century marketplace.”

Sopogy is awarded Governor's Innovation Award

Sopogy, Inc. develops and manufactures renewable energy technology systems, including innovative and affordable solar collectors.  The technology developed by Sopogy can provide the co-generation of electricity, process heat and solar air conditioning from one hybrid system with cost-effective energy storage and power delivery.

“Sopogy, Inc. has accomplished much to advance alternative energy, addressing the important needs of our state and its people” stated Governor Linda Lingle.

“The convergence of Renewable Energy and Innovation is an exciting area where the State of Hawaii has established a leadership position and Sopogy is proud to receive this honor” said Darren T. Kimura, President and CEO.

The Governor’s Innovation Award nominees were evaluated by a 15-member selection panel comprised of industry, education and government representatives statewide.  Nominations were submitted online and were judged on creativity; effectiveness in achieving a goal or purpose; transferability and adoptability by others; and significance in addressing an important local or global issue, problem or opportunity.  The selection committee provided final recommended nominations to Governor Lingle for her selection.

Sopogy presents MicroCSP at Google

September 18, 2008

Google Tech Talks September 18, 2008 ABSTRACT

Sopogy is bringing smaller concentrated solar energy systems to the market: Process heat, air conditioning, and power generation.

Dr. Al Yuen of Sopogy presents MicroCSP solar solutions to Google.

Sopogy Solution at Palo Alto Swim Club

September 17, 2008

Palo Alto, CA – To celebrate the Eichler Swim & Tennis Club’s 50 years of service to the Palo Alto community, Sopogy, Inc., the manufacturer of MicroCSP Solar Technologies has donated a MicroCSP solar solution to help reduce the center’s energy costs and shrink its carbon footprint by using clean solar energy.

“We’re making this donation to the Eichler Club and the children of Palo Alto who frequent this facility and represent the future so they can learn about solar energy and the power this energy source has in fighting climate change” said Darren T. Kimura the President of Sopogy, Inc.  “The Sopogy MicroCSP Solar Solution represents a truly versatile approach to the efficient and proven Concentrating Solar Power industry”.

The Sopogy’s Solar Solution consists of a MicroCSP solar concentrator called the SopoNovaä 4.0, which combines the revolutionary features of the company’s unique modular, versatile and scalable Parabolic Trough technology in a small and efficient solar package.  The system at the Eichler Club includes a SopoNova 4.0, heat exchanger, storage tank, automatic system controls and SopoTracker a revolutionary solar tracking technology which enables the system to follow the sun during operation.

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. Please visit www.sopogy.org for more information.

Sopogy Announces Solar Power Application 2008 Contest

September 1, 2008

Sopogy, Inc. launches “SopoApps 2008” a solar design skills contest for engineers
and announces a total of $50,000 in cash prizes.

Oct 4, 2008
SOPOGY PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Contact: Sopogy Corporate Communications

Email: media@sopogy.org

808-237-2324

Subject: Sopogy launches SopoApps 2008 a solar design skills contest for engineers and
announces total of $50,000 in cash prizes.

Portland, OR – Sopogy, Inc., in conjunction with winning the New Product of the Year
Award 2008 for its SopoNova 4.0 technology from the National Society of Professional
Engineers’ (NSPE) announces SopoApps 2008 a design skills contest for engineers.
“SopoApps 2008” or Solar Power Applications is a skills contest for HVAC, Plumbing and
Solar engineers. The contest challenges engineers to design practical installations using
MicroCSP solar technologies in 10 categories including: Process Heating, Thermal Air
Conditioning, Industrial, Commercial, Agriculture, Hospitality, Health Care Power, Water
and Innovation. The contest is designed to help accelerate the adoption and installation of
MicroCSP solar technologies. All designs submitted to the contest will be made opensourced
and posted online at SopoApps.com.

The contest runs through October 1, 2008. Judging will be conducted by an independent panel of industry experts. Key factors in judging include production efficiency, cost, completeness, and best overall design. A reception will be held at Solar Power 2008 in San Diego where the winners will be announced. Top winners in each of the 10 categories will receive $5,000.

“The World needs unique solutions to fight green house gas emissions and MicroCSP
technologies are one of the best weapons in this battle. The technology is reliable, quick to
install and a proven alternative to burning natural gas and oil. We now need the best
engineers to bring MicroCSP technologies to their applications and projects. SopoApps is
designed to do exactly this” said Darren T. Kimura, CEO of Sopogy, Inc.
For more information and details on the contest terms and conditions please visit
www.sopoapps.org

Additional Background on the SopoApps
In the solar thermal industry a key problem behind technology adoption is the lack of
available knowledge in applications engineering. This is an industry that has historically
been extremely fragmented and traditional engineering favors conventional fossil fuel
technologies. With global warming and energy issues now a worldwide problem,
SopoApps is designed to become a community for the World’s best engineers to help build
the future of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning.

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.