SUNPave: Tomorrow’s Energy Today

Muhammad Rashad, Muhammad Rashad, Mohammad AlGammal, Hend Faiad, Azza Faiad, Ahmad Abd El-Kader, Islam Gowaid, and Ahmed Abdelhamid
SUNPave
Newark, DE

A new solar panel technology by SUNPave can generate as much energy as existing solar PV panel technology at 10-15 percent less cost of energy.

Solar panels need to be mounted on tilted frames to face the sun and harvest more incident solar energy. But can you imagine tilted solar panels placed on rail tracks, on a “usable” rooftop space, on a walkable pavement, on top of a marine vessel deck, or on top of a bus?

When solar panels are placed horizontally, they harvest 15-20 percent less energy from the sun, and hence consumers end up paying a higher price for the harvested energy. There is also a risk of these panels breaking when someone steps on top of them, or their glare disturbing people passing by, and the possibility of blinding train drivers.

SUNPave’s technology offers a rigid sturdy panel that is placed horizontally on surfaces or vertically on walls but can still harvest the same amount of solar energy a tilted PV panel tracking the sun can.

The technology has several advantages including, it can be tailored to new mechanically demanding applications and offers more efficient solar energy harvesting, there are no bulky tracking mechanisms or tilting mounting structures needed, it has self-orientation toward the sun, is entirely glare-free and easier to clean.

SUNPave offers enhanced mechanical strength, anti-slip, anti-glare, and anti-scratch properties which extend the use of solar energy to new applications not possible by existing solar panel technology such as railroads (e.g., between rails), and lightly used walkable outdoor spaces, airport spaces (e.g., large empty spaces between runways and apron), and floating solar walkways/pedestrian bridges.

It is also cheaper and easier for applications such as building-integrated photovoltaic systems, floating solar farms, flat rooftops (e.g., gas stations/car sheds), marine vessel decks, rooftops of buses and RVs, refrigeration truck fleets, and irrigation systems.

For more information, visit here .


Honorable Mentions

Zinc Sponge Battery

Michael Burz, Meinrad Machler, Philip Baker, DJ Desai, Sam Reul, and Robb Vinzent,
EnZinc, Richmond, CA

A novel zinc metal sponge electrode offers significant advantages for an alternative chemistry, especially over other zinc electrode approaches. The sponge structure eliminates dendrite growth extending the cycle life in the thousands. It’s high surface area extends the zinc utilization by two times over conventional zinc giving the resulting battery higher specific energy and energy density.

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Solar Guardian PV Connector for Preventing Arc-Faults in Solar Arrays

Kenny Blemel, Management Sciences Inc.,
Albuquerque, NM

The device disconnects electricity by opening the circuit with a spring-actuated slider that activates when the operating temperature of the connector rises above the thermal rating (85-95 °C). When it detects heat above 85-95 °C, it disconnects the electricity flowing through that panel and takes only the connected string of panels offline, protecting the investment, and leaving the remainder of the array to continue producing clean energy.

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InterCoat ChemGuard AG

ABrit Capizzano, Connor McMenamin, Mike Pollnow, and Bruce Manna-kee,
Chemcoaters LLC, Gary, IN

This waterborne dried-in-place coating offers galvanizers the ability to produce galvanized material as G30 (0.30 oz of Zn) and outperform the corrosion protection on galvanized materials as high as G235 (2.35 oz of Zn). When it is applied and reacted with thin layers of galvanized coating, it significantly slows the rate of corrosion so that it lasts longer and protects better.

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DURATRACK Two Component Waterborne Coating

Bingquan Li, Eric Greyson, Laura Vielhauer, Seth Roberts, ThomasA Winterberg, Karlie Godshall, Stephanie Long, Joseph Grant, Kenneth Smith, Carly Haller, Arthur Leman, Joy Gallagher, Jeff Millman, Robert Bills, Jamie Sullivan, Janet Tesfai, Andrea Greyson, and Kiran Baikerikar,
Dow Chemical Company,
Collegeville, PA, USA

The coating offers a new solution to the durable green bike lane market. It has no odor, low volatile organic compound, is easy to handle with and clean up with water. The DURATRACK coating comprises of two resins R-100 and AEH-100. This special design enables the coating system to have a lower viscosity, longer pot-life, and better UV durability than typical epoxy coatings.

Visit here .


See the rest of this year's winners:



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Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the November, 2022 issue of Tech Briefs Magazine.

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