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|United States Patent Application
De Luca; Nicholas P.
June 30, 2011
WAVE GENERATED ENERGY FOCUSING LENS AND REFLECTOR FOR SOLAR CONCENTRATION,
COLLECTION, AND HARNESSING
A novel method of concentrating solar energy using wave generators is
disclosed. The systems and methods enable the collection of energy over
large area at high efficiencies and the concentrating of energy at a
target for use and transfer.
De Luca; Nicholas P.; (Vieques, PR)
December 29, 2009|
|Current U.S. Class:
||126/685; 126/714 |
|Class at Publication:
||126/685; 126/714 |
||F24J 2/18 20060101 F24J002/18; F24J 2/00 20060101 F24J002/00|
1. A solar energy concentration system comprising one or more wave
generators actuated to create a reflector or lens that concentrates solar
energy onto a target for use and/or storage.
2. The solar energy concentration system of claim 1, wherein the wave
generators are placed in a liquid medium.
3. The solar energy concentration system of claim 2, wherein the liquid
medium is water.
4. The solar energy concentration system of claim 1, wherein the target
is a heat absorbent material.
5. The solar energy concentration system of claim 1, wherein the target
is a reflective material.
6. The solar energy concentration system of claim 1, wherein the wave
generators are driven using stored energy.
7. The solar energy concentration system of claim 1, wherein the wave
generators are driven using renewable energy such as solar or wind
8. A process for concentrating solar energy comprising: activating one or
more wave generators; forming a lens or reflector within a medium excited
by the wave generator(s); focusing sunlight on a target by transmission
through, or reflectance by, the lens or reflector to concentrate and
collect solar energy; and using, storing, or transmitting the collected
 The generation of solar energy has become a major focus of society
in an attempt to relieve its dependence on oil, coal, and other fossil
fuels. There are two primary methods for generating power from solar
energy. The first involving radiating a photovoltaic solar panel to
generate an electrical voltage, and second, concentrating solar energy
onto a target which absorbs the energy as heat and then converting the
heat to power (generally via steam). In both cases, the cost associated
with the setup of the systems and the level of the power produced make
the power expensive in comparison to alternatives such as coal burning
 In considering concentrator (or concentration) systems, the use of
mirrors is widely favored versus using lenses to concentrate solar
energy. This is primarily due to the increased cost associated with
forming a glass lens compared to using a sheet metal material to form the
mirror. The high cost of concentrator systems is also attributable to the
set-up and electromechanical tracking of the mirrors onto a fixed target.
The target is generally a heat absorbing system which converts water to
steam via heat transfer pipes and a steam turbine.
 Gross et al., in U.S. Pat. Nos. 7,192,146 and 6,959,993 describe a
heliostat array that is mechanically linked. Nohrig in U.S. Pat. No.
6,953,038 describes a mechanical frame as does Ven in U.S. Pat. No.
6,349,718. U.S. Pat. No. 7,568,479 by Rabinowitz discloses a Fresnel lens
apparatus used for solar concentration and the associated mechanical
systems. In attempting to make large collection areas, capable of
generating significant commercial power levels, all these systems are
inherently encumbered by the electromechanical systems required to move
and adjust the mirrors onto a target area.
 Researchers at the Akishima Laboratories in Japan and Professors
Etsuro Okuyama and Shigero Haito at the University of Osaka have been
able to use synchronized wave generators to create letters in standing
pools of water.
OBJECTS OF INVENTION
 It is therefore an object of the current invention to allow for the
production of power on a large scale at low capital costs. Ideally, said
system using a concentrating mirror array or lens array that does not
require moving fixtures or framing to support the mirrors or lenses. It
is further an object of the current invention to allow for controlled
power generation on a large scale. It is further an object of the current
invention to minimize the environmental impact of the power generation.
SUMMARY OF INVENTION
 In summary, the following invention comprises forming a mirror or
lens by creating a composite wave structure within a liquid medium formed
by the interference pattern of waves created from one or more wave
generators placed in contact with or in close proximity to the liquid.
The wave generators may be outfitted with integrated or stand alone
sensors to detect the background waves (i.e., waves due to wind effects)
and the computer system controlling the wave generator(s) to apply a wave
to correct for the noise. The liquid medium may also have a top
reflective coating upon which incident solar radiation reflects to
achieve focusing upon a target. The target being located at a focal
distance of the formed mirror or lens.
 As an example, consider a 3,218 meter diameter ring that is formed
using 33,158 coupled wave generators, each located along the
circumference of the ring, each 0.3 meters wide, and the assembly placed
within a standing body of water, such as a river, lake, or pool. The
generators potentially being solar powered, each connected in series or
in parallel and actuated with a timed electronic modulated driver so as
to create a standing or moving wave which resembles a lens or mirror.
Each wave generator may be further controlled directly through a cable or
via an electromagnetic signal and a computer and further use feedback
from various sensors including ambient wave height sensors. An aluminum
powder or other reflective material may be spread over the liquid medium
in order to increase the reflective strength of the created mirror. The
mirror is dynamically created and moved such that the incident angle of
the sun forms a reflected image on a focus point. The focus point may be
located above or below the lens on a stationary, moving, floating, or
hovering platform which further transforms the energy to another medium
for electrical power generation or to a surface that provides a secondary
reflective surface to transfer the energy. A single mirror of this size
could reflect upwards of 1 giga watts of solar energy (at an average sun
field density of 300 watts per square meter).
 As another example, consider a 3 meter diameter ring that is fitted
with 31 wave generators each 0.3 meters wide and placed within a standing
body of water, such as a river, lake, ocean, or pool. Multiple rings may
be arrayed so as to create a composite field of mirrors. A field of 500
mirrors, each capable of reflecting 1,000 watts of solar energy (at an
average sun field density of 300 watts per square meter) consisting in
total of 15,500 wave generators could provide 0.5 MW of reflected sun
 FIG. 1 is an isometric view of an example of a wave generator solar
 FIGS. 2a, 2b, and 2c are isometric views of alternate wave
generator solar concentrator systems and light reflection paths.
 FIGS. 3a through 3j are schematics showing alternative placements
of generators used for generating a wave formed lens in a solar
 FIG. 4 is an isometric view of a multiple wave generator and the
 FIG. 5 is an isometric view of a single wave generator and the
 FIG. 6 is a schematic drawing illustrating the control system
matrix and algorithms used to modulate the wave generator system.
DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 illustrates a wave concentration system 300 consisting of
wave generators 32 activated to form a focusing or reflecting lens
surface 5 within a liquid medium 10. The surface formed may act as a
mirror or a lens, in a manner similar to conventional concave, or convex
lenses and reflectors. The liquid medium may have a surfactant within it
that floats on the surface to increase the reflectance of the surface or
the medium may include dissolved or partially dissolved solids or other
components to improve the formed lens characteristics. Light beam 1, most
generally coming from the sun coming from path 6, being reflected in a
coherent manner by the generated wave surface 5 to a secondary reflector
4 via path 7. Reflector 4 being mounted to a stationary land based
fixture or attached to a tethered system, or mounted above the generated
wave surface through a floating, flying, or other self lifting system.
Reflector 4 further passing light beam 1 to target 3 via path 8. Target 3
may be single or multiple solar cells to convert the light into
electrical energy, or a heat absorbing unit such as a salt bath further
used to convert water to steam and then electrical energy or other target
for other use.
 FIGS. 2a, 2b, and 2c illustrate various lenses or reflectors 11,
12, and 13 respectively created via wave generators 32. In FIG. 2a, the
sun light 501 is reflected to target 21 located above and offset to the
center of the surface of the liquid medium 10, while in FIG. 2b the sun
light 500 is focused directly above to target 22. In FIG. 2c the sun
light 502 is focused into the liquid medium to a target 23 located below
the surface of the liquid medium. In FIGS. 2a, 2b, and 2c the respective
targets 21, 22, and 23 may behave similarly to reflector 4 or target 3 of
FIG. 1 or both.
 FIGS. 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d, 3e, 3f, 3g, 3h, 3i, and 3j illustrate
different configurations and placements of wave generators 32, 35, 40,
and 600 used for creating the reflector or lens 30 in the area 31 and 50
(indicated by the dashed line). The optimization of the number of
generators required can be modeled using computer systems and the ambient
surface conditions and noise created by winds or by other objects passing
nearby, such as boats, can be modeled as well to optimize the system.
 FIGS. 3a, 3b, and 3c illustrate a lens or reflector 30 created
using a central generator 35 as well as combined with additional
generators 32 placed in a circular pattern around the central generator
35. In FIGS. 3d, 3e, and 3f, the central generator 35 is removed and
single or multiple generators 32 are placed around the intended lens or
reflector region 31. The algorithms used to create the waves constantly
adjusting to account for the light source's position with respect to the
lens and/or target(s) as well as any ambient wave noise or disturbance.
In FIG. 3f, multiple rings of generators 32 are circumscribed and these
may be located at different depths within the medium 10.
 In FIGS. 3g, 3h, and 3i, the wave generators are placed in a
non-circular fashion to form a lens or reflector in region 31. While FIG.
3g illustrates multiple independent wave generators 40 arranged in a
square pattern, FIGS. 3h and 3i use continuous vibrating assemblies 600
such a piezo electric surfaces shaped as a square and combined circles
respectively to form the lens or mirror in region 31. Such mixer systems
further described by Berg and De Luca in Review of Scientific
Instruments, Volume 62, Issue 2, February 1991, pp. 527-529, "Milliwatt
Mixer for Small Fluid Samples." Assemblies 40 and 600 may be further used
in conjunction with central generators 32.
 In FIG. 3j the wave generators 32 and 35 form a central lens or
reflective area 31 and may also form single or multiple lens or
reflective areas 50 located off center to the primary central symmetry
 FIG. 4 illustrates multiple wave generators 32 bound together at
pivot 100 via arms 101 with angular encoders. Each generator equipped
with a primary actuation unit 102 that produces the waves; these waves
being created through a single or multiple controlled motions which may
include rotary, linear, impact, harmonic, or turbulent actuation. The
energy required to create the motion may be fed directly through an
external power supply, an internal power supply, or may comprise a
renewable energy source such as the solar panels 103. Each generator 32
may also include a battery 104 to help power the unit including in case
of low sun conditions and may also include GPS and sun tracking systems
105. The generators may also include equipment able to communicate local
conditions such as ambient wave conditions, adjacent generator encoder
value, absolute position, fluid temperature and velocity at port and
antenna 115. Wave generator 32 may be combined with additional equipment
such as flotation or translocation equipment.
 FIG. 5 illustrates a single wave generator 35 equipped with a
primary actuation unit 102 that produces the waves; these waves being
created through a single or multiple controlled motions which may include
rotary, linear, impact, harmonic, or turbulent actuation. The energy
required to create the motion may be fed directly through an external
power supply, an internal power supply, or may comprise a renewable
energy source such as the solar panels 103. Each generator 35 may also
include a battery 104 to help power the unit including in case of low sun
conditions and may also include GPS and sun tracking systems 105. The
generators may also include equipment able to communicate local
conditions such as ambient wave conditions, adjacent generator encoder
value, absolute position, fluid temperature and velocity input at port
and antenna 115. Wave generator 35 may be combined with additional
equipment such as flotation or translocation equipment.
 FIG. 6 illustrates an electronic control circuit 120 used to
control one or more wave generators in a complete system such as 300
shown in FIG. 1. At the onset, the sun position may be obtained using GPS
or sensory information and combined with the information relating the
generator position (s) and the target position (s); further communicated
to a central computer for processing from the individual sensors located
on each generator and the target. The wave generator algorithm will use
the position information and combine this with sensory information
obtained about the background noise to create driver information for each
of the wave generators. Upon collection of the power at the target area,
the energy obtained can be compared to baseline quantities and the
reflective or lens characteristics can be optimized. The cloud cover may
also be factored into the optimization algorithms and in some cases the
generators may be shut down to prevent loss of energy due to insufficient
energy generation. In addition, fluid additives used to optimize
reflection or refraction may be controlled via the control system, and
target and generator positions may be further altered based on
optimization of energy collection.
 Any and all publications and patent applications mentioned in this
specification are indicative of the level of skill of those skilled in
the art to which this invention pertains. All publications and patent
applications mentioned herein are hereby incorporated by reference in
their entirety to the same extent as if each individual publication or
application was specifically and individually incorporated by reference.
 It is to be understood that the invention is not to be limited to
the exact configuration as illustrated and described herein. Accordingly,
all expedient modifications readily attainable by one of ordinary skill
in the art from the disclosure set forth herein, or by routine
experimentation therefrom, are deemed to be within the spirit and scope
of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
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