JX Crystals Inc.

Issaquah, WA, United States

JX Crystals Inc.

Issaquah, WA, United States

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Fraas L.M.,JX Crystals Inc.
AIP Conference Proceedings | Year: 2013

There are two problems limiting solar electric power. The amount of sunlight is limited and there is no sunlight during peak demand in the evening hours. These problems can be addressed by placing light weight mirror satellite constellations in sun synchronous dawn to dusk low earth orbits in space at an altitude of 1000 km. These satellites can deflect sunbeams down to an array of solar power stations distributed near major population centers around the earth. These solar PV earth stations are already being built. The additional solar energy provided in the early morning and evening hours can potentially reduce the cost of solar electricity at the ground sites to less than 6 cents per kWh. Herein, a specific mirror satellite design concept is proposed with the idea that if one practical mirror satellite can be built, it then can be replicated as many times as required for a specific mission. The proposed mirror satellite is comprised of a lightweight thin aluminized mirror membrane stretched flat by three radial spokes telescoping out from a central body. Control moment gyros similar to those used in the International Space Station (ISS) are mounted inside the central body of the mirror satellite for attitude control and sunbeam pointing. The three spokes collapse and the mirror membrane is folded such that several of these mirror satellites can potentially be stowed inside the fairing of today's available rockets for launch and deployment. © 2013 AIP Publishing.


Fraas L.M.,JX Crystals Inc. | Landis G.A.,NASA | Palisoc A.,LGarde, Inc. | Jaffe P.,U.S. Navy
Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC | Year: 2016

Lightweight mirrors have been proposed in geosynchronous orbit for the generation of Space Solar Power 24 hours per day [1] Alternatively, lightweight space mirrors have been proposed in sun-synchronous polar orbits for illuminating terrestrial solar fields at dawn and dusk for additional terrestrial solar electric power in the early morning and evening hours [2] In any case, the trade offs between lightweight, stiffness, and optical quality for low cost space mirrors need to be explored. These trade-offs can be explored by developing and demonstrating a lightweight mirror on the International Space Station. The astronauts on the ISS will see dawn and dusk 15 times per day. Herein, it is noted that a first step in a space mirror development road-map could be the construction of a 12 square meter space mirror to demonstrate full moon intensity illumination in Disney Parks in the evenings. The 400 km altitude of the ISS is an advantage in that a small 12 sq m mirror can produce full-moon intensity on a 4 km diameter spot on the ground provided that the mirror is flat to within 0.5 degrees, i.e. the sun disc size. There are multiple websites to allow one to locate the ISS in the evening [3] demonstrating that the ISS is visible for up to 6 minutes routinely in the evenings at any ground location between +/- 52 degrees latitude. How might one mount a mirror on the ISS? The ISS has potential external mounting locations [4] As one possibility, a mirror could be attached at the bottom of a nadir pointing beam with the top end of the beam attached to the ISS ELC4 or ELC1 locations. An elevation and azimuth pointing mechanism could be located at the bottom of this beam and attached to the center body of the space mirror. While a space mirror concept for space solar power may be in the very distant future, in addition to providing a space mirror development opportunity, mounting a mirror on the ISS could also have a public relations benefit in that it will make the ISS and the NASA and ESA space development activities more visible for the public. Demonstrating a flat pointing moonbeam space mirror on the ISS would be a significant accomplishment. Copyright © 2016 by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF). All rights reserved.


Fraas L.M.,JX Crystals Inc. | Landis G.A.,NASA | Palisoc A.,LGarde, Inc.
Conference Record of the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference | Year: 2013

Large terrestrial solar electric power fields are being built around the world. However, sunlight is only available during normal daylight hours but not in the evenings. If lightweight mirrors can be deployed in space in a sun-synchronous dawn/dusk orbit, these mirrors can reflect sunlight down to these terrestrial solar farms to provide solar electricity in the evening and early morning, extending the field operating hours and reducing the cost of solar electric power. The idea of mirrors in space reflecting sunlight to earth is not new. What is new here is the idea of a constellation of 18 mirror array satellites in a 1000 km high sun-synchronous dawn/dusk orbit in combination with multiple 5-GW solar farms distributed around the world. In this scenario, the projected payback time for the mirror constellation given the additional revenues from the multiple solar fields is approximately 2 years. © 2013 IEEE.


Fraas L.M.,JX Crystals Inc. | Derbes B.,LGarde, Inc. | Palisoc A.,LGarde, Inc.
51st AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition 2013 | Year: 2013

These Herein, a constellation of mirror satellites in a dawn dusk polar orbit is described with the mirrors deflecting sunbeams down to terrestrial solar electric power fields producing additional solar energy in the early morning and evening hours. A specific mirror satellite design is described where each satellite is comprised of a lightweight thin aluminized mirror membrane stretched flat by three radial spokes telescoping out from a central body. When deployed, each mirror satellite is about twice the size of the International Space Station (ISS). Control moment gyros similar to those used in the ISS are mounted inside the central body of the mirror satellite for attitude control and sunbeam pointing. The three spokes collapse and the mirror membrane is folded such that several of these mirror satellites can potentially be stowed inside the fairing of either a SpaceX Falcon 9 or a Boeing Delta IV rocket for launch and deployment. If this dawn dusk mirror satellite constellation is implemented, the additional solar energy produced at the terrestrial solar fields can reduce the cost of solar electricity at the ground sites to less than 6 cents per kWh. © 2013 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. All rights reserved.


Fraas L.,JX Crystals Inc. | Avery J.,JX Crystals Inc. | Minkin L.,JX Crystals Inc. | Huang H.X.,JX Crystals Inc. | Uppal P.,U.S. Army
IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics | Year: 2011

A novel portable concentrated sunlight electric generator is described. It consists of two 2×3 point-focus Fresnel lens parquets which focus sunlight onto 12 high-efficiency triple junction solar cells mounted on two aluminum-backed circuit boards. These lens parquets, along with a linear tracker drive, can be stowed in a case roughly the size of a notebook computer. The two aluminum circuit boards form the top and bottom of this case. For deployment, the case is open, the lenses pop up, and the unit will generate 50W of electricity at 12V. The unit is deployed with a manual tilt to the South and with an electronic drive rotation from East to West around the North to South tilt axis. In the spring and fall, the unit will track on sun throughout the day, and in the summer, it will stay on sun for 4 h before requiring manual readjustment. Soldiers, campers, hikers, and outbackers use more and more electronics today, and consequently, they carry heavy batteries. The unit that is described here can be carried in a backpack. This concentrated sunlight electric generator can also be useful as a concentrated photovoltaic demonstration tool in science classes. © 2011 IEEE.


Partain L.,Solar Cell Electricity | Fraas L.,JX Crystals Inc.
2015 IEEE 42nd Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2015 | Year: 2015

Unsubsidized costs of solar PV and wind energy are beginning to directly compete with coal and natural gas in some locations. The time is fast approaching when firm plans for their widespread adoption will be needed, once renewable energy variability is reconciled with daily utility electricity demand profiles. A recent four-year study of the PJM regional transmission district indicated that 99.9% grid reliability could be achieved if electric vehicle-to-grid energy storage were used in tandem with solar and wind generation. Applying this to estimate the number of grid-connected electric vehicles needed to displace the coal and nuclear power generation in California gives 1.7 million vehicles (just 8% of California's 22 million passenger vehicles), when combined with 12 GW of utility solar PV and wind generation capacity. This combination offers potential solutions to greenhouse-gas-emission-driven global climate change problems. © 2015 IEEE.


Fraas L.M.,JX Crystals Inc.
Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC | Year: 2013

A Space Power Satellite capable of providing solar electric power economically for 24 hours per day has been a dream for decades. However, the SPS concept is very complex since it assumes multiple energy conversion steps and includes specially constructed ground microwave receiver stations. The 5 km by 15 km Integrated Symmetric Concentrator SPS concept employs light weight mirrors in a GEO orbit. Herein, it is proposed to use a constellation of 10 km diameter mirror arrays in a much lower sun synchronous orbit at an altitude of 1000 km deflecting sunbeams down to terrestrial solar power fields at dawn and dusk. The key is that larger and larger terrestrial solar fields, photovoltaic or trough concentrated solar power, are already being built all around the world. Mirrors deflecting sunbeams down to earth is a much simpler concept. A surprising convergence of two technologies under development is now possible, i.e. lower cost access to space and the ongoing construction of numerous larger solar power fields. The novelty here is the idea of a constellation of mirrors in a sun-synchronous dawn/dusk orbit in combination with future multiple 5-GW solar farms distributed around the world. In this scenario, the projected payback time for the mirror constellation given the additional revenues from the multiple solar fields is approximately 2 years. The key to the attractive economics for this concept is that the mirror constellation is used continuously over a 24 hour period by multiple terrestrial fields as each field comes into view at dawn or dusk. However, while this idea is very intriguing, the magnitude of its implementation is daunting. Nevertheless, the idea is intriguing enough to proceed with an initial design for the required mirror satellites. A mirror satellite design is presented here. It builds from mirror technology for solar sails as well as technology developed for the International Space Station. It appears that the technology is available to implement this mirror satellite design and at least go to a detailed design and test stage. Given all of the above, there is still another non-technical difference between this dawn dusk space mirror concept and the initial SPS concept and that difference is in perspective. The dawn dusk space mirror concept requires a global perspective and international cooperation whereas the SPS concept is based on a traditional national perspective. In this regard, the International Space Station does provide hope for future international cooperation. Copyright © 2013 by the International Astronautical Federation. All rights reserved.


Fraas L.M.,JX Crystals Inc. | Qiu K.,CANMET Energy
Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings | Year: 2013

A high temperature ceramic selective emitter for thermophotovoltaic (TPV) electric generators is described with a spectral match to GaSb IR cells. While solar cells generate electricity quietly and are lightweight, traditional solar cells are used with sunlight and only generate electricity during the day. Workers at JX Crystals invented the GaSb IR cell as a booster cell to demonstrate a solar cell conversion efficiency of 35%. JX Crystals now makes these IR cells. In TPV, these cells can potentially be used with flame heated ceramic emitters to generate electricity quietly day and night. One of the most important requirements for TPV is a good spectral match between the ceramic IR emitted and the IR PV cells. The first problem is to find, demonstrate, and integrate a doped ceramic IR emitter with a spectral match to these GaSb cells. Recently, nickel oxide and cobalt oxide doped MgO-based ceramics have been shown experimentally and theoretically to have spectral selectivity but no attempts have been made to integrate these ceramic IR emitters into a fully operational TPV generator. Herein, we review the history of TPV and note that a key to future progress will be the integration of an appropriate ceramic emitter with cells and a burner to demonstrate an operational TPV generator. Integrating TPV into a residential boiler is discussed as a potential future large volume commercial market. © 2013 Materials Research Society.


Fraas L.M.,JX Crystals Inc.
2014 IEEE 40th Photovoltaic Specialist Conference, PVSC 2014 | Year: 2014

A steel mill extrudes steel billets at temperatures above 1400 °C continuously 24 hours a day. The steel billets then go to cooling beds where they slowly cool down to below 1100 °C. JX Crystals Inc makes Gallium Antimonide (GaSb) thermophotovoltaic (TPV) cells that can generate over 1 W/cm2 when exposed to infrared radiant energy from glowing steel at temperatures above 1100 °C. There is a great opportunity to integrate GaSb TPV receivers into steel mill operations to generate electricity economically utilizing this now wasted radiant energy. © 2014 IEEE.


Fraas L.M.,JX Crystals Inc.
Conference Record of the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference | Year: 2012

A constellation of 18 mirror satellites is proposed in a polar sun synchronous dawn to dusk orbit at an altitude of approximately 1 km above the earth. Each mirror satellite contains a multitude of 2 axis tracking mirror segments that collectively direct a sun beam down at a target solar electric field site delivering a solar intensity to that terrestrial site equivalent to the normal daylight sun intensity extending the sunlight hours at that site at dawn and at dusk each day. Each mirror satellite in the constellation consists of a linear string of mirror elements and each terrestrial solar electric field site has a 10 km diameter and can produce approximately 5 GW per terrestrial site. Assuming that in 10 years, there will be approximately 40 terrestrial solar electric field sites evenly distributed in sunny locations near cities around the world, this system can produce more affordable solar electric power during the day and further into the morning and evening hours. The typical operating hours or power plant capacity factor for a terrestrial solar electric power site can thus be extended by about 30%. Assuming a launch cost of $400/kg as was assumed in a recent NASA Space Power Satellite study for future launch costs, the mirror constellation pay back time will be less than 1 year. A logical continuation of this space mirror satellite concept can potentially lead to solar electric power at a cost under 6 ¢ per kWh. © 2012 IEEE.

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