8' diameter Power Dish
Reflectec polymer film
vacuum deformed to focus sunlight
Dish weight = 65 lbs.

U.S Patent # 7,374,301
Test Receiver for Boiling Water
8' diameter dish focuses to a 20 sq. in.  spot-
insulated SS pot holds 1 gal of water
18' best focal length
350 suns concentration.
Maximum temperature 922C @ 987W/M2 solar insolation
4500 watts energy delivered

(from ASAE Standard X580) W= (Tfinal-Tinitial)MCv/S, where

W= watts
Tf=  Final temperature in degrees C
Ti-    initial temperature in degrees C
M=  Mass of water  (and mass of pot)
Cv=  Specific heat of water (and SS pot)
S  =  Seconds
       Heliostat Dish Design Progression

light weight
repeatable performance of over 100 suns
low vacuum leakage                                                       

Verify manufacturability of design with low
production factory runs                                                 

Scale up to 8' diameter, and test                                  

Begin outdoor tests with weatherable film  
(10 year life goal)

Replicate performance of first 8' dish --
pilot run of 2 additional 8' diameter dishes.  

Vacuum seals improved-  hold time improves
from several hours to  several days                           

Design 1/4 scale model of tracking structure
for 4 dishes that also provides both active
and passive stowage modes for high wind ,
dust, and hail events.                                                      

First Vacu-Seal Patent issued
U.S Patent # 7,374,301                                                   

Begin component development for
full scale tracking frame and 4 x  10' dia.
dish system (20 KW)                                                       
A Better Focus Co.
Large Power Dishes
BCC-  Best Cost Concentration

Solar energy is plentiful, but diffuse.   The concentration of
solar       energy enables a wide array of applications,
including  industrial steam,  process heating,   air
conditioning, sterling engines, concentrating photovoltaics,
Solar concentrating systems also offer the hope of being the
most cost-effective method of capturing and utilizing solar
energy, but the fact remains that traditional
combustion-based generation of thermal and electrical
energy is still considerably less expensive for the typical
industrial user.
One method of closing the cost gap between traditional and
solar power generation is though the use of film-based
reflective materials, as opposed to traditional glass mirrors.  
The cost advantages of reflective films are considerable in
comparison to traditional mirrors using glass substrates
(thick or thin), and film production also leaves a significantly
lower carbon footprint.  Point focus implementation offers
lower radiant thermal losses compared to line focus/
trough-based systems. .   
A lightweight yet strong dish design enables a very low mass
for the tracking structure to move, and a weathervaning
stowage mode protects the dishes from high wind and hail
The ability to dynamically adjust focal length on the dishes
offers flexibility in implementation, and also provides the
ability to quickly return dishes to a safe unfocused condition
in the event that tracking control is lost.

A Better Focus Co. is committed to moving this technology
Click the following links for papers and  presentations
detailing the design concept of A Better Focus technology.
(presented at the American Solar Energy Society ).

Reflective films are often cited as lacking in durability
compared to glass mirrors.   While glass mirrors present the
hardest of outer surfaces to the elements,  glass materials
have not been without problems of their own. Also, the cost
of melting sand and gypsum to make glass will escalate with
rising fuel costs.  The carbon footprint left behind is
significant in any case.
New developments in reflective film have made significant
progress, and accelerated life testing at NREL estimates a
life of greater than 10 years.
2010 ASES presentation

Our 8' prototype utilizes reflective film from Reflectich Solar,
now part of SkyFuel, Inc..

Our second 8'  diameter prototype has been constructed
and tested in the fall of 07.  Concentration ratio stands at
350 suns, maximum temperature recorded is 922C at 987
The latest prototype is constructed with Reflectec film that
has proven the ability to survive outdoor conditions.  

Long term weatherability testing have commenced, and will
continue indefinitely.  A 1/4 scale model of a  4-dish tracking
frame structure has been completed, and tested.

Looking for Partners
We are looking for a user/partner to build a 20KW
dish-thermal system:
Do you have a year-round need for hot water or low
pressure steam?
Are you located in a region with good solar resource?
Do you have an interest in participating in the development
and testing of the next-generation of high-energy solar
Intellectual property of new developments will be shared.

Expressions of interest can be forwarded to  Doug Simmers
at www.doug@abetterfocus.com
8' diameter dish focuses light to a
5" dia. spot on receiver pot for
heating water. Max Temp of 922C
1/4 Scale model of a 4-dish thermal
system focusing on a insulated plate
with thermocouple mounted
A Better Focus Co. is proud to announce the allowance of our first patent         
for our VacuDish concentrating technology, U.S Patent # 7,374,301
Partner Query
From ASES 2010-
Pursuing Best Cost Concentration
Performance Testing
Questions and answers