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Tech Boom

High quality of life, lower rents, and a brilliant workforce are luring start-ups to the east bay. Meet the fearless pioneers who are staking their claim.

BY ETHAN FLETCHER

Long-lasting batteries made of wire mesh that can fit any device imaginable. A low-cost diagnostic tool that detects cancer via a drop of blood. A robotic exoskeleton that allows paraplegics to walk.

Labs’ Industrial Liaisons Move In Right Direction For Business

Some three years after Sandia and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories started carving out parts of their sites to encourage more successful interactions with industry, both labs have made progress adapting to the fast pace of business.

The goal of their efforts has been to combine the technical creativity of the national laboratories with the market focus of the business world, helping U.S. industry while finding practical outlets for government-sponsored inventions that might have little if any application inside the labs.

Cool Earth Solar bets its future on a thin plastic film used in gift wrapping and chip bags

By David Mills

An ordinary potato chip bag may hold the future of Cool Earth Solar, a Livermore company seeking new ways to provide cheap solar power.

Since 2007, Cool Earth has been looking for the right stuff — a solar panel material that could be used minimally to drive down the cost and acreage needed to produce power. The answer, they found, was the thin plastic film used in gift wrapping and potato chip bags. Five billion pounds of it are produced every year in the United States.

Sandia and Cool Earth Solar Event Video

On February 20, 2013, Cool Earth Solar launched the first demonstration project featuring it's CPV technology. This important project includes a "first of its kind" partnership with Sandia and the Department of Energy.

Please take a moment to watch this engaging video on YouTube featuring our partnership with Sandia Lab and the ribbon cutting ceremony on February 20, 2013.

Cool Earth Solar's big deal with Sandia

SFGate by David R. Baker

Most large solar arrays use flat panels or curved mirrors to capture sunlight.

Cool Earth Solar's arrays use big, inflatable plastic tubes.

The Livermore startup, founded in 2007, claims its inflatable gear can generate as much electricity as standard solar systems while using half as much material. That approach could radically cut costs.

Cool Earth Wins Appeal to Build Solar Array

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors upheld Cool Earth Solar’s application for a solar energy installation in the Altamont, denying an appeal by the Tri-Valley Conservancy (TVC).
Supervisors voted 4-0, at their meeting Feb. 28, with supervisor Nadia Lockyer absent.

Cool Solar Earth Balloon Helps Green Energy Soar Sustainably

Posted by Ryan Scott

There are many new forms of green energy, but perhaps none as interesting as the Cool Earth Solar “Balloon.”

Here’s the concept behind the design:

An inflatable plastic thin-film balloon (solar concentrator) is created

Upon inflation, the balloon focuses sunlight onto a photovoltaic cell held at its focal point

The design produces 400 times the electricity that a solar cell would generate without the Cool Earth’s concentrator

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HowStuffWorks - Top 6 Innovations in Solar Power

by Derek Markham, Planet Green

Our energy systems are in need of a serious tuneup, for a number of reasons. Using predominantly petroleum (and other fossil fuel) products for energy production has a couple of major drawbacks, including limited supplies, the release of greenhouse gases and other pollutants during use, and for most countries, the dependence on foreign oil and coal supplies (and the inevitable price increases that go along with that).

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Solar firm doubles space in Livermore

Cool Earth expands to accommodate technology innovations
By George Avalos
Contra Costa Times

Cool Earth Solar is finding that its business has heated up enough that it will double its space in Livermore and ramp up manufacturing.

Livermore-based Cool Earth Solar has landed $21 million in private financing, including $20 million in venture funding that was preceded by $1 million in angel investments. The company was formed in 2007.

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New Uses for Old Plastic

By 3p Contributor
By: Rob Lamkin

In a world where plastic is ubiquitous, enterprising organizations are developing innovative, environmentally responsible applications for plastic. Some companies are producing products that re-imagine plastic waste as a useful resource.

Cool Earth Solar finalist in 2010 Platts Energy Awards

October 2, 2010

“We are honored to be named a finalist in the prestigious 2010 Platts Global Energy Awards competition and pleased to stand alongside so many other distinguished companies,” said Rob Lamkin, CEO of Cool Earth Solar.…

Rob Lamkin on the Renewable Energy Industry

InterPV conducts a series of interviews with solar experts around the world in an effort to get their thoughts on the current status and future prospects for the renewable energy industry and to understand better the solar PV industry in the context of other renewable energy sources.

CPV systems made of thin-film plastics

Sun & Wind Energy 2/2010
by Reid Smith and Lisa Cohn

Cool Earth Solar, California, a concentrator photovoltaics (CPV) company – formed by a group of scientists and engineers from the California Institute of Technology – is now developing an innovative CPV system design made almost entirely of thin film plastic, an inexpensive and abundant resource.

Excellence in Renewable Energy Awards Finalists Unveiled

RenewableEnergyWorld.com, the World's #1 Renewable Energy News Source, has announced the finalists for the 2009 Excellence in Renewable Energy Awards. Now readers have the chance to pick their favorite nominee for the Reader's Choice Award.

Online voting for the Reader's Choice Award will be open until January 31. Votes can be cast at the Awards website: http://awards.renewableenergyworld.com

Balloons Concentrating Solar Energy Have Mass Utility Potential

RENEWABLE POWER NEWS
by Carl Joseph

Until now, energy collection has taken the form of oil rigs drilling in oceans, pumps drawing oil from fields, wind turbines dotting mountain ridges and shorelines. A new venture firm is discussing their novel idea of using balloons as a form of energy capture and power source of the future.

Cool Earth Solar is that company and they are from Livermore, California; where they have designed and manufactured the eight foot plastic inflatable’s that they envision will be taking the renewable energy industry by storm.

Solaripedia - Solar Balloons Provide Electric Power

CoolEarth created an innovative way to harness the sun's energy. Instead of large expensive solar panels or costly concentrating mirrors, the company is using balloons made of metalized plastic films. Half of the balloon is transparent, letting the light in to be concentrated into a small high-efficiency solar panel by the concave interior. Each is two meters across and, depending on the source, estimates vary from 500 watt to 1 kilowatt. They are supported by cables, leaving the ground below clear and limiting environmental impact.

Eco Company - Solar Balloons!

Solar power has become an acceptable and widely used form of alternative, renewable energy around the world. We have all seen traditional solar panels on homes and businesses. But you have never seen anything like this! Eco Company found a start-up company that is making solar balloons! Yeah balloons. They look like 8 foot party balloons. But these have solar concentrators that harness the power of the sun. Brendan got the assignment to go check them out.

Please click here to see the video and read more - Eco Company

Sun Balloons

Popular Science

Imagine a UFO parking lot: silver orbs as far as the eye can see.

Cool Earth Solar’s power plants will look like that. The company’s design features inexpensive balloons – plastic film with an aluminum lining – each with a photovoltaic cell at its center. The eight-foot-wide balloons concentrate the sun’s rays onto the solar cell to generate a kilowatt of electricity, 350 times as much as the cell without the balloon.

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3 Questions: Rob Lamkin, CEO, Cool Earth Solar

by David R. Baker

Name: Rob Lamkin
Title: Chief Executive Officer
Company: Cool Earth Solar, Livermore

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