Allentown’s SunStream Earth builds rainy-day generators

Thursday, June 21, 2012

It may not always be sunny in Allentown, but SunStream Earth is working to see that it doesn’t matter.

The company, launched in 2010, is about to produce a first, small-scale prototype to prove its concept of a solar electrical generator based on a new technology. The product would be smaller and more efficient than conventional solar photovoltaic generators and “would operate whether its cloudy, night or day, without regard to the sun’s rays,” says president Martin Borakove.

SunStream Earth got a significant boost earlier this month with a $110,000 investment from the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania. The funds, says Borakove, will enable the young company to build five additional prototypes over the next year, and to test them at Northampton Community College’s Emerging Technology Applications Center (ETAC) in conjunction with Lehigh University’s Energy and Environmental Research Initiative.

SunStream Earth’s technology uses a proprietary gas that will boil at temperatures below freezing, generating electricity from ambient solar heat – a solar-thermal technology instead of the conventional solar photovoltaic. SunStream Earth’s generator can deliver about 100,000 kilowatt hours yearly on-site, says Borakove, several times more electricity compared to traditional photovoltaic panels of comparable size and at a significantly lower capital cost per kilowatt hour.

The company sees commercial and military applications as its initial prospective markets. Smaller-scale devices for residential applications, storage capacity and even solar farms could be in the future.

Source: Martin Borakove, SunSteam Earth
Writer: Elise Vider, Of Keystone Edge

Ben Franklin funds technology startups
June 05, 2012|By Sam Kennedy, Of The Morning Call

Sunstream Earth of Allentown received $110,000 to complete construction and testing of a new type of solar-powered thermal generator for electricity production. This new technology will allow electricity to be produced using only ambient solar heat, requiring a smaller footprint and delivering greater efficiency than conventional solar-generation technologies, according to Ben Franklin.