Sunopti provides software and engineering services to the solar energy industry,
with a focus on concentrating solar energy.
Alex Burton is Sunopti's founder and principle engineer. Alex has 10 years of experience in concentrating solar energy research
and engineering, mostly at the CSIRO National Energy Centre in Newcastle, Australia.
He is the inventor of several patents in the area of heliostat control systems and solar energy system design, and has developed several novel algorithms for controlling and designing heliostat fields and receivers.
Alex has been a system designer and consultant on solar energy systems for CSIRO, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Abengoa Solar, General Electric, the Cyprus Institute and several other large international organisations.
Alex's solar thermal experience includes:
- Lead developer of the CSIRO heliostat, a small, high-performance focusing heliostat that uses linear actuators and an elastically deformed mirror panel.
- Lead developer of CSIRO's heliostat control system. This camera-based, semi-closed loop system, has controled receiver surface irradiance distribution for ten different cavity and external receiver designs.
- Lead developer of CSIRO's heliostat field and receiver simulation and optimisation software. This has been used to design several commercial heliostat fields and receivers for feasibility studies, and to design experimental receivers at the Newcastle site.
- Principle engineer for three research scale heliostat fields: a 1 MW (thermal) field at CSIRO Newcastle and smaller systems in Cyprus and Japan.