US-Manufactured, Utility Scale Solar (Paul M. Dentiger, Cool Earth Solar)


“An Example of Thinking Inside the Box: An Opportunity and Solution in US-Manufactured, Utility Scale Solar”

Paul M. Dentiger

Cool Earth Solar, Livermore


This year, over 40GW of solar PV will be installed globally and the annual growth rate is roughly 30%. This amounts to roughly 5-10 nuclear power plants displaced in 2014 alone, and we have just begun. While the opportunity is vast, the solution space is confined. The amount of sun per unit area is known, and thankfully, not going up. But on the output, the amount that one can charge in a power purchase agreement is fixed, typically by public commission reference of subsidized and commoditized fossil fuels. An additional boundary is the scale-up within a commoditized, capital intensive industry: a barrier hurdled almost exclusively by off-shore actors today. The feedstock is fixed, the sale price is fixed, little or no capital is allowed, and these set the boundaries of the box that nearly 200 solar companies have failed trying to navigate.

Cool Earth Solar (CES) addressed the problem by first correctly defining the boundaries of the box, then contemplating what technical possibilities exist within, rather than migrating to a solution that assumed the box walls would move. Within these walls only certain materials are allowed: and polymers are one of them. In this talk, I’ll set the parameters of the box, and the decision to pursue inflatable polymer films. I’ll then show the data to indicate the films can perform in the solar environment and follow with the entire system design and demonstration of product maturity such as our grid-tied, power producing facility at Sandia National Laboratories, in Livermore,California. You will see how CES is surviving the capital intensive, solar start-up environment, and how we are doing it with 99+% US manufacturing: by repurposing existing manufacturing capacity via the use of thin, inflatable polymer structures.

Speaker Background

Following a B.S. in Chem. Eng. at UC Santa Barbara and a stint teaching Chemistry in the US Peace Corps, in Ghana, Paul Dentinger received his Ph.D. in Materials Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1998. His research on photopolymerization and processing for fine line lithography continued at Sandia National Laboratories and has resulted in 35 publications and over 10 patents, and has migrated to microfabrication, and now solar. Paul is presently the Director of Product Development at Cool Earth Solar and principal in charge of polymer film work.


Tuesday, May 6


Michael's Restaurant at Shoreline Park

Mountain View, CA





6 PM social hour

7 PM dinner

8 PM lecture


Employed/postdoc Student/unemployed/retired
Early Registration - Up to 7 days in advance of deadline $30 $15
Registration - Up to deadline $35 $20
After deadline/walk-in (Availability NOT guaranteed) $40 $25


Lecture-only is free.



We accept cash or checks at the door, or online payment via credit card. No-shows are responsible for full payment of registration fee.


Please register on the web page or contact:

Len Radzilowski



Deadline for registration:

11:59PM, Monday, April 29 for early registration discount

5PM, Monday, May 5 for registration (or until venue has reached capacity.)

Dinner Selection:

Seafood - Broiled Salmon with lemon beurre blanc

Chicken - Chicken Florentine

Vegetarian - Mushroom crepes

You should receive confirmation of your registration; if not, please contact us again.

We are sorry but registration for this event is now closed.

Please contact us if you would like to know if spaces are still available.