passives solar design
K Cup Inventor

At heart, the K Cup is rather a simple idea that has changed the way the world makes and drinks coffee. Invented by John Sylvan.


Zonbak was founded to provide a low cost alternative to non renewable sources of energy. Our current global annual energy consumption is equal to the average solar energy reaching the Earth's surface over a period of only one hour and 16 minutes. Add to it an extra 30 minutes and you'll have enough energy for the annual global consumption in 2020. In other terms, the sun produces approximately 7000 time more power than we consume globally. The challenge is to harness that power. Our goal is to make that possible.


Zonbak was founded by John Sylvan,the cofounder of Keurig, and inventor the Keurig one cup brewing system. Purchased by Green Mountain Coffee, Keurig is now over a $2.5B/year business that dispenses over 20% of all coffee sold in America. The premise was rather simple, come up with a simple single-serve coffee package that you can mass produce in vast numbers (over 10 billion/year). It revolutionized the coffee industry and in doing so made Green Mountain the top percentage gaining publicly traded stock in America from 2007-2012.

The same is true for Zonbak; invent a simple solar technology that you can produce in vast quantities at a low cost per unit. And in doing so change how we heat and cool our homes. We also want to be more responsible global citizens. Even though Keurig is sold by Green Mountain Coffee, its not "green". Far from it. a Keurig brewer generates 10 times the solid waste that would be generated from brewing a cup of coffee with a standard drip brewer. Furthermore, most of the waste is nonrecyclble. To atone for this, we have developed a product that can be considered the ultimate in green. By weight, Zonbak panels are 95% recyclable. In addition, over time we plan to have 95% of our raw material inputs from 100% recycled material. The Teflon used in the glazing is not, but since it is non biodegradable it does not produce any toxic chemicals when disposed in a landfill. The majority of a Zonbak panel by weight is aluminum, one of the most recycled materials in the world, Aluminium recycling involves simply re-melting the metal,

Zonbak Box

Zonbak Linear Thermal Compressor converts heat to power, and can operate as the heart of a compressor- based air conditioning system.

which is far less expensive and energy intensive than creating new aluminium, which must first be mined from bauxite ore. Recycling scrap aluminium requires only 5% of the energy used to make new aluminium. For this reason, approximately 31% of all aluminium produced in the United States comes from recycled scrap. The next time you recycle an aluminum beverage can, there is a chance it can wind up in a Zonbak panel.

We actually started backwards, creating technology that can convert heat to power; an ultra modified, high efficiency Sterling engine, or what we call a Linear Thermal Compressor. However to convert heat, you first have to capture it. That is where our Solar Thermal Panels came into existence. Since no one else had developed a feasible, and cost effective solar thermal panel we decided to do it ourself. So we named ourselves Zonbak, which in Dutch means "sun bucket" (Keurig means excellent or neat in Dutch). We have developed just that: a "sun bucket" to capture the sun", and a rather big bucket. Our largest panel covers 90 square feet and can capture kilowatts of solar energy per panel. Eventually we will combine these two technologies to dramatically increase the overall efficiency of solar thermal power, generating both heat and air conditioning.

all power is solar power

Inherently, mankind has relied on solar power for all heat. The earth, can be considered as one large battery that stored up energy in the form of carbon-based fuel for later consumption. For eons plants converted sunlight into carbon-based matter that decayed, then was converted to oil, gas and coal via natural processes. Next, man learned that fire could provide heat, so burned wood to generate heat, and in the process created massive deforestation of the planet. Next we learned we could mine coal, and extract oil and gas from the earth's crust. That resource, however, is limited as we are quickly discovering. Now we are learning to capture solar heat directly on a daily basis to provide for our energy needs. Also we have our motto in the past tense, we are confident that we can change the world, one house, one street, one neighborhood, and one city or town at a time. In our favor is the fact that the cost of energy will only continue to rise, and most likely at an accelerated rate. So the next time you get that utility bill, you may think maybe it's time that I help to change the world as well.

Thank you from the team at Zonbak

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