Amonix Achieves Highest-Ever Recorded Solar Power Efficiency with Concentrated Photovoltaics

Nov 6, 2012 Full story: Inhabitat

Solar panel manufacturer Amonix has announced that its concentrated photovoltaic technology has set a new efficiency record; their module achieved a conversion rate of 33.5%, which meets a long-standing Department of Energy goal for solar technologies to achieve an efficiency of "one third of the sun." Moreover, the National Renewable Energy ... (more)

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La Quinta, CA

#1 Nov 6, 2012
"The CPV solar technology requires no water in power production and produces more energy per acre than any other solar technology, thereby using less land to produce the same amount of power as a traditional photovoltaic system. The CPV technology only works with direct sunlight, which makes it an attractive technology for markets like Phoenix or Nevada, but less so for locations such as Seattle or Portland."

Yeah, great, what they don't tell you is that you could put 35% more capacity of standard solar PV panels ground mounted and get the same results. With PV panels at an all time low per watt, using standard solar PV panels in a fixed orientation can be more cost effective and less maintenance required to keep the site running in optimal condition for decades to come. The Amonix system requires, tracking controllers, software, motors and mounting racks that are used to track the sun. All are failure items over the long term. Solar PV panels with 35% more capacity mounted south facing on the ground could do the job without the electro-mechanical failure items in the system. Like Solyndra, the product may harvest more sunlight per square meter than standard solar PV panels, but does the overall system cost really justify the CSP system over a standard ground mount solar PV system? Th Berger foundation in Palm Desert CA had CSP installed on their parking structure. You'd drive by and see one group of panels pointing East and another group of panels pointing West. After about a year of this, the system was removed and it was announced that a standard fixed PV panel system would be installed in the future. Amonix needs to step it up and get around 70 to 80% harvest per square meter of panel area to justify the complexity and cost of the system. If not they will become the next Solyndra.

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