Thank You WIKI
In today’s world; Honey Boo Boo grabs the headlines, and until last night, there was not a single person interested in challenging what I post on this hobby site as personal opinion about Amonix.
Then an email arrives last night to say that Alamosa has met it’s PPA, and maybe it’s time I updated my opinion? Was I all too wrong about Amonix? Meeting the PPA? At what cost?
The Wiki page has arrived, and we’ll see how it does to sort out the facts of the Amonix 7700s and what it takes to operate such a plant. My personal opinion, what’s it worth? It hasn’t helped to encourage conversation here that’s for sure. DIYers have interest in personal sized solar PV, but the commercial side is of far less interest to them I guess.
This WIKI page might create some interest, and we’ll see if someone is able to push Amonix and their supporters off this worthless claim of high cell efficiency and into the daylight where we might discuss making a KWH of AC through the meter and, and how long it will take to pay off the investment?
There it is on the WIKI page! The claim this plant is certified to operate for 50 years. What the hell does that mean?
A system full of complexity, hydraulic pumps, hydraulic fluid, hoses, gears, tremendous wind loading, a need to ‘stow’ the panels when winds hit a certain speed in the desert. An environment so harsh, freezing cold, hail, blowing dust. A plant designed with series circuits with no diagnostics to help identify a shorted element? How many places to manually check, how much Tech time does it take? One element can trip out an inverter until a technician can trouble shoot it. The need to change hydraulic fluid? To maintain gear heads? To replace broken plastic covers?
Those sudden heavy seasonal rains, high wind gusts, what problems do they create for an operator?
What power plant would I compare the Amonix power plant to in an effort to evaluate the worth of it’s complexity and high parts count? I’ve mentioned the Road Runner, a single axis thin film power plant that appears to outperform the Amonix 7700 in power output per name plate MW as measured through the meter, and will we ever know the difference in operating costs? If the public purse is involved in funding a project, it should all be an open book, where’s the data, and if anyone were proud of the Amonix maintenance figures, wouldn’t they be on the front page of some Gang Green Publication? Why is it all we see is a claim of high cell efficiency? Maybe we need read the ‘technical’ details at the Huffington Post?
Of course my opinion is all based on a life time of personal experience trying to keep the elements out of different enclosures, and what happens over time. Perhaps the most frustrating experience is in areas where sudden temperature changes happen and moisture is present, condensation problems, loading from hail and far more. I recall other things ‘certified’ and I wonder what the value is? Does that mean the ‘Good Fairy’ (The American Tax Payer) has underwritten it and Issues a warranty? Do they pick up unanticipated maintenance expense for 50 years?
How many trackers were placed at Alamosa to meet the PPA, and what might have been added after that and why?
I need your help! If there’s any reason to praise Amonix, PLEASE help me find it!
Why hasn’t the Las Vegas Sun followed the Amonix story?
Today, I dropped by this site http://www.epelectric.com/renewable-energy/menu. I’m thankful that this company does so much to inform their ratepayers and investors with power production numbers. As typical the far less complex and likely cheaper Road Runner thin film single axis power plant put out 76 percent of its name plate capacity best hour, and Hatch turned in a best in a long time best hour performance of 74%
Rumors say Hatch has had two full time techs working to keep the equipment up to service, I wonder how that compares to the Road Runner?
But this is by no means the whole story, there are times when the wind blows and the Amonix trackers stow, or when high clouds seem to put a huge dent in power production, as happens in CPV, but the Road Runner does quite well on those days with high clouds. Just how much worse or better does Amonix do that mono crystalline or even thin film like the road runner uses?
Perhaps we can take the number of trackers initially planned for Alamosa, and note those added later? Divide one by the other, does that give us the percentage of underperformance as per what they expected?
I write about this technology as a hobbyist, I am no more than a hobbyist, and all I write is opinion. There’s so many gang green sites, and most will only post the stuff spoon fed to them by the NREL, the Operating Company, or the Manufacturer, why is that?
Will this WIKI be the tool that actually establishes a realistic measure of the value of the Amonix 7700?
Please do consider leaving a comment, I’d love to hear how my opinion differs from yours..