Predicting Epic Failures at Alamosa, another Green boondoggle

Epic Failure

Epic Failure




  As of 06/25/2012, we do have some facts about the leader in Concentrated Photo Voltaic Solar.

  • The 5MW plant at Hatch is under-performing,
  • The Amonix 7700 5MW power plant has been in operation for a year, power production figures grow worse. 
  • Power Production is typically in the low 60 percent region of claimed power production, when other Solar PV Power Plants are making 95-100% of their claimed power.
  • Web pages in Europe point to the Alamosa 30MW power plant as proof that CPV is the investment to consider, and we see nothing but silence from the DOE, NREL, Congentrix, Amonix, and others regarding the real power production.
  • Most of the Green Media Websites are still content to promote the claimed power production figures.

After a Blitzkrieg style marketing effort appearing to have come from Amonix, we see nothing but silence after the equipment becomes operational… that is never a good sign!

If there were no Subsidies, Grants, guaranteed Loans, Green Energy Fund Managers looking for anything to invest in…. we’d have no problem identifying who the chumps are. 

There is never a better opportunity to learn about technology than current events. And here we see that no one seems to be interested. The very least we can do is preserve the information on the WEbsites of Amonix, NREL, NetEra, Congentrix, and a few others for further study.

Predicting the future, I’m taking bets:

 The Amonix 7700s will prove far too expensive to make any kind of return on investment compared to other technologies available prior, during, and after the production of the Amonix 7700s shipped to Hatch and Alamosa.

  • No credible source will be found that will endorse the Amonix Wind Protection theory.
  • No credible source will be found to endorse the claims that the Amonix 7700 was a field proven power plant.
  • The Gang Greens will clearly ‘out themselves’ as they will continue to show zero interest in the facts, the Marketing hype is all they need, this is more a religious movement for them, it’s Faith based, who in hell needs facts anyway?


And.. we need ask… those Amonix Managers, did they slip out the door like thieves in the night? Should they have known things were not quite right? Have they already proven that nothing is more important than a paycheck? 

Yes.. you’re right, I have the questions… not the answers, but don’t we know… this IS the test for the entire Alternative Energy Industry, together we’ll find out if they have a shred of caring when it comes to a return on investment.



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3 Responses to Predicting Epic Failures at Alamosa, another Green boondoggle

  1. Vertis B says:

    From: Vertis Bream []
    Sent: Saturday, June 09, 2012 8:56 AM
    Subject: Re:

    Hey George,

    A few comments on the ongoing PV saga.
    First, I’ve always been a big fan of pv as part of a remote (off-grid; not necessarily remote location) self-sufficient homestead. Location would dictate balance of power sources. I have always been an opponent of grid based pv. I don’t like centralized (controlled by some other entity) pv grid-tie. I sheepishly admit to installing a fair amount of grid-tie with my former business; when it was still a niche service. That was before incentives and guv sponsered misallocations entered the scene. I was appalled at some of atrocities. Once you get guv involved; everyone gets screwed. Some of the “products” of guv funding were incomprehensible.

    When you buy a market based product; you expect and you get fairly full tech specs. You know. The info that allows you to make a reasoned choice in your decision to purchase a product. Obviously, it helps a little to have some basic knowledge up front as well as understanding the laws of thermodynamics.

    I’ve noticed with a lot of startup and government sponsored alternative energy companies that you can’t get enough info to make any kind of decision. Hah! I emailed one new super duper wind turbine company questioning average KWH from various wind outputs and the response was “this is proprietary information”. I kid you not! When Solyndra started to hype their new breakthru product and then advertise its virtues; I immediately went to their website for detailed info. What did I get? Well, blurbs about how much more efficient the whole idea was. I was rather enamored by the thought of the low wind resistance due to the cylindrical shape and the solar exposure for flat roof installs. But what was its actual output per sq ft of array including spacing between individual cylinders? To this day, I don’t know. I spoke to one of my competitors who got to do one of the first installs on the roof of local Carlisle Rubber… and he didn’t know. He “was just doing the install”.

    Ahem, When I first read about the proposed Amonix monstrosity; I just took it as another pipe dream of some ivory tower engineer. They really weren’t serious, right?

    Let’s just do some basic math here. It is now cheaper to build a fixed pv array than to do tracking. It costs 2X+ more for the tracker than it does for the pv. There was a day when the pv cost 4 or more times as much as the tracker per watt. Depending on what your solar location and time of year; you can get anywhere from 25% – 40% more output out of a given pv array by tracking. So, right off the bat, it would cost50% more to install a tracking system. Next, trackers don’t work well in high wind areas because of the constant resetting.
    Trackers only make sense, when you need to increase the day length for a given job. ie: solar water pumping. If you only have a limited flow of water and you want increase the amount pumped per day; you could use a tracker. This lengthens the pv day.
    I don’t have the figures (who does?) for the cost breakdown on the Amonix shenanigans; but I would be willing to bet that it doesn’t even come close to the economics of the many tracking solar water pumping systems that I have installed over the years I use the passive Zomeworks tracker invented by Steve Baer. Too simple, right? I have one here at my place installed in 1984. I’ve had to replace shock absorbers (off the shelf from auto parts) every 10 yrs and have recharged the Freon once. It will start to wobble and then blow off course in a 20mph something sustained gust and only takes minutes for it to return to position. For 29 yrs it was on a high pole in my garden, so, it did not use up any valuable space. Actually, the Solarex poly crystalline pv laminates (they were seconds with no warranty [Don’t get me started on this warranty thing.] were aesthetically pleasing to look at. They were just laminates with no J-box. Just silver solder ribbons sticking out the back of the panel. Yep, they still put out spec; however they drop off 5-10% in summer heat. I admit, that I did go to the plant and cherry pick them in the parking lot of the warehouse. Yes, they allowed me to do that.

    The Hatch stats are mind blowing!


    Vertis Bream, former owner of Energy Options

    • George B. says:

      For those of you living anywhere near Aspers,Penn ….Vertis has YEARS of hands on experience with different kinds of AE, and had one of the very early Electric Vehicles (an experiment that was on the roads for years). Whether it’s wind or Solar, Vertis has 30 years of sorting truth from Hype.

      In addition, Vertis has a reputation for being an ethical dealer, no way he’d recommend a product without first dipping it in acid to see how it holds up. I think the Vertis experience as per trackers is right on, these are very expensive, and they BECOME the failure point of the system most of the time. The State of Idaho gives testament, not too many years ago, you could travel their Hiways and look at all the State purchased solar trackers failed! There is no doubt in my mind that the price of the Amonix tracker installed would have purchased fixed PV that would have delivered far more energy through the power meter per day, per week, per month, per year. One can make the case that the investment in CPV needed to be made, that we as a nation needed to explore all the possibilities. I am sure that >any< seasoned hands on experimenter would reply…. So… why was it that you couldn’t allow Hatch to soak a year or two and evaluate the performance BEFORE you wrote a check for Alamosa? Knowing that Alamosa is likely an even more hostile environment for the Amonix 7700 will cause all who have hands on experience to ask, is there anyone in this whole show that has the common sense of a 711 Store manager? They survive by knowing they must buy cups and ingredients to make a slurpie for less than they sell it for.

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