George comments in blue..
I’ve placed my bets on Amonix, and my bet is that the folks that own the 7700 power plants will wish they had something else.
Read this article, it’s pretty good… copied below and comment added.
New Hampshire, USA — Amonix has posted new record conversion efficiency numbers for its concentrated solar photovoltaic (CPV) module in outdoor testing, inching ever closer to a cost profile that would make CPV competitive with more mainstream solar technologies.
Imagine that! they say it could be competitive with more mainstream technologies! I suggest you call Amonix and ask them what they’d charge to install a bare 7700 tracker (no panels and no inverters) for, I bet the price is far higher than you’d even imagine. I also suggest you pay attention to their irrelevant focus on conversion efficiency, who cares? The real world is interested in $ per watt including ongoing maintenance costs, and don’t we know CPV has a LOT more maintenance that needs to be done over cheaper and trouble free conventional panels.
The new mark, measured in outdoor testing at NREL from late February to April, achieved an outdoor efficiency rating of 34.9 percent under “international standard operating conditions” for CPV: DNI of 900 W/m2, 20°C ambient temperature, and 2 m/s wind speed. Peak efficiency for the new CPV module touched 36.2 percent on March 14 under a DNI of 876 W/m2, ambient temperature of 16°C, and instantaneous wind speed of 1 m/s. Amonix’s previous records were 33.5 percent efficiency rating and a peak of 34.2 percent.
At least the NREL got out of the Lab, how amazing, but how they work in the first, second or even third year means very little to a power company, what will CPV be doing when there’s water and crap growing inside? and how many field hands will you need to keep them tracking and clean?
Amonix’s new record CPV modules use the same-generation ~40 percent efficient Spectrolab CPV cells as they have for the past two years, with a cell-to-module conversion efficiency exceeding 90 percent, according to Amonix founder and CTO Vahan Garboushian. (Earlier this month Spectrolab unveiled a 37.8 efficient cell but that was multijunction, not CPV.) Amonix also has further improvements underway “in cell efficiency and additional advances in our module technology,” he added.
Two months ago Amonix and Solar Junction formalized a partnership bringing together the current record-holders in CPV cell and module conversion efficiency: Amonix’s at-the-time 33.5-percent-efficient CPV module from May 2012, and Solar Junction’s 44-percent-efficient cells as of last October. This new record module efficiency mark using Spectrolab cells doesn’t change Amonix’s stance on pursuing that partnership for higher-performance CPV, according to an Amonix rep.
Improving CPV module efficiency from 30 percent to 35 percent (a 2017 target) would chop a current $2.95/W down to $2.29/W, according to Ed Cahill from Lux Research. Other solar PV technologies are pushing below $2/W but CPV can be competitive enough without getting down that low, he said.
How about LUX doing something useful and dig up the maintenance records for Hatch and Alamosa…how bout we talk real numbers?
Now.. go back to this article and read the single comment.. the guy is right on the nut.. and the NREL? I wonder if they’d ever be honest about how many of these cells have burned up in the field?
Lead image: Amonix CPV solar power system