Despite consolidation in the industry, 2014 is on track to be the biggest install year yet for CPV. This article explains the distinct advantages of CPV over traditional c-Si technology, not the least of which is the much higher performance and energy yeild of a CPV system versus more traditional solar panels.
CPV Solar Technology Since 1989
The most experienced CPV company
Amonix was founded in 1989 in Torrance, California, has been in business for more than 23 years and has over 18 years of field operating experience in concentrator photovoltaics – known as CPV.
The company was founded by CPV solar technology pioneer Vahan Garboushian, the current CEO and Chairman of the Board.
With a goal of designing utility-scale solar energy systems, research and development was begun in 1990. Since then Amonix has developed eight generations of progressively advancing photovoltaic solar power systems.
History of World Record Performance
In the early 1990s, the Amonix team set a world record for solar cell efficiency, with a 25.5% average for sunlight-to electricity conversion, after the development of its stable back junction point contact solar cell. Continuing to build its leadership position in photovoltaic solar power technology development, Amonix introduced the MegaModule® design in the mid 1990s.
In 2005, Amonix adapted the world’s most efficient silicon cell into its design, increasing solar cell efficiency to 27.6% under concentration. Only a few years later, it incorporated the currently used III-V multijunction solar cell, which was originally developed for the space industry. This change resulted in an order of magnitude improvement over the previous silicon based CPV solar technology. This work also set the baseline for Amonix's first commercialized product, the Amonix 7700 Solar Power Generator. Over 70 MW DC of the 7700 were installed throughout the US Southwest from 2010 - 2013.
In 2012, Amonix set the world record for CPV outdoor operating module efficiency at 33.5% - proving that over one third of direct sunlight hitting an Amonix system can be converted into clean, green energy. In May of 2013, Amonix broke it's 2012 record demonstrating a module with 34.9% DC efficiency at Concentrator Standard Operating Conditions (CSOC) under outdoor testing at the National Renewable Energy Lab. In August, 2013, NREL verified the module performed at a record 35.9% DC efficiency at Concentrator Standard Test Conditions (CSTC), a new world record for a photovoltaic module at CSTC under outdoor testing. This record still stands as the highest photovoltaic module efficiency ever demonstrated and verified by an internationally recognized independent testing organization from a module measured under natural sunlight at an outdoor testing facility.
In 2014, Arzon Solar, LLC acquired the assets, experience and expertise of Amonix, Inc. for the purpose of developing the next generation of high performance CPV products.
The Future of Arzon Solar and Amonix CPV Technology
Arzon Solar continues to push the state-of-the-art in CPV with a foundation in Amonix technology. Arzon Solar's latest product, the Amonix 8700, improves drastically many features of Amonix's previous product, the 7700. The 8700 offers 10% more power and energy generation than the 7700 and is 30% lower in cost. The 8700 product is designed to service a global market and showcases the most promising CPV technology ever developmed. The 8700 is scheduled for production in 2014 for offering to the global utility scale solar power market.
From 1989 till 2014, Amonix distinguished itself as a leading concentrated photovoltaic company, expanding its scope to include the manufacture of utility-scale CPV solar technology systems. The result has been a steady increase in generation capacity with a decrease in the cost of solar energy production. No other technology platform offers the development track record, field experience, and commercial success rate of Amonix technoogy.
Arzon Solar LLC will be continuing this work, pushing the state-of-the-art in form and function in new CPV enabled products.
06/04/2014CPV tipping point explainedSolar Curator.com
04/15/2014CPV specialists say failure and progress go hand and handPV Insider
Arzon Solar CEO Vahan Garboushian spoke with Ritesh Gupta in this PV Insider article about the need for both failures and successes in the progress of CPV technology and products.
04/30/2013CPV Intelligence Brief from April, 2013PV Insider
California-based Amonix, a designer and manufacturer of concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) solar power systems, has converted more than 36% of direct sunlight into electricity under outdoor evaluation at a independing third party evaluation lab.
A module showcasing Amonix’s latest-generation CPV technology has been in outdoor testing from late February to April of this year. During this period, the Amonix module demonstrated a peak operating efficiency of 36.2% measured on March 14, 2013 with a DNI of 876 W/m2, an ambient temperature of 16°C and instantaneous wind speed of 1 m/s, breaking the previous 34.2% peak efficiency set by Amonix in May 2012.
Over the entire testing period, the Amonix module earned a National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) outdoor efficiency rating of 34.9%, a new world record, under international standard operating conditions for concentrator photovoltaics of 900 W/m2, 20°C ambient temperature and 2m/s wind speed, breaking the previous 33.5% rated efficiency record also set by Amonix in May 2012.
The module uses Boeing Spectrolab 40% high efficiency solar cells and Amonix’s proprietary CPV technology to achieve world record performance.
04/26/2013Amonix Achieves World Record for PV Module Efficiency in Test at NRELThe Wall Street Journal
SEAL BEACH, Calif.--April 26, 2013--
Amonix Inc., the leading designer and manufacturer of concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) solar power systems, announced today that it has successfully converted more than 36% of direct sunlight into electricity. A module showcasing Amonix's latest-generation CPV technology has been in outdoor testing from late February to April of this year. During this period, the Amonix module demonstrated a peak operating efficiency of 36.2% measured on March 14, 2013 with a DNI of 876 W/m(2) , an ambient temperature of 16degC and instantaneous wind speed of 1 m/s, breaking the previous 34.2% peak efficiency set by Amonix in May 2012.
Over the entire testing period, the Amonix module earned a National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) outdoor efficiency rating of 34.9%, a new world record, under international standard operating conditions for concentrator photovoltaics of 900 W/m(2) , 20degC ambient temperature and 2m/s wind speed, breaking the previous 33.5% rated efficiency record also set by Amonix in May 2012. The module uses Boeing Spectrolab 40% high efficiency solar cells and Amonix's proprietary CPV technology to achieve world record performance.
This result continues Amonix's long history of leading the world in solar module efficiency, having been the first to convert over 1/3(rd) of the sun's energy in May 2012, and the first to break 30% module efficiency in 2011.
02/28/2013Amonix, Solar Junction Plot CPV Efficiency Gains, Lower CostsRenewableEnergyWorld.com
New Hampshire, USA -- The two current record-holders in concentrated solar PV (CPV) cell and module technology hope that combining efforts will boost performance, and lower costs, to finally fulfill CPV's promise of lower levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) compared with other solar technologies.
Last October Solar Junction topped 44 percent efficiency with its multijunction solar cells. Amonix set the top market for a CPV module in May 2012 at 33.5 percent, using ~40 percent efficient cells supplied by Spectrolab. Putting the two together will push the end efficiency significantly higher, they believe, which is the key to reducing total system costs over time. And that is CPV's real selling point over other solar PV technologies: despite higher upfront costs, it makes up for that with lower LCOE over the system's lifetime.
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