Advantages of CPV Solar Power: Clean, Waterless, Renewable Energy

Unlike other solar power plants, Amonix commercial solar power systems do not need water to produce power. The only resource they require is renewable: sunlight.

When examining alternative solar technologies, utilities also need to carefully consider additional costs, including environmental impact, permitting restrictions and the cost of supplying the facility with water. For many utility-scale systems, this is an ongoing cost of operation, contributing to the overall cost of energy production as well as complicating site selection.

But the Amonix concentrated photovoltaic system requires no water in the production of power. This offers a significant advantage over other solar power systems, especially in the type of climates that offer the best potential for commercial CPV solar power. Such locations are sunny and dry, where water is usually in short supply.

Competing solar technologies require a significant source of water on site to support ongoing operation. How significant? According to public filings, an air-cooled, 500 MW power tower would use 125 acre-feet of water per year. Similarly, a water-cooled 500 MW parabolic trough would require 3,200 acre-feet per year.

Comparatively, the operational water requirement of an Amonix system is zero.

The water requirements for cleaning Amonix CPV system lenses are also minimal – approximately 1 acre-foot for 10MW – for routine maintenance.  This small amount of water can easily be transported to the site in a truck.

When the minimal water need is added to the other advantages of solar power generated by the Amonix concentrated photovoltaic system, the result is unparalleled: more commercial solar power generated per acre than with any other solar technology, as well as easier siting and fewer resources needed for operation.

The environmental footprint of Amonix solar power plants is kept small not only by eliminating the need for a water supply and by maximizing land use, but also by holding down greenhouse gas (GHG) emission levels.  In fact, Amonix  GHG emissions are among the lowest in the concentrated photovoltiaic industry, according to a 2010 cradle-to-grave performance study conducted by the Columbia University Center for Life Cycle Analysis.

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