Entity

Time filter

Source Type

Torrance, CA, United States

Amonix, Inc. is a solar power system developer based in Seal Beach, California. The company manufactures concentrator photovoltaic products designed for installation in sunny and dry climates. CPV products convert sunlight into electrical energy in the same way that conventional solar photovoltaic technology does, except that they use optics to focus the solar radiation before the light is absorbed by solar cells. According to a comparative study of energy production of solar technologies, CPV systems require no water for energy production and produce more energy per megawatt installed than traditional PV systems. Amonix has nearly 70 Megawatts of CPV solar power systems deployed globally, including Southwestern U.S. and Spain. In May 2012, the Alamosa Solar Generating project, owned and operated by Cogentrix Energy, began commercial operation. This is the largest CPV power plant in the world and is expected to produce enough clean renewable energy per year to power more than 6,500 homes and will avoid the emissions of over 43,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. The Alamosa Solar Generating Project is supported by a power purchase agreement , which is a long-term agreement to sell the power it will generate. Under the project’s PPA, the Public Service Company of Colorado will buy the power generated by the solar facility for the next 20 years. In July 2012, Amonix set the world record for photovoltaic module efficiency at 33.5% under nominal operating conditions, verified by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. In April 2013, Amonix broke the record set in July 2012, demonstrating photovoltaic module efficiency at 34.9% under normal concentrator standard operating conditions , also verified by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. In August 2013, Amonix announced it had achieved a 35.9% photovoltaic module efficiency rating under concentrator standard test conditions as calculated by NREL. In June, 2014, the assets of Amonix were acquired by Arzon Solar, LLC for the purpose of continued development of CPV technology and products. Wikipedia.


Apparatus and methods are described including an individual solar power generating and sun sensing cell formed to have a plurality of electrically isolated portions, the output of each portion being monitored and analyzed to determine whether the solar cell is optimally positioned relative to the direction of solar rays to optimize power generation of the solar cell, and also of an array of solar cells which includes the solar power generating and sun sensing cell.


Patent
Amonix | Date: 2011-07-20

A heat-rejecting optic comprising an optical element and receiving element or layer with intermediate layer between is provided. Refractive indices of the optical element and receiving element or layer are greater than the intermediate layer. The optic may be part of a concentrator assembly or lens concentrator system for photovoltaic cells. The heat-rejecting optic functions to redirect wavelengths of light for which power conversion by a photovoltaic cell is inefficient and which cause undesirable photovoltaic cell heating and damage, reducing photovoltaic cell life. The receiving element or layer and intermediate layer modify the optical element to frustrate the total internal reflection of light that would otherwise occur within the optical element and divert that light into the receiving element or layer.


Patent
Amonix | Date: 2013-12-03

A heat-rejecting optic comprising an optical element and receiving element or layer with intermediate layer between is provided. Refractive indices of the optical element and receiving element or layer are greater than the intermediate layer. The optic may be part of a concentrator assembly or lens concentrator system for photovoltaic cells. The heat-rejecting optic functions to redirect wavelengths of light for which power conversion by a photovoltaic cell is inefficient and which cause undesirable photovoltaic cell heating and damage, reducing photovoltaic cell life. The receiving element or layer and intermediate layer modify the optical element to frustrate the total internal reflection of light that would otherwise occur within the optical element and divert that light into the receiving element or layer.


News Article | January 31, 2012
Site: gigaom.com

Both job creation and layoffs are particularly sensitive topics during a weak economy, let alone an election year when candidates all claim to have the best antidotes to put people back to work. So the layoffs of about 200 out of roughly 300 workers at Amonix’s North Las Vegas solar equipment factory this month raised questions not just about the company’s well being but also its promise to bring lots of jobs to the local economy. Through its manufacturing service provider, Flextronics, Amonix cut its staffing at the factory by two-thirds so it could modify the production equipment for making a new product later this year. From Amonix’s point of view, the company, backed by Kleiner Perkins, is doing what is necessary to make a new product that it plans to launch later this year, said Carla Pihowich, vice president of marketing and government affairs, on Tuesday. The plan is to start hiring more people in the second half of this year, she said. “It’s really a temporary scale-down only to scale back up,” she said. The California-based company designs giant solar panels mounted on a mechanical arm to track the sun’s movement throughout the day. Inside each panel is a series of modules that contain lenses that concentrate the sunlight up to 500 times onto solar cells to produce power. The current panel runs 77-foot by 49-foot and produces 60 KW. Amonix won’t provide details about its new system until it’s ready to launch it, Pihowich said. Factory re-tooling is a common step for any manufacturer who wants to roll out new products, cut manufacturing costs or both. The changes at Amonix’s plan will include “a bit more automation” to make solar energy equipment that will be more efficient at converting sunlight into electricity and cost less, Pihowich said. She also noted that the time is right to make the transition partly because it has completed delivery for a major project – a 30 MW solar farm being built in Colorado by Cogentrix that received a $90.6 million federal loan guarantee. Amonix held an opening ceremony for its $18 million factory only in May last year. So it’s making a big change in staff and machinery only after having operated for a relatively short period of time. That certainly doesn’t look good, particularly when many local and state political leaders who, along with the company, were eager to tout the jobs the new factory would provide less than a year ago. Its then CEO, Brian Robertson, who died during an airplane crash right before Christmas, said at the time that the company had committed to creating 278 jobs but ended up hiring roughly 300 workers for the factory. But will the company re-fill the job count back to around 300? That’s not for certain. Amonix promises to re-hire more people starting in the second half of this year. The number of new hires will depend on sales and shipment demand from customers, but Pihowich declined to give an estimate on how many. For those who felt fortunate to have lined up work at the factory, the layoff announcement was crushing. As Las Vegas Sun reported, some workers felt blindsided by how short-term their employment turned out to be. A local official told the paper that workers were brought on to handle a major project, so the positions were supposed to be temporary. Amonix will need many more large orders to keep its factory going for the long run. The company declined to talk about the status of other projects and contracts, however. It’s worth noting that the company opened the factory during a year when the solar market experienced a glut of conventional solar panels and saw wholesale prices for them falling by 40-50 percent. That affected the sales of other types of solar technologies as well. So if re-tooling the factory and reducing payrolls are necessary to maintain the company’s health and its growth, then they certainly need to be done. But the process comes at the expense of those who were counting on Amonix for more, not fewer, jobs.


News Article | January 16, 2013
Site: gigaom.com

The notion that a lot of venture capitalists — and in particular Kleiner Perkins — have lost money on cleantech startups is now officially mainstream news, via a long article published in Reuters this week. The article isn’t inaccurate, but it misses a whole lot of nuances including  the big picture global trends of population growth and resource management, the long term play and some of the newer trends of the cleantech sector, and a few of the more successful companies in Kleiner’s cleantech portfolio. We’ve been covering this roller coaster ride, and Kleiner’s plays for years. Back in the summer of 2010, I first wrote “Greentech investing: not working for most;” and in early 2012 I wrote pieces on “the perils of cleantech investing,” as well as “We can thank Moore’s Law for the cleantech VC bust.” Last year I wrote “Kleiner Perkins web woes, add greentech,” and Kleiner is not so great at investing in auto tech. The article does have a pretty amazing tidbit in there, that Doerr dipped into his own pocket for the $2.5 million that Miasole needed to make payroll before it was sold to Hanergy. But here are 5 things I think the article missed: 1). The long-term larger risk, but bigger payoff: A lot of the manufacturing and infrastructure-based cleantech startups have been taking longer to mature and reach commercialization than their digital peers, and they’ve also needed more money. But when some of these rare companies actually do reach scale and are successful, they could be massive players with huge markets. It’s just a different kind of betting — think putting a $100 on 22 on the roulette wheel, versus $5 on a hand of poker. A combination of the two — a small amount of the high risk investments, with a larger amount of the low risk investments — could be a good play. That was one of the reasons why it seems like investor Vinod Khosla is still investing in cleantech startups. Khosla Ventures’ biocrude portfolio company KiOR — which the firm mostly owns — has a potential market that is no less than an opportunity to displace oil in transportation. Imagine if a venture investor owned a big chunk of Exxon Mobil. 2). The bigger trend of population growth and resource management: Many venture capitalists might be steering away from the cleantech investing style of years prior, but the overall global trends that originally drove these early cleantech investments will only continue to grow. These planetary trends aren’t wrong, it’s just that a bunch of the investments that were made weren’t that smart. The world will have 9 billion people by 2050, and energy, water and food will have to be managed much more carefully. The climate is also changing, because too many people are using too many fossil fuel-based resources. Technologies — including IT — that manage these resources and replace them with more sustainable ones will have large markets, particularly in developing countries. 3). Beyond venture: For many cases, the cleantech investing model isn’t a fit for venture capital. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a good fit for other types of investors like private equity and project finance. Google has put a billion dollars into clean power projects, because those can deliver relatively safe and decent returns. Corporate investors — like GE or NRG Energy — are putting money into cleantech startups because it’s more than just a return, it’s a strategic investment. Cleantech innovation will also continue to come out of university and government labs and will be spurred along by government support of basic science research. Does cleantech innovation need a cleantech VC bubble to start changing the world? 4). Kleiner’s portfolio is more nuanced: The Reuters story accurately pointed out Kleiner’s struggling cleantech companies like Fisker, Miasole, Amonix, and others. And also rightly pointed out how the few cleantech companies it backed that went public — like Amyris and Enphase Energy — are now trading below their IPO prices. But the article didn’t mention the exit of solar thermal company Ausra, and also didn’t name some of the more successful and growing companies in Kleiner’s portfolio like Opower, Clean Power Finance, Enlighted, Nest, and RecycleBank. Opower is the energy software company to beat these days. 5). Cleanweb: See a trend in Kleiner’s more successful and growing cleantech startups? They’re mostly software and digital based. The latest trend in cleantech VC investing is the so-called “clean web,” or using social, mobile, and software to management energy and other resources. Some of these companies are pretty interesting and inspiring, like crowd-funding solar site Solar Mosaic. Finally, as a side note, it’s now in vogue to point out how cleantech investors have lost money. Many have. But I think investors that have paved the way for world-changing innovation, and taken large risks to do so, should in part be lauded.

Discover hidden collaborations