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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 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.


News Article | February 28, 2013
Site: www.zdnet.com

ViaWest, who opened their latest facility in North Las Vegas two weeks ago, has certainly created a datacenter that stands out in a colo market filled with competitors searching for a competitive edge.  Their new Lone Mountain Data Center is an Uptime Institute Tier 4 certified design, a level that has not previously been achieved by a colo facility and something that is certain to be a differentiator in the industry. With 74,000 sq ft of raised floor space, LEED, Energy Star, and Green Globe certifications, ViaWest has pulled out all the design stops in building their flagship facility. From the perspective of the datacenter industry, the new datacenter facility is a excellent example of datacenter state-of-the-art and an impressive accomplishment. But is that a reason for the City of North Las Vegas to see it as a turning point for a community that has been mired in the economic doldrums for a very long time? North Las Vegas has seen a few other businesses over that last few years that opened to major fanfare and flared out and died quickly, leaving the city in no better economic shape.  The highest profile of these businesses, the ill-fated Amonix solar panel manufacturer, brought a significant number of jobs and attention; attention that proved to be detrimental when the operation collapsed in 2011, taking the jobs and area investment with it. The ViaWest datacenter is certainly a low-risk operation, in terms of concerns over the viability of the project. ViaWest is a well-established datacenter provider and their decision to build a flagship facility means that the datacenter isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. But the nature of the datacenter business is that it doesn’t bring long-term large scale economic prosperity to areas where one off datacenters are built. Even if other datacenter providers choose to build in the same area, as we are seeing in Oregon and in North Carolina, the overall impact on the local economy, in terms of jobs and related business, once the datacenter facilities are completed and operational, is usually pretty minimal. North Las Vegas will be able to point to the ViaWest facility as a business that has chosen to be in their city, but to expect ongoing economic benefit seems to be an unrealistic choice. While it is true that some number of people will relocate to the area to work in the facility, there is no compelling reason for them to choose to live in the same city. The nature of the valley is such that people are more likely to put quality of life choices ahead of proximity to the office when choosing to relocate themselves and their families. Hopefully North Las Vegas will be realistic about what the ViaWest facility means to their city.

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