It seems like Amonix has succeeded in impressing the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers with its concentrated photovoltaic technology. Why else do you think this California-based startup company would receive $129 million in venture-capital investments to further the commercialization of their technology? Amonix’s product is obtained by bringing together powerful lenses, a tracking system, and solar cells for large, highly efficient solar-power installations.
Lately, Amonix has come up with its latest solar concentrator, which converts one fourth of the sunlight that falls on it into AC electricity. In order to captures sunlight as efficiently as possible, the company uses a massive 23.5-meter-by-15-meter array that is covered with thin, plastic Fresnel lenses, each measuring 350 square centimeters, that focus sunlight to an area that’s .7 square centimeters.
The 500 times concentrated sunlight is made to fall on ultra-efficient multi-junction solar cell that converts 39 percent of the light into electricity. A tracking system that keeps the lenses pointed within .8 degrees of the angle of the sun the entire day is used to further improve performance. The recent venture capital funding will help Amonix and the emerging field of concentrated photovoltaics the much needed boost.