Amonix Concentrating Solar PV Cells achieve 39 Percent Efficiency
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a venture capital firm that has up to now shown limited interest in green technology, has invested $129.4 million in Amonix, a new concentrating photovoltaic solar power company that is obtaining a 39 percent conversion rate with their III-V multi-junction cell technology. According to figures released by Kleiner Perkins, the Amonix concentrating photovoltaic method uses plastic Fresnel lenses that can "collect sunlight and concentrate it to 500 times its usual intensity onto very small, highly-efficient III-V multijunction solar cells. As a result, [these solar cells] provide the solar industry's highest efficiencies."
The Amonix system actually only obtains the 39 percent ratio on their DC solar cells, achieving only 23-25 percent conversion on the AC units -- still an impressive rate in comparison to current solar technology that is still rating in the teens for direct sunlight conversion into power. The compact solar cells used by Amonix make their units much smaller than other systems, which brings down the cost of the entire product line. Apparently the technology impressed the "uber-VCs" at Kleiner Perkins enough to loosen their purse strings and award Amonix the most lucrative VC contract yet for renewable energy.
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