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Concentrated Solar Set to Shine

• Technology Review
A California-based startup, Amonix>, has received $129 million in venture-capital investments to further its commercialization of concentrated photovoltaic technology. The company's product combines powerful lenses, a tracking system, and solar cells for large, highly efficient solar-power installations. The funding could give the company, and the emerging field of concentrated photovoltaics, the boost it needs for widespread utility-scale deployments.
 

"We've looked at 100 solar companies in the last 18 months, and Amonix is the one that stood out to us as having breakout potential," says Ben Kortlang, a partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which led the recent investment.

Amonix recently launched its newest solar concentrator, which converts one fourth of the sunlight that falls on it into AC electricity. That's compared with the approximately 18 percent system efficiency--including inverters that convert solar's DC power to useable AC power--of the most efficient photovoltaic systems that don't use special optics or track the sun.

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