Cheap, Cheap, Solar?

Monday 25th November 2013

A good return on investment has been a stumbling block for solar power - often a long pay back period has been the experience for many. The scene has been changing and in a major move solar company Cogenra says it can offer solar energy at $0.50 per watt.

Cogenra delivers its newest Low concentration PV (LCPV) modules at the $0.50 per watt price, and at a 20% reduced levelized cost of electricity (LCOE), for its first megawatt-scale T14 installation at the University of Arizona Science and Technology Park solar zone.

Before the launch of the new T14 system, Cogenra was focused on its unique hybrid hot water-solar electricity concept: parabolic trough mirrors, assembled from flat-plate mirrors, mounted on single-axis trackers. They concentrate the sun’s light up to fourteen times onto high-efficiency silicon PV panels along a water cooling system that absorbs the reflected heat. The panels generate electricity. The captured heat, which serves hot water needs, roughly doubles the system value, according to Cogenra.

But first and foremost, the technology is a low-cost concentrating PV system, with the new low pricing described by the company as “not a revolution but an evolution”.

Cogenra say the cost of the system’s optics is very, very low, with a reduced-cost cooling system that keeps the solar cells cooler, allowing higher power output. Also the system needs 10% less land, field layout and installation.”

It sounds as if solar will start making head way on the cost point, but the claims by Cogenra have critics, who are waiting to see hard facts on the cost per watt.

Categories: General, Renewable, Reviews, Technology

Monday 25th November 2013

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