Clean Power

Published on November 21st, 2013 | by Nicholas Brown


“Lowest-Cost PV Energy On The Market” — Concentrated PV From Cogenra

November 21st, 2013 by  

Cogenra has developed a new concentrated photovoltaic solar receiver, called the T14, which can reportedly achieve a system cost of 50 cents per watt. It achieves a levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) — cost of electricity with everything factored in — up to 20% lower than conventional PV systems.

This system concentrates the equivalent of 14 suns onto the receiver. The result of this is that each cell can generate 14 times as much electricity as a solar cell without concentration would. Only 2.1 MW of PV cells are required to generate 30 MW of power in this system. And speaking of efficiency, this system uses 10% less land than traditional photovoltaic systems.

The thermal management system is designed to facilitate waste-heat recovery and storage of that waste heat, facilitating on-demand solar thermal power generation.

Image Credit: BusinessWire.

Cogenra’s T14 array is a major milestone for the PV industry, delivering the lowest-cost PV energy on the market,” said Gilad Almogy, CEO of Cogenra Solar. “By combining new efficiency advantages in the crystalline silicon PV cell industry with our proven technology, we have been able to reach cost structures never seen before in the industry. Thanks to our 14X concentration, these higher efficiencies can now be used in large and utility-scale projects, and not limited to premium residential rooftops.”

“Pricing continues to be paramount in the race for solar deployment,” said Pavel Molchanov, energy analyst at Raymond James. “Cogenra’s T14 system is targeting a cost structure that is even lower than Chinese panels, making it a potentially disruptive innovation in the solar industry.”

The first T14 is being installed at Red Rock Ranch in Five Points, CA.

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About the Author

writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is:

  • wattleberry

    This is great. How close are we getting to EV mounted range extenders ?

  • Omega Centauri

    We also have CoolEarth Solar, that uses aluminized mylar “balloon” reflectors that is aiming at low cost CPV. Does anyone know how they are doing? The products look and the personell have changed since I visted them a few years back.

  • JamesWimberley

    “This system uses 10% less land than traditional photovoltaic systems.” Only? And it’s obviously more complicated, harder to maintain and visually intrusive than plain vanilla silicon.
    Nice if it pans out. The recent history of concentrating pv is not however encouraging.

    • sault

      This might work well on large buildings that need a lot of electricity and hot water. The complexity and visual impact vs. flat panels is an issue though. I had heard of this company and hoped they were doing something with fresnel lenses instead, but going with the trough design kind of let me down. Anybody want to go in on a startup making hybrid PV / hot water panels with fresnel lenses?

      • CPV

        The flat glass mirrored strips used in the trough are likely cheaper per m2 than either PMMA or SOG Fresnel. Also the design is more compact due the smaller possible FL of troughs vs Fresnel.

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