Hybrid tubular solar panels create electricity and hot water

April 15, 2012
Guildford, England--Tubular, hybrid photovoltaic (PV) solar panels from Naked Energy use the sun's energy to produce both electricity and hot water.

Guildford, England--Tubular, hybrid photovoltaic (PV) solar panels from Naked Energy use the sun's energy to produce both electricity and hot water. The tubes contain standard PV silicon solar panels and also support water, which is pumped through the tubes, absorbing excess heat to cool the panels and keep them running at peak efficiency. The tubular panelsunlike the cylindrical solar technology from now bankrupt Solyndrathus double as hot water heaters in a process called cogeneration.

Naked Energy isn't the only player in the field. Cogenra Solar (Mountain View, CA) has also installed a combination photovoltaic and hot water heating system at the Kendall-Jackson winery near Santa Rosa, CA to provide electricity and hot water for a bottling and blending facility.

The solar cogeneration idea has been around a long time, but smaller cogeneration systems like these can make solar energy available to those who don't need megawatts. The Cogenra system, for example, can produce about 241 kW, or enough to save Kendall-Jackson some $30,000 per year in electricity costs. Cogenra CEO Gilad Almogy says that the basic model of the system provides about 30 kW of heat, and is a good fit for apartment buildings.

Naked Energy's panels are in vacuum tubes that can be mounted flat, with the water being pumped in pipes that draw the heat from the panel directly (a similar innovation was unveiled last year by researchers at MIT and Boston College).

Naked Energy is still a startup, seeking enough investment capital to mass-produce the solar panels.

SOURCE: Discovery News; http://news.discovery.com/tech/naked-energy-tubular-solar-120411.html#mkcpgn=rssnws1

About the Author

Gail Overton | Senior Editor (2004-2020)

Gail has more than 30 years of engineering, marketing, product management, and editorial experience in the photonics and optical communications industry. Before joining the staff at Laser Focus World in 2004, she held many product management and product marketing roles in the fiber-optics industry, most notably at Hughes (El Segundo, CA), GTE Labs (Waltham, MA), Corning (Corning, NY), Photon Kinetics (Beaverton, OR), and Newport Corporation (Irvine, CA). During her marketing career, Gail published articles in WDM Solutions and Sensors magazine and traveled internationally to conduct product and sales training. Gail received her BS degree in physics, with an emphasis in optics, from San Diego State University in San Diego, CA in May 1986.

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