Naked Energy has developed a ground-breaking new type of solar panel that combines both solar photovoltaic electricity and solar thermal hot water production into one panel. This has many benefits. It means more useful energy can be harvested per square metre of roof space, and also represents a better return on the energy invested in the manufacture of the panel components. Usually as pv panels get hotter their performance declines, but with Naked Energy’s Virtu panel the solar cells are water cooled, so these panels will produce more electricity per unit area than a normal pv panel, and into the bargain will produce large amounts of hot water that can be used for a variety of uses from domestic hot water to industrial process heat or drive solar powered desalination.
Naked Energy was founded in 2009 and is based at Guildford in Surrey. In November they went on a trade mission to Saudi Arabia, which recently has announced very ambitious plans to deploy a lot of solar power, and where the scope for this kind of technology to be linked into large scale solar desalination is vast.
Fracking, tar sands and Arctic oil are fossil technologies. For them there is an ever declining ‘energy-in to energy-out’ ratio, whereas the best of the new clean green technologies have an ever better ‘energy-in to energy-out’ ratio. This Virtu panel developed by Naked Energy is one example of the best new clean-tech energy technology. This is just the kind of product that the British government should be doing all it can to assist.
Naked Energy website http://www.nakedenergy.co.uk/ and company brochure