Hybrid Solar Tube Panels by Naked Energy

A company called Solyndra pioneered the solar tube but this new invention by UK-based Naked Energy may just take cylindrical solar to a whole new level.  Called Virtu, the product includes an integrated photovoltaic cell in a vacuum tube to generate both electricity and warm water at the same time.  The setup keeps the PV cool to optimize energy production and maximizes space with a combined PVT solution.

Specifically, “heat is transferred away from the photovoltaic cells with a patented thermosyphon technology that harvests the unwanted heat from the photovoltaic cell to heat up water,” according to The Engineer.  The process is expected to generate about 45% more energy over conventional solar PV.

Virtu can be installed anywhere — pitched, curved, or flat roofs or walls — and system owners can prioritize electricity or heat generation, depending on their energy demands.

Naked Energy is on a trade mission in the U.S. right now seeking additional investment capital, so perhaps it won’t be long before a production level product becomes available to residential and commercial consumers.  I’ll keep you updated on future progress.

[+] More about PVT Virtu by Naked Energy.

Credits: Naked Energy.


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  • Emil Garvelink

    Dear sir,
    Your hybride invention posterity won’t have necessarily all the strength of a mule. It might be there won’t be posterity even. So for neutral energy housing with low temperature heating needs it will be a good solution as long as cooling of the solar tubes stands, otherwise you ‘ll get bastards. Holding the good systems of PV cells and solar tubes separated will avoid that risk, because the cooling of the cells can be done firstly and further heating of the moderated warmed cooling water afterwards. This has the advantage of getting an higher temperature with less water e.g. for filling a boiler and getting an even higher effectivity of the solar cells. Just my opinion.You are welcomeEmil Garvelink

  • Aadbuild

    Nice work guys. I would like to try it out on a green display home we are building in Australia. let me know when you are getting closer to export

  • Gonzobuster

    Hi,

    as a former employee of Solyndra, i doubt that this will have success…
    Chinese panels are so cheap that you won´t be able to compete – even when there is a demand of low level temperature inside the house below.
    Generating only electricity and using some of it with a heat pump, is probably more cost effective.
    Hybrid solar applications have been researched at least a 1000 times, none of them made it.
    Anyways – i wish you luck and a strong financial background ;-)
    Best regards
    gonzobuster@web.de

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