California-based EchoFirst, formerly known as PVT Solar, makes an interesting Echo solar system that I noticed locally on the Solaris homes (Style A/Style B) in Daybreak, Utah. It’s the kind of system that could work wonders for a lot of homes because Echo delivers more than just electricity from photovoltaic panels. Echo captures air from under the panels to provide home heating, home cooling, water heating, and fresh air ventilation.
U.S. Sunlight this year introduced a new product in the form of a low-profile skylight with flexible tubing and a 14″ ceiling lens. Similar to the flat-glass Sun Tunnel by Velux, Skylight Tube ditches the dome-shaped roof lens for a flatter, square design. The new product was designed for simplicity and efficiency and can be installed in a couple hours by a professional or an afternoon by a DIYer (with the right tools).
Pythagoras Solar makes a revolutionary solar-powered window – literally an insulated window with integrated photovoltaics – that has the ability to turn buildings into massive power producers. The company has been testing a pilot project on the south-facing windows of the 56th floor of Willis Tower, formerly known as Sears Tower. If the pilot goes well, Willis Tower could end up with a surface area of up to two megawatts of solar.
Sunnovations, a Virginia-based start-up, is seeing more and more interest in its unique solar thermal technology and just closed a Series A round of financing led by Two Seven Ventures. That technology is explained in the attached images, and it may just make solar water heating a no-brainer for every home in the country. The system is relatively affordable, easy to install, and simple to maintain, according to the company.
Velux makes some great products for drawing natural light indoors. The company recently introduced a new, low-profile, flat-glass Sun Tunnel skylight at IBS 2011, and it will be available later this year. Already in use in Europe, the new skylight trades the bulbous, dome-style, roof model for a sleek, more modern, less noticeable look.