Look closely at these solar panels. They are seen arrays of tubular components not the flat screens typically on roofs but.
These tubes, developed by naked energy, in Guildford, Surrey, England, are a type of hybrid-solar-energy system, a more efficient use of the energy of the Sun to allow the to generate both electricity and hot water.
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They are hybrid, because they have two tasks to do. The most solar cells either make electricity or heat water, not both. The former is a photovoltaic silicon solar panel, entrusted in small devices such as calculators and large on rooftop installations done. Solar hot water heaters are basically arrays from black plastic tubes that get heated up in the course of the day.
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The problem with both is that even very much energy is wasted. Photovoltaics work efficiency by 20 percent, so that most of the possible sunshine recorded not for energy and means simply lost. In addition, that, if the plates heat up (as they want in the Sun) they will start effectively - above less of about 77 degrees to produce less energy. Meanwhile a solar hot water heater gas (or electrical) can save heating, but they miss the opportunity to generate electricity.
Naked energy includes solar cells arrangement of pipes, convert the sunlight to electricity to capture, but it is absorbed to support the excess heat also water that is pumped through the pipes. They keep the cooling of plates with highest efficiency. So water heaters, in a process called cogeneration double the panels thus.
Naked energy is not the only player on the field. In California, Cogenra solar has a combination photovoltaic and hot water heating system in the Kendall-Jackson Winery in the vicinity of Santa Rosa, California, installed the electricity and hot water for a filling and mixing system.
The idea is not new. Solar thermal power plants use sunlight, water for turbines heat, but rather for large installations over hundreds of hectares of useful.
Plants such as these can megawatt solar power for those who do not need. Cogenra-system, for example, can approximately 241 kilowatts. That's enough, according to the company, Kendall-Jackson about save $30,000 per year in electricity costs. CEO Gilad Almogy told discovery news that the basic model of the system about offers heat 30 kilowatts, and is a good fit for multi-family houses.
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There are differences in the way how they work. Cogenra system tracks the Sun, and consists of solar panels, which curved, to the light on the solar cells are concentrated, with the tubes, which runs the warming water behind them. Naked energy panels are in vacuum tubes, which can become flat, where the water in pipes, the heat from the plate directly pumped. (A similar innovations was presented last year by researchers at MIT and Boston College).
This is also a difference in the end. Cogenra is for large buildings such as factories and houses, while naked energy to homes is aligned. That's one reason naked energy with a design, which does not need engines, the Sun across the sky track went - such systems are generally too expensive (and complicated) for the average homeowner to install.
CHP says it has been installed in several States and Alomogy said five years, also at the low price of natural gas is the amortization of the system (the usual way water is heated in many areas). Naked energy is still a start-up, searching for the solar cells produce enough investment capital in masses.