The roofs of buildings in many American cities are already covered with solar panels. The government under US President Joe Biden has also taken various initiatives to increase the share of green energy in the United States. Among other things, the production of corresponding systems in the country should be promoted. It is therefore no coincidence that the British startup Naked Energy now dares to enter the American market. There, the young company works together with the local energy supplier ELM. There is also financial support from major bank Barclays and venture capital firm Big Sky Partners. Together we must succeed in helping an innovative new development of the company achieve a breakthrough. Specifically, it involves a vacuum tube called Virtu, which can be installed on the roof of a house and not only generate solar energy there, but also generate heat that can be used in the house.
Reflectors guide the sun’s rays in the right direction
The actual construction is quite simple. It is a glass vacuum tube containing a solar module. During installation, the tube is then aligned in such a way that the solar cells are directly hit by the sun’s rays. Directed reflectors also ensure that the rays that actually pass through the modules are directed in the correct direction. This should increase output at peak times by as much as 40 percent. The tubes also contain solar collectors. These convert solar radiation into thermal energy, which can then be used in the home. All in all, in this way, between thirty and fifty percent more energy should be generated in the same area. The removal of the residual heat also ensures that the solar panels do not overheat and therefore remain efficient for longer. The location in the vacuum tube also protects the solar cells against external influences.
The price for the end customer has not yet been communicated
About ten years ago, the concept was first presented to the public. So far, however, it is a niche product. Now the breakthrough in the United States must take place with the money of the investors. A factory is being built in Texas for this to meet the hoped-for demand. The startup has also developed a standardized installation process that makes it easy to install the solar tubes on most roofs. This point is not entirely unimportant. For example, because Tesla is desperately looking for qualified roofers to fix its own solar shingles on customers. On another important point, however, Naked Energy is still remarkably cautious: the production of the tubes is said to have become cheaper in recent years due to technological progress. A specific price has not yet been communicated.