Hybrid solar tubes generate both electricity and hot water
by Laura Domela
April 13, 2012 at 5:51 PM
Solar panels normally come in two different types. Photovoltaic panels that turn the sun's rays into electrical power, and thermal collectors that heat water using the sun then use it to heat a building or to provide hot water. Now those two technologies are coming together, in a hybrid solar tube that provides the best of both worlds.
The Virtu Tube from Britain's Naked Energy puts the photovoltaic panels inside a vacuum tube, where Naked Energy's patented "thermosyphon" technology pumps away heat to keep the panels at their peak efficiency. The extracted heat can then be used for other purposes.