Next Generation Energy Launches PV-Powered Solar Water Heating

September 22, 2012 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

PV powered solar hot water heater

At the most recent Solar Power International conference in Orlando, FL, Next Generation Energy (NGE) introduced a revolutionary technology that could help make water heating more affordable for businesses and homeowners alike.  Known as the SunBandit, the patent-pending water heating system harnesses photovoltaic solar technology coupled with the Next Generation Energy controller to regulate water temperatures for a range of residential and industrial applications. 

With over 30 years of industry experience developing fully integrated alternative power solutions, Colorado-based Next Generation Energy hopes its game-changing technology will appeal to residential and commercial consumers who may have previously been on the fence regarding solar-powered water heating solutions. 

According to Next Generation Energy CEO, Dave Kreutzman, “The SunBandit Water Heating System is a disruptive technological approach to water heating by utilizing PV technology to heat hot water simpler, more reliably, and more cost-effectively than conventional solar thermal systems.”

The SunBandit’s unique approach uses the DC power generated by attached photovolataic panels to heat the water in the tank.  Whereas most PV residential systems use an inverter to convert the electricity to AC power, the SunBandit gains effeciencies along with the benefit of being a simpler system to install by sticking with DC.  Next Generation predicts that a system with 2-3 PV panels could generate enough hot water for a typical couple.  A panel or two could be added later if a home grows in hot water needs.  They also expect the system when it goes on sale in early 2013 to be somewhere in the range of 1/3 of what a typical solar hot water system would cost. 

Integration with auxiliary energy sources like oil, gas, or electric allows Next Generation Energy’s water heating system to overcome one of the primary challenges of traditional PV-powered solutions – namely consistent access to energy even after the sun has gone down.  Until now, users would have had to rely on battery stored electricity or the utility grid to maintain desired water temperatures.

Executives hope that such integration will help to position the SunBandit on equal footing with more traditional solar thermal solutions that already use a range of on-site energy storage technologies for nighttime use.  By tying in oil, gas, and electric sources, the SunBandit could potentially enjoy much greater appeal in the residential and commercial markets due to its more economical design and fewer moving parts.  According to Kreutzman, “With the release of the SunBandit Water Heating System, everyone has access to trouble-free, practical, and affordable solar hot water.”

Next Generation Energy has introduced a solar water heating system that harnesses PV technology instead of traditional solar thermal solutions.

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