Inflatable solar collector announced
A leading sustainable product designer has announced an inflatable solar collector.
Industrial Design consultancy's (IDC) new product, called SolarStore, harnesses the sun's natural energy to warm domestic water. The company says it can heat up to three full tanks of water per day at temperatures close to 80 degrees.
The SolarStore works by allowing sunlight to pass through a clear outer layer to a water-filled black layer. When the black layer heats up, the water warms with it. An area of air between the layers acts as insulation to ensure that the water retains its heat.
IDC claims the device will cost less than £100 and will pay for itself in savings within six months. This makes it considerably more cost-effective than conventional solar hot water systems which cost up to £3,000.
The product could be beneficial in developing countries with unreliable electricity supplies and the makers say it could target camping and caravan users.
In other solar news, a high school in Northern Ireland has installed solar panels on its roof, reports the Derry Journal.
St Patrick's High School in Dungiven say's the panels will produce around 4,000 units of electricity each year and save up to £400 on the school's energy bills.
Article Date: 24 April 2008
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