PVT Solar is pioneering an ultra-efficient breed of solar panels that focus not just on incorporating better photovoltaic components, but also take the heat generated by the solar panels and use it to power a solar thermal system. According to the company, these solar cogeneration panels are three times more efficient than anything else out there!

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PVT Solar is funded by Vinod Koshla, the founder of Sun Microsystems. According to a profile on the New York Times, what drew Mr. Koshla to the company was the remarkable achievement in efficiency that the company was able to generate. Standard photovoltaic systems generate electrical energy from the sun, while solar thermal systems takes heat from the sun to heat something, like water, for consumption within a home. PVT Solar is aiming to marry both systems into one, since photovoltaic systems are known to release excess heat that isn’t used.

Aside from taking waste heat and giving it an actual use, this combination would also have the added benefit of making the solar panel cooler, which in turn would make it more efficient, thus generating more energy. PVT Solar is the latest company to commercialize solar cogeneration technology, and is the first to really consider deploying a system for residential use.

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Via New York Times