PVT Solar has a residential line of solar panels that in addition to generating electricity, captures heat from the panels and uses it to heat the house and water.
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.
This could be a game-changer. It’s amazing how fast renewable energy research and development is progressing.