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Press release: “Naked Energy completes funding round to support commercial launch of Virtu – the most efficient hybrid solar panel in the world”

July 26th, 2018

 

LONDON (July 2018)  Virtu, the world’s most efficient solar PV and thermal (PVT) panel for roof tops is one step closer to commercialisation unlocking the economic and climate impact it was designed to support — zero-carbon buildings on a global scale.

 

Naked Energy has successfully closed its funding round to help meet fast- growing demand for their patented solar thermal technology.

 

The breakthrough solar thermal technology is housed within a vacuum tube to reduce thermal losses, capturing more heat for use within buildings while also drawing heat away from PV cells, creating an environment that maximises electrical output.

The hybrid system puts an end to the need for separate solar thermal and solar PV installations on flat roof tops, by offering an ultra compact alternative that generates both heat and power with world-leading efficiency, shorter payback and higher ROI.

 

New investment totalling £1.1m has been secured from existing shareholders and private investors.  The fundraising was led by specialist advisers Capella Partners and EthicalFin, and supported through the Syndicate Room investment platform.

 

The lead investor, Berian Global Invest AG, is the venture investment arm of a European family office having extensive interests in real estate development and management, hotels & hospitality, brewing and industrials.

 

A spokesperson for Berian, commented:

 

“The investment in Naked Energy is an obvious strategic fit for us.  All of the buildings operated by the wider group require significant heating, cooling and electricity which represent a major operating cost.  Virtu reduces the current operating cost and insulates the business from future energy price increases.  Furthermore, it will do so in a clean and sustainable way that aligns with our core values and can exceed the standards being defined in emerging regulations regarding improved building efficiency and reduced carbon footprint.  As the technology can help our organisation, we are confident it can do the same for a vast number of others in the global market.”

 

Christophe Williams, Managing Director of Naked Energy, confirmed:

 

“We are delighted to have completed our current funding round and look forward to an exciting new chapter.  The new investment will support the long anticipated commercial launch of Virtu.  Scale production can now start in earnest with the first important step of independent certification of the technology.  We are expanding our team and looking forward to entering into strategic international partnerships for the distribution of Virtu to end customers globally.  The first reference projects will be completed over the summer as we start to address the significant pipeline of interest.”

 

Alessandro Mele, Founder & CEO of EthicalFin, added:

 

“Right away, we saw a lot of potential in Naked Energy’s dedicated team, high energy density technology and global scale up opportunity. Our due diligence confirmed this initial perception and strong synergies emerged within the extended team. Consistent with our business model, our holding company Pommes D’Or Family Office invested in the round.”

 

~ENDS~

 

Contact details:

 

Christophe Williams

c.williams@nakedenergy.co.uk

 

PRESS KIT

 

 

About Naked Energy: Naked Energy Ltd is an award winning British product design company specialising in solar technology.  The company is redefining solar energy with ‘Virtu’ a revolutionary and patented hybrid solar collector that generates both heat and power for commercial and industrial applications.

 

About Syndicate Room: Launched in September 2013, SyndicateRoom is an online investment platform which has helped 120+ early-stage UK businesses secure more than £117 million in funding through its investor-led equity crowdfunding model. The company has over 35,000 high-net-worth angel investors using its platform.

 

About EthicalFin: An impact investment group operating through EthicalFin LTD, a London based, FCA regulated impact investment advisory firm and EthicalFin NPL S.r.l., a Rome based debt collection agency regulated by the Italian law. Controlled by Pommes d’Or, a Family Office committed to promoting sustainability, EthicalFin is putting people and values at the core of its activities. Its corporate finance services are dedicated to visionary and socially motivated and environmentally friendly entrepreneurs. EthicalFin partners with its clients and complements their skills and expertise in order to promote sustainable growth strategies and assist with the raising of capital from like-minded investors.

 

About Capella: Capella Partners is trusted by global family offices & private investors to originate and manage their investments in technologies that solve high-value problems. Capella’s team comprises alums from MIT, Stanford, Harvard and ETH, including multi-time successful entrepreneurs and prolific inventors of high-impact technology. With a focus on the value of strong intellectual property – the core asset of all deep-technology companies – Capella selects investments by first assessing the full range of solutions available for a given industry problem, and funding & supporting only those with the greatest technological advantages, IP protection, product-market fit and economic potential. As a higher-touch alternative to investing in VC funds, Capella’s clients make direct investments in technology companies, allowing them to maintain control of capital and maximize the opportunity to create strategic value for their portfolio. Capella is licensed by the SEC and serves its global client-base from offices in Switzerland and the US with investment strategy, research, origination, diligence, and portfolio management services.

 

Tags: Naked Energy, Virtu, solar thermal, solar PVT, combined heat and power, hybrid solar

‘Virtu’ part of a suite of pioneering technologies at the Active Office at Specific

June 19th, 2018

Naked Energy is proud to be part of the Active Office, which will be the UK’s first energy positive office – designed to generate more solar energy than it needs over the annual cycle.

 

 

 

Located at Swansea University’s Bay Campus, the Active Office will be manufactured using cutting edge off-site manufacturing techniques and incorporate a range of innovative technologies to generate, store and release solar energy.

 

Virtu has been integrated in to the vertical South facing facade to optimise winter yield for space heating, whilst simultaneously producing electricity.  Virtu utilises vacuum technology to improve thermal performance throughout the yield and is especially effective in temperate climates like the UK.  This project represents the first public project for the company.

 

The building will be linked to, and able to share energy with, the Active Classroom. The UK’s first energy positive classroom was completed in autumn 2016 and has been operating for a year.

 

Together the solar-powered buildings provide functional teaching and office spaces, as well as building-scale development facilities for SPECIFIC Innovation & Knowledge Centre and its industry partners.

 

 

Key features of the Active Office

  1. The UK’s first energy positive office– with the energy profile of an occupied office
  2. A unique combination of technologies for the generation, storage and release of solar energy – both heat and electricity
  3. Repeatable design
  4. Connected– it will be connected to the Active Classroom, and able to share energy between the buildings and with electric vehicles – demonstrating how the design concept can support energy resilient communities
 

 

Here’s an excellent Blog link for the project  http://specific.eu.com/blogging-the-active-office-build/

 

The project is lead by SPECIFIC Innovation & Knowledge Centre and has been funded by Swansea University, Innovate UK  & ERDF

 

 

 

 

Will your property be lettable after 1st April 2018?

March 20th, 2018

It’s no joke – under new legislation, UK commercial properties must meet strict new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) from 1st April 2018.  If a building has an EPC rating of less than E it could be affected.

 

What is the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES)?

The minimum energy efficiency standard was introduced in March 2015 by the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015. The MEES Regulations originate from the Energy Act 2011.

 

 

The energy we use for heating and powering our non-domestic buildings is responsible for around 12% of the UK’s emissions. Taking remedial action can be expensive and disruptive.  We would always advise on implementing energy efficiency measures as a first step, which is very much the motive behind the new EPC legislation.  However, sometimes integrating measures like new double glazed windows or improving insulation in walls and roofs can be both expensive and disruptive.

 

Not surprisingly we would encourage anyone likely to be affected to seek professional advice and to also consider the advantages of incorporating an element of renewable energy generation wherever possible.  ‘Virtu’ Naked Energy’s very high energy density solar collectors produce both heat and power thereby offsetting far more CO2 per square metre of roof space than alternative solutions.  This will not only improve the EPC rating, but gives the landlord greater control over energy bills and ultimately, in many cases an additional income stream as well as enhancing the value of its asset.

 

For more information please see:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/656541/Non-Dom_Private_Rented_Property_Minimum_Standard_-_Landlord_Guidance.pdf

Renewable energy’s next frontier: heat (and coolth)

March 8th, 2018

As Europe is currently experiencing extremely cold weather much attention has been given to the question of heat.  Long overdue in our opinion, as heating accounts for around 50% of all energy used globally and 40% of all CO2 emissions.  Extreme weather and geopolitical uncertainty also draw attention to the potentially serious issues around security of supply.  Although the overall demand for heat is still rising it is being outpaced by the need for cooling.  Renewable thermal energy is gaining a lot of attention with governments around the world acknowledging that despite good progress in decarbonising the generation of electricity by a switch to renewable solutions there is much than can and must be done to make heating and cooling sustainable.

 

Electrification of heating may provide part of the answer, but creates additional challenges at times of peak demand which could be exacerbated by a simultaneous push towards the electrification of the transport sector.  Advances in storage of electricity will play a role, but may not be sufficient. There is no magic bullet and no doubt the best solution will be a mix of technologies.  Solar thermal could play a major role when combined with inter-seasonal storage and district heating systems.  At the other extreme solar thermal is likely to play a significant part in fulfilling the growing demand for air-conditioning where demand and supply are perfectly matched (allowing solar electricity to be used for other applications).

 

Here are a few interesting articles and websites going onto more detail:

 

http://www.iea.org/publications/insights/insightpublications/Renewable_Heat_Policies.pdf

 

http://www.iea-shc.org/data/sites/1/publications/Solar-Heat-Worldwide-2017.pdf

 

https://www.renewablethermal.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/RTC_FactSheet_FINAL.pdf

 

Government’s clean energy drive invests £35 million in innovative projects

July 5th, 2017

Speaking at the Rushlight Summer Showcase, Minister of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Claire Perry announced funding for 2 innovative clean energy projects which will create local investment opportunities across the country.

 

 

Rushlight, a leading provider of clean technology events in the UK, hosts the Summer Showcase which is sponsored by BEIS and Innovate UK. At the event, Claire Perry announced that £35 million funding, from the BEIS Energy Innovation Programme, will go towards smart heating systems and innovation in using hydrogen as a potential heat source.

 

 

As a recipient of grant funding from BEIS, the Minister was introduced to Naked Energy at the event.  Company Directors, Christophe Williams and Nicholas Simmons were able to highlight the progress made with the BEIS support and also provide deeper understanding of the breakthrough design of Virtu.

Under the new investment, £10 million will sponsor the second phase of work by the Energy Systems Catapult on its Smart Systems and Heat Programme. The programme will help develop local energy plans alongside Local Authorities, and bring down the cost of energy bills, while supporting the development of the UK’s low carbon heating projects.

A further £25 million will be invested in potential uses of hydrogen gas for heating, testing the possibility of domestic gas pipes for hydrogen and developing a range of innovative hydrogen appliances such as boilers and cookers.

Minister of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Claire Perry said:

“The UK government is committed to leading the world in delivering clean energy technology and today’s investment shows that we are prepared to support innovation in this critical area.

Our aim is for the UK to be a global leader in innovation, science and research and our Industrial Strategy will help us to deliver our ambitious CO2 reduction targets while, creating jobs and opportunities for people across the country.”

This investment follows the government’s commitment to double energy innovation investments set out in the Industrial Strategy green paper, to £400 million per year by 2021.

Naked Energy appoints Greenbackers Investment Capital

April 29th, 2017

 

Naked Energy has embarked on their next round (A round) of equity funding.  The sum of £3m is being raised to fulfil demand in the sales pipeline, build the team and increase market reach. They have appointed Greenbackers Investment Capital to co-ordinate and manage all aspects of fundraising for this round.

 

Christophe Williams, Naked Energy CEO said “Greenbackers has a very good investor network in our sector and are already making progress for us. They have an international set of finance connections and we look forward to their contribution.”

 

Robert Hokin, Greenbackers Managing Partner commented: “Having spent time with the management team, we fully appreciate the great potential for this business. Naked Energy is about to make their mark in the commercial solar heat/electricity marketplace and we are very pleased to be assisting them with achieving their next level of growth.”

 

For further information on Naked Energy’s Funding round click HERE:

 

 

About Greenbackers: Greenbackers Investment Capital are growth capital specialists for low-carbon, cleantech and climate change. They primarily work with emerging and scaling-up technology companies looking to optimise their capital raising strategies, connecting them with a diverse, pre-qualified and international network of funders and partners in the sector. http://greenbackers.com

Naked Energy inks deal to deliver hybrid solar technology

December 16th, 2015

Company signs global manufacturing agreement to produce solar technology that promises to provide power and heat

By James Murray – Business Green

 

UK solar startup Naked Energy has this week inked an agreement with US-based manufacturing giant Jabil to scale up the production of its hybrid solar technology, Virtu.

 

Naked Energy’s Virtu technology combines photovoltaic cells and a heat exchanger to produce power and heat, which it claims boosts financial returns and carbon savings for buildings deploying the technology.

 

Under the terms of the deal announced on Monday, Jabil agreed to support Naked Energy to make Virtu available to a global market as well as providing expertise in the integration of Virtu in buildings and related systems.

 

Naked Energy claims its combination of photovoltaic cells in an evacuated tube collector results in higher electrical output and exceptional thermal performance.

 

The companies said manufacturing for customers in the UK, Europe and North America had already started and the installation of commercial pilot projects is planned for early 2016, with a full commercial launch later in the year.

 

Naked Energy, which has in the past been supported by the Climate KIC group, added that it was now strengthening its balance sheet through additional equity investment to support the commercial launch.

 

“Jabil has been hugely impressed by the innovation and commercial benefits of Virtu, and is keen to support its commercialisation,” said David Kipling, vice president of corporate investment at Jabil.

 

“With renewables forming an ever more important part of our energy supply, Virtu is an enabling technology that needs scale to unlock its potential. Jabil can support Naked Energy to achieve that scale through dedicated manufacturing facilities and our supply chain expertise.”

COP21 – Sparking an innovation step change – Naked Energy case study

December 10th, 2015

3 December 2015, COP21, Paris

 

“Creating a roadmap for the diffusion of radical climate innovation in European business”

 

This report from Climate-KIC reveals that most European business leaders have prepared strategies to respond to climate change, but with a lack of focus on innovation, those strategies are likely to be ineffective for a 2°C trajectory.

 

Virtu awarded new funding from DECC to support commercial trials

November 6th, 2015

DECC Energy Entrepreneurs Fund, is a competitive funding scheme to support the development of technologies, products and processes in energy efficiency, power generation and storage.  The latest grant awarded to the company is to support a commercial scale pilot of its revolutionary solar product Virtu.

 

The product has been in rapid development over the last 2 years, completing testing of its pioneering thermal engine.  The design and development of the hybrid collector has now been demonstrated in field trials in Malta with market leading results.  Commercial pilot projects are now planned for early 2016, with full commercial launch later in the year.

 

 

Virtu utilised for clean water production and indoor air control

May 16th, 2015

WE4CCII is a Climate-KIC innovation project led by TNO in cooperation with Laborelec (GDF Suez), Naked Energy Ltd. and TU-Berlin.

 

 

WE4CCII is a Climate-KIC innovation project led by TNO in cooperation with Laborelec (GDF Suez), Naked Energy Ltd. and TU-Berlin.

It aims at the technical demonstration, business case evaluation and implementation of new value chains for production of high quality water and indoor air (humidity) control using low grade thermal waste energy from cooling water – with new technologies such as membrane distillation and water recovery from desiccant solutions.

The aim is to connect stakeholders in low grade heat production (waste, solar) with water – air networks. Reuse of low grade heat or renewable heat for high quality water production and air conditioning can substantially reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions.

Using unexploited waste heat from cooling water can reduce electricity consumption by up to 50 per cent relative to water production using fossil fuels.

 

A ground-breaking innovation

The WE4CC-II project has been testing the combination of technologies for using excess heat produced by industrial processes (e.g. electricity production) or specialized solar technologies such as Virtu technology developed by Naked Energy Ltd. – that won the Venture Competition in October 2011 – in order to purify or desalinate water with the Memstill technology developed by TNO.

The cascading heat from these processes is intended to be used for heating & cooling, by using the Absorberbox technology developed by TU Berlin.

The combination of Virtu and Memstill technologies has been evaluated in the lab, while a demonstrator of the Absorberbox is running in the Berlin Botanic Gardens.

A demonstrator of the Memstill technology is now successfully evaluated at the Electrabel/Laborelec power plant in Belgium, capturing waste heat from the electricity production process and purifying surface water from a river near the site, in order to make high pressure boiler feed water.

 

What is the innovation?

In the WE4CC-II project an advanced membrane distillation technology (Memstill) is evaluated for the production of demineralised water and drinking water using low grade heat. Membrane distillation is a thermally driven separating process where water vapour passes through a hydrophobic membrane and high quality liquid water is retained. This process is triggered by the difference in water vapour concentration across the membrane.

By using heat to drive the process (waste heat from power plants, renewable heat from solar PVT systems, etc.), electricity consumption for high quality water production is cut and no excess heat is wasted or discharged to the environment.

Two processes have been utilised to put membrane distillation into practice:

  • Memstill: partial use of waste heat
  • Memstill with additional heat envelop (MD-HEX): full use of waste heat

WE4CC-II uses these membrane distillation technologies with the aim to commercialise the potential for waste heat / renewable heat – water cascades.

For air de-humidification, a market for future users of liquid desiccants (heat recovery, supply air drying and precise humidity control in buildings, de- humidification of greenhouses, drying of industrial goods) has to be prepared by developing a number of pilot projects, showing the technology and its specific contribution for power saving. Furthermore, industrial waste heat suppliers will be needed for the regeneration part of the desiccants.

Desiccant networks can be envisaged as a new way of energy storage and transport under use of today unexploited waste heat sources, especially as applications of air de- humidification and regeneration services will regularly not be found on the same place.

 

Societal Impact

Waste heat is produced by a lot of processes that use energy. The biggest contributors to waste heat are industrial processes, domestic processes and energy production that occur in the urban environment. Often, this waste heat is lost to the ambient environment, contributing to a rise in global temperature. Storage and reuse of this waste heat contribute to improving energy efficiency and reduction of CO2 emissions in the city.

This project – including the following Climate-KIC partners Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), TU-Berlin (Technical University), Laborelec/GDF Suez, Naked Energy – is part of the Sustainable City Systems Platform and is a follow-up of the Pathfinder WE4CC.

 

When will it be introduced?

In 2015, the project aims to run a demonstrator at the Hotel Dolmen in Malta, where renewable heat originating from solar PVT panels (Virtu) will be used to desalinate sea water; the potential to use cascading heat from this process to heat and cool the building through the Absorberbox will also be explored. This integrated solution once demonstrated will be introduced to the market, most probably in the course of 2016.

In this framework, the project shows synergies with the following Climate- KIC projects: Energy Atlas – that maps and balances the energy sinks and sources of the city of Berlin, and CMA Pilot Metropolitan Utilities Dialogue (Berlin) – a multi-utility platform.

The product Memstill/MD-HEX modules for waste heat utilisation and the related service on technical and economic feasibility evaluation of Memstill/ MD-HEX for new customers at commercial price is planned for the end of 2015.

The product Desiccant regeneration units for waste heat utilisation, and the related service on technical and economic feasibility evaluation of desiccant regeneration for new customers at commercial price is planned for the end of 2015.

A new spin-off from TU Berlin and TNO for waste heat – water – air networks based on result of the business plan is planned for 2016.

 

Publication

Norbert Kuipers, Robin van Leerdam, Jolanda van Medevoort, Willy van Tongeren, Bart Verhasselt, Lieve Verelst, Marnix Vermeersch & Dominique Corbisier (2014): Techno-economic assessment of boiler feed water production by membrane distillation with reuse of thermal waste energy from cooling water, Desalination and Water Treatment.

DOI: 10.1080/19443994.2014.946722, see: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19443994.2014.946722

More information:

Norbert Kuipers
norbert.kuipers@tno.nl