A com­pany born from re­search con­ducted at the Univer­sity of Waikato is turn­ing tra­di­tional so­lar water heat­ing and elec­tric­ity pro­duc­tion on its head.

Element - - Clean Technology -

and cost ef­fec­tive so­lu­tion for com­mer­cial, in­dus­trial or house­hold use. The re­search for this tech­nol­ogy be­gan in early 1998, when Dr Mike Duke and Tim An­der­son formed the So­lar En­gi­neer­ing Re­search Group (SERG) at the Univer­sity of Waikato as a pri­mary ve­hi­cle to study so­lar en­ergy gen­er­a­tion. As work de­vel­oped and the team in­creased, it be­came ap­par­ent that so­lar panels lose 80-90% of their po­ten­tial en­ergy as heat. The team then fo­cused on how tra­di­tional panels could be de­vel­oped to con­vert some of this heat into use­ful en­ergy. In 2004 the team suc­cess­fully tri­alled their “build­ing in­te­grated pho­to­voltaic ther­mal so­lar panel”, which con­verts 70% of so­lar en­ergy into use­ful in­ter­na­tion­ally for two aspects of the in­ven­tion – a build­ing in­te­grated com­bined pho­to­voltaic cell and so­lar ther­mal col­lec­tor ar­range­ment (BIPVT), and a build­ing in­te­grated so­lar ther­mal col­lec­tor (BIT). Waika­tolink’s CEO, Dun­can Mack­in­tosh says James & Wells’ on-go­ing ex­per­tise is in­valu­able: “In­vent­ing great prod­ucts is one thing, but to take them to mar­ket and pro­tect­ing our IP re­quires strate­gic think­ing and knowl­edge. James & Wells has as­sisted that think­ing con­sis­tently.” Solenza’s so­lar en­ergy so­lu­tions can be retro­fit­ted into ex­ist­ing roof­ing struc­tures, and pro­vide in­creased power and water heat­ing ef­fi­cien­cies over tra­di­tional so­lar en­ergy panels.

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