Paul and Jo

Member Article

Sky is the limit for solar angel

A PIONEERING solar technology company which attracted significant funding earlier this year to develop a hybrid Solar PV-T panel, is embarking upon its final journey that will help strengthen the North East’s position on the national renewable technology map.

Natural Technology Developments Ltd (NTD) based in Ponteland, secured a total of £180,000 from Northstar Ventures’ Finance For Business North East Proof of Concept Fund and a private investor to design develop and manufacture its new product ‘Solar Angel’ in the North East.

The new slim line dual generation panel combines solar PV and solar thermal technologies to allow consumers to generate both electricity and hot water from the sun’s rays, and its unique cooling system helps generate more electricity than PV on its own.

The panel is currently being field tested at NTD’s own eco office as well as undergoing rigorous laboratory tests prior to its final certification which will take place in the UK and San Jose in California later this year.

NTD’s managing director Paul Laidler said: “What makes Solar Angel unique is not only that it is manufactured in the UK, but also that we have overcome many problems facing competitors who are trying to produce similar hybrid technologies by creating a lighter-weight, more compact design that is higher performing and easier to install.

“Once certified, Solar Angel will better match the growing clean-tech demands of the UK and international markets. It is the slimmest profile PV-T currently being tested and it can be fully integrated with other natural technologies such as wind turbines and heat pumps.

“By installing the panels in our own purpose made eco office we can gather accurate real-time data of how it is performing and we have been working closely with IPSoL Energy, the UK’s only accredited test house, which is helping us to test the product with a view to obtaining our full certification.”

Once the product passes the various testing processes, Solar Angel will be fully MCS and Solar Keymark certified by January 2014.

He continued: “Demand for such a UK product is huge and once certified, we will be working with carefully selected and trained installation partners within the North East and the rest of the UK.”

Commercial director at IPSol, Tim Carter, said: “As an independent authority for PV-T testing and certification we endeavour to be supportive of the development of new products and work with developers towards their entry into the UK and international markets.

“We are pleased to be doing the first PV-T testing for a British product. It is a big challenge to be able to successfully pass the international IEC certification, and the added value we bring is to allow manufacturers to rapidly prototype and test their product prior to full certification testing. This extra preparation facilitates successful qualification and accelerates market entry.

“As a key provider of services to the solar industry and a unique resource in this country, we continue to be supportive of UK solar on the global stage and the development of innovative products such as this.”

NTD is about to embark on second stage investment fund raising in order to grow the business and market the product to the rest of the world with its official launch at the EcoBuild exhibition in London next March.

Richard Exley of Northstar Ventures, said: “We are delighted to have invested in NTD – it has now received two rounds of funding from the Proof of Concept Fund.

This new round of funding is going to enable NTD to grow further and continue to develop its PV-T product.“

For more information visit: | Twitter: @NTDLimited | Facebook: SolarAngelFutureGeneration

The Proof of Concept Fund is backed by the European Regional Development Fund and the European Investment Bank.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Jodie Balmer .

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