Current Product Limitations
Solar PV systems don’t economically address hot water and heating needs. Existing solar thermal collectors are made with technology that’s more than 30 years old. High-cost “evacuated tube” collectors are too expensive and fragile for widespread adoption. Mid-priced “flat plate” collectors are made using expensive copper tubing and don’t generate enough energy to expand the market. Low-cost collectors produce very little usable heat.
A Better Rooftop Solar Thermal Collector
Helios collectors can be the centerpiece of a complete system for solar hot water, heating and cooling. Helios’ collectors look like conventional flat plate collectors, but Helios’ collectors are made from translucent, specially colored plastics that yield twice as much energy and are made from less expensive materials compared with competitive products. This will allow Helios’ customers to help homeowners and businesses lower their energy bills using a more versatile solar energy solution with a more rapid payback.
Go-to Market Strategy
Helios is readying its first product for market. Helios is completing prototype testing and collaborating with the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (www.iacmi.org) to complete a manufacturing strategy. These efforts will lead to the company building a handful of full-sized collectors and installing them in real-world settings in order to provide references for prospective customers and gathering long-term performance data for additional proofs of cost-effectiveness. The company will also submit sample collectors for certification, which will allow the company’s products to receive government incentives. Solar thermal systems are already widely accepted outside the U.S. and Helios’ product will be an attractive drop-in substitute there, plus our new technology will help rejuvenate the U.S. market for solar thermal.