If you’re going to buy a satellite dish, why not get one that can heat water and cool your home? That’s the thinking behind Transoptic’s 2-in-1 device, which consists of a honeycomb-like layer of hexagonal mirrors or a chrome-coated plastic reflector placed on top of a satellite dish. The system comes outfitted with a PVC tube, receiver, and evacuated tube–so it can both receive TV signals and concentrate sunlight onto an optical collector to heat water.
Transoptic, a finalist in last year’s California Clean Tech Open, wants to sell 2-square-meter dishes at $300 a pop, with each dish generating 82 Therms of energy each year. A standard water heater requires 58 Therms each year, so the dish could almost certainly provide more than enough heat. Installation for the device will cost about $300 to $400.
Instead of selling directly to consumers, Transoptic plans on pitching its system to roofers, distributors, and home developers. The company has already lined up its first customer–a track home builder–but it still needs $250,000 to begin manufacturing. Any takers?