Millions of homes will need to switch to low carbon heating within the next decade if the UK is to reach a ‘net zero’ carbon future. This underlines the pressing need for new, greener technologies which deliver the same or better comfort outcomes for people.
Senergy are hoping to capitalise on this growing need with its competitively priced solar panels. The Innovator Support Platform is now helping the firm to validate its product with the Catapult’s Home Energy Dynamics simulation tool, developing the business model and pitch to customers, and working with them to create a digital strategy.
Senergy have developed a solar panel designed to deliver affordable heating. Unlike its heavy counterparts made from glass, copper and aluminium components, Senergy’s panels are 100% polymer plastic – reducing delivery and installation costs.
The Senergy team with one of their solar panels
The polymer plastic and nanomaterial mix gives the panel added strength, enhanced thermal properties, and accounts for its carbon-zero label. It has potential to support a substantial element of a building’s heat demand and can be integrated with a ground-source heat pump for energy storage applications and supplying hot water.
The Challenge and Opportunity
Solar thermal as an element in a building’s heating system presents a significant opportunity for decarbonising heat, a crucial task for reaching government climate change targets.
Currently, Senergy operate as a manufacturer. However, the return-on-investment of this approach and ability to develop the market, particularly on an international basis, has yet to be determined.
What’s more, as the product continues to mature, there is an opportunity to optimise the technology and pricing for their target market. The panel’s aesthetic and structural properties could also be considered to understand how these factors affect the target market’s acceptance of the solution.
Energy Systems Catapult is home to the Innovator Support Platform (ISP) that draws on our capabilities and assets, along with those of our partners. The ISP provides innovators with tailored incubation and acceleration support to help address systemic barriers, de-risk innovation, help businesses scale and secure investment.
Tailored support for selected SMEs utilising Catapult assets and capabilities, and delivery partner offerings, such as Business Sprint’ workshops, Business Model Development, Energy System Integration assessment, Consumer Insights, Concept testing and validation, Identification of candidates for Acceleration support.
The Catapult will deliver:
- Building Energy System Modelling: Using our Home Energy Dynamics model the system’s performance in three building archetypes and occupancy profiles to help qualify the technology’s optimum performance value and help determine a system specification.
- Market Landscaping and Customer Value Proposition: To be developed over the course of several workshops and provide evidence to validate their business model.
- Development of Digital Strategy: Conduct a series of workshops to understand the systems requirements and integration into a smart home energy management system, explore options and develop the digital strategy.