There is no dearth of innovative renewable energy systems that either let you produce hot water or electricity using the clean energy beamed by our nearest star. However, a Japanese company has now come up with a comparatively portable system that does both by making use of Fresnel lenses. The cogeneration system called the Fresnel Sun House, collected the thermal energy in sunlight, including light from the rising and setting sun, to heat up water in a heat storage tank, which is then used as hot water or can also be used to generate electricity.
Fresnel lens can effectively converge sunlight even if its thickness is less and the lens employed for the system is based on a telephoto lens developed for observing ultrahigh energy cosmic rays. This lens is attached to the top and lateral sides of the cubic system. Inside this system is a T-shaped heat exchanger made using aluminum alloy that receives sunlight from the lens and heats up water and stores it.
After water is heated, it can be moved to a rotary heat engine to generate power. The rotational energy is able to achieve high power efficiency despite low pressure and low heat source. The system developed by the company is so efficient that it can operate with a temperature of just 40 degrees Celsius.