CASE STUDY: Full-scale demonstration helped start-up secure £5.25 million investment for new solar technology

Naked Energy is a British design, innovation and engineering business with a novel combined photovoltaic-solar thermal product (PVT), which generates both heat and electricity from solar energy.  

Their first commercial installation of 40 PVT tubes was on SPECIFIC’s Active Office demonstration building at Swansea University.  

The Active Office is occupied by Swansea University staff. It is used as a demonstrator building to: 

  • Test and verify novel renewable energy technologies and control strategies. 
  • Challenge traditional construction methods.   
  • Demonstrate scalable solutions towards Net Zero emissions from buildings. 

Demonstration on the Active Office helps reduce risk in commercialisation of new technologies or control strategies.

Naked Energy was able to learn from the process of supplying and installing the technologies in a relatively large volume for the first time, and the extensive monitoring in the building meant they could get real performance data to improve their product. It also provided a showcase for potential investors.  

This helped the company move from pre-commercialisation stage to secure £5.25 million investment funding. 


Why does it matter?

The speed of change in the construction industry is very slow. Introducing new low-carbon concepts and technologies is very difficult, due to the timescales and risks involved.  

Full-scale demonstration of low carbon technologies on an occupied building like the Active Office, which is monitored extensively, is vital to prove concepts and technologies that are new to the market, improve performance, and attract commercial investment.  


“The team at SPECIFIC are incredibly knowledgeable and put together a fantastic team to implement the Active Office. Consequently, the demonstration has been a resounding success from Naked Energy’s perspective. The entire system is well thought out using high quality components and the best engineering practices. This has resulted in very few technical issues and provided a wealth of valuable data. Moreover, the exposure the project has received has been a huge boost to the profile of Virtu and Naked Energy.”   

Christophe Williams, Founder Naked Energy