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A Cutting-Edge Solar Hybrid Technology

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There's an exciting new hybrid solar collector that combines photovoltaic (PV) power generation with solar water heating. The idea of combining PV and solar-thermal isn't new, but some companies have taken the idea to a new level of sophistication with their hybrid solar collector. This idea came from the *Task 35, it’s a duty from IEA (International Energy Agency). This idea contains a description and overview of the task and result from the work.

*The objectives of this ‘’Task 35’’ are to catalyst the development and market introduction of high quality and commercial competitive PV-T hybrid systems and to increase general understanding and contribute to internationally accepted standards on performance, testing, monitoring and commercial characteristics of PV-T hybrid Systems in the building sector.

The heart in a PV-T hybrid system is a PhotoVoltaic/Thermal module, or PV-T module which is a combination of photovoltaic cells with a solar thermal collector, forming one device that converts solar radiation into electricity and heat simultaneously. Apart from the PV-T module also components as hot water storage tanks, heat exchangers, piping, controllers, inverters, wiring and heat pumps can form part of a PV-Thermal Solar System. PV-T modules can generate more energy per unit surface area than side by side photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors, at a potentially lower production and installation cost. Moreover, PV-T modules share the aesthetic advantage of PV. Because of their high efficiency per unit surface area, PV-T is particularly well-suited for applications with both heat and power demand and with limited roof space available. Therefore, the potential of PV-T is especially large in the residential market, both collective and individual.

The beauty of combining PV and solar-thermal is that by cooling off the PV modules, the efficiency goes up. PV modules lose approximately 0.5% of output for every degree-Celsius of temperature rise. With the new solar hybrid technology can claim that the PV efficiency has been tested as high as 28% while producing 60-70 °C (140-160 °F) water. A PV-T hybrid panel stabilized at an average of 45°C (113°F) will produce roughly 20% more (electrical) output over a 12-month period, when compared to a PV system with the same peak output.

The PV-T hybrid collector is optimized for electricity production, producing 175 Watts of peak electrical output and 460 watts (1,570 Btu/Hour) of thermal output. The power therm collector (M-160/750) is optimized for hot water production by having an extra layer of low-iron solar glass; the peak electrical output is 160 watt. In these PV-T technology is used monocrystalline silicon cells. The solar water heating system uses copper tubing and heat exchanger and circulates an antifreeze solution for freeze protection. The integrated collector is housed in an aluminum box.


PV-T market will grow after 2010
Nowadays, the PV-T system can produce just for demonstrate or testing, there is just one or two firms can able to produce the mass production.
Solimpeks Corp ,which is the leader of the PV-T market, is awarded with research grant on exploration of new PVT types by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBITAK)*. With this very highly competitive research grant PV-T production stage is going move from the test production to the mass production stage. With this new move Solimpeks will strengthen its pioneering on PVT market.
*(TÜBITAK) is the leading agency for management, funding and conduct of research in Turkey
According to Solimpeks, solar thermal and hybrid collector manufacturer, PV-T market will grow (20%) after 2010.
Solimpeks claims that 25 square meters (270 square feet) of collector would be enough for an average northern European home to meet both hot water and electrical demand, averaged over the course of the year. The Solar heating and solar electric technologies are just at the start of their exponential growth curve, and the mass adoption of them over the next years will drastically.

For additional information: www.solimpeks.com