Schematic of a hybrid (PVT) solar collector: 1 – Anti-reflective glass, 2 – EVA-encapsulant, 3 – Solar PV cells, 4 – EVA-encapsulant, 5 – Backsheet (PVF), 6 – Heat exchanger (copper), 7 – Insulation (polyurethane)
Solar panels can convert ca. 20% of the solar radiation into electricity. Solar collectors can convert radiation in warm water or air at much higher efficiencies than those 20%. The tempting idea is to combine these two functions into a single module, a principle known as PVT. There are several construction possibilities: putting a glass cover in front of a black solar panel en pump the heated air away. Disadvantage: one degree Celsius temperature increase of the solar panel decreases the efficiency with about 0,4%. Alternatively, the solar panel can be cooled at the back-side, resulting in less higher temperatures of the panel. In the Summer, with reduced need for warm water, the glass cover could be removed in order to keep temperatures in check.
A little research reveals that in the 2018-2019 the PVT topic is anything but dead. Especially interesting is the prospect of combining PVT with seasonal storage of heat in large volumes of water.
PVT could be a potential solution in areas with high population densities and limited space for separate solar panels and collectors, like in the Netherlands, Flanders or England.
[sciencedirect.com] – Systematic testing of hybrid PV-thermal (PVT) solar collectors in steady-state and dynamic outdoor conditions
[solarthermalworld.org] – PVT and seasonal storage: innovative technologies in Spain
[researchgate.net] – Photovoltaic Thermal /Solar (PVT) Collector (PVT) System Based on Fluid Absorber Design: A Review
[aip.scitation.org] – Numerical investigation of a solar PVT air collector used for preheating the ventilating air in tertiary building under the climatic conditions of Fez, Morocco
[solarheateurope.eu] – New taskforce on PVT collectors to starting its work (2019)
[scitecheuropa.eu] – Thermal energy storage: a Spanish start-up achieves high solar fractions
[ideas.repec.org] – Energy performance analysis of a novel solar PVT loop heat pipe employing a microchannel heat pipe evaporator and a PCM triple heat exchanger
[nl.mathworks.com] – Photovoltaic Thermal (PV/T) Hybrid Solar Panel
[installatie.nl] – PVT: het dak als warmtepompbron
[researchgate.net] – Analysis of a Residential Photovoltaic-Thermal (PVT) System in Two Similar Climate Conditions (2019)