Chinese solar panel manufacturer SolarMaster Technology Co. Ltd. has recently developed a photovoltaic-thermal (PVT) panel that can be used for residential and commercial installations.
“We buy photovoltaic panels from large manufacturers such as Longi Solar and we make the thermal part, combining the thermal and PV units into the whole PVT panel,” a company spokesperson told pv magazine. “We have the capacity to produce 50,000 panels per year.”
The panel is sold in four different versions with photovoltaic output ranging from 340 to 545 W and solar thermal output of 910 to 1,436 W.
The smallest device has a size of 1956 x 992 mm and a gross area of 1.95 m2, while the largest panel measures 2256 x 1133 mm and has a gross area of 2.56 m2. The number of solar cells per module varies from 72 to 144 and their size ranges from 156 x 156 mm to 182 x 91 mm, depending on the panel size.
As for the PV unit, its power conversion efficiency spans from 17.8 to 21.3% and its temperature coefficient is -0.39% per degree Celsius. The open-circuit voltage ranges from 47.5 to 49.6 V and the short-circuit current is between 9.22 and 13.22 A. The module can be used with a maximum system voltage of 1,000 V. The thermal unit has a thermal efficiency of 70% and an internal liquid capacity of 1.8 to 2.3 L. The maximum permissible pressure is 10 bar.
The module is fabricated with 3.2 mm front tempered glass, a frame made of 6005-T5 aluminum alloy, and rated for up to 298 kg/m2 snow loading.
“The solar thermal part can connect with a working station combining a pump and controller and a pressurized water tank to become a complete pressurized solar hot water system,” the manufacturer stated, noting that an extra gas boiler or heat pump can also be added as the backup heating system to continue to heat the hot water from the water tank in case the weather is not good or during a cold winter.
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They forgot to mention combining thermal and PV helps to cool down PV, therefore raising PV efficiency. But another manufacturer had such a product about 15 years ago, what happened to it?
I think the opposite is true. A thermal panel wants to capture and store heat, not dissipate it and cool. The thermal panel behind it will need to run well above 40C in order to produce hot water.
…so it’s possible! Congratulations!
EP, The heat from the pannel is stored in a tank. I have been running my Heat pump now for many years and we never go over 45 degrees centigrade. Actually, 40 degrees centigrade would do for a shower and poses no risk for children to get burnt by too warm water as delivered from a traditional heater
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