With the hybrid solar panels can generate electricity and heat. They are especially interesting if you have a small surface on the roof where you do not have enough space for a separate system (solar panel and collector separately).
The combination of both systems allows to take advantage of heat and sunlight.
SOLAR PANELS HYBRIDS
We already knew the photovoltaic systems and solar thermal systems, capable of generating electricity the first and heat the second system.
But the appearance of hybrid solar panels in the market turns technology upside down, combining everything in one system. Two in one. We explain how they get it.
What are hybrid solar panels?
A hybrid solar panel is the combination of photovoltaic and thermal technologies in a single module; in front of photovoltaic and thermal solar panels that, conventionally, are installed separately, the hybrid solar panel emerges, capable of simultaneously generating electricity and heat .
This is due to the ability of the hybrid solar panel to take advantage of the entire spectrum of existing light, unlike the photovoltaic and thermal panels, which capture ultraviolet and infrared light respectively.
Solar photovoltaic energy and solar thermal energy are used at the same time.
Although it is an existing product since the 70s, it has not been until now when it has begun to install this technology in more and more places.
Its versatility, its high degree of innovation and the multiple advantages that hybrid solar panels have over conventional technology have made this type of solar panels more and more in demand in all types of sectors and for all kinds of locations.
Electricity, sanitary hot water and even heating if the system allows it (with floor heating and low temperature emitters ideally) in a single panel. It sounds interesting, do not you think?
How do hybrid solar panels work?
Hybrid solar panels have a low environmental impact
The hybrid solar panels are panels or solar collectors comprising the photovoltaic power generation and thermal energy in a single panel. Hybrid solar panels have two main applications:
- It is installed in buildings, either on roofs of industrial buildings, floors or roofs of buildings. It can produce electrical energy much more efficiently than conventional modules, also increasing its efficiency by at least 15%. It can also heat, at the same time and in the same space, water for sanitary, industrial, swimming or heating uses.
- If it is installed in solar orchards or power plants, it increases electricity production by more than 15%, so that it achieves a performance that once seemed unattainable. In this case, the hybrid panel is used as a Refrigerated Photovoltaic Module, so that the thermal energy that is obtained can be exploited or taken outside by means of heat dissipators.
The hybrid solar panels are composed of silicon photovoltaic cells are placed in a labyrinthine absorber to a compact module with inlet and outlet for heat transfer fluid and a junction box for electrical wiring.
Summary of the operation of the solare hybrid panels:
The performance of the photovoltaic modules is closely related to the incident sunlight on them and the temperature reached by the photovoltaic cells that compose them.
This heat of the cells, which was a problem for the photovoltaic system, is exploited by the hybrid system, which transfers it first to a heat transfer fluid, and then to a solar accumulator .
In this way not only this temperature is used to generate heat, but also increases the performance of the photovoltaic cells by decreasing the heat reached by them, dissipating it thanks to the fluid.
How is the hybrid solar panel composed?
The hybrid solar panel is composed of:
- Photovoltaic cells , arranged on a heat absorber.
- Heat absorber, achieving a compact module with inlet and outlet for the heat transfer fluid.
- Connection box for electrical wiring.
The space between glass and photovoltaic cells manages to improve the efficiency of the thermal system by achieving a greenhouse effect.
The photovoltaic power will be increased up to 15% , reducing by 40% the space needed to install both technologies, prolonging their useful life by improving their working conditions, and reducing the amortization of the investment.
Efficiency of hybrid solar panels
Hybrid solar panels can generate electricity efficiently. This has to do with the cooling of the panels that takes place through the collector section.
Solar panels simply work better when they do not heat up too much. In the summer, the temperature of a traditional solar panel can rise rapidly to over 75 ° C, which is not good for efficiency.
Thanks to better cooling, the electrical efficiency of a hybrid panel is better than that of a traditional solar panel. However, the thermal efficiency of the collector part is again somewhat lower compared to a traditional collector.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF THE IBARID SOLAR PANELS?
• The roof surface is used well because it no longer needs separate collectors and panels. Aesthetically speaking, an integrated system is also more attractive to watch.
• A hybrid solar panel provides greater electricity production in both summer and winter (5-10% on average). This is due to a better cooling in the summer and a warming in the winter.
• The total energy efficiency of a hybrid panel is approximately 40% higher than that of a standard panel because it can be used to produce heat and electricity.
Summary of the advantages
- Increase in photovoltaic power by almost 15%
- Water heating for different uses
- Reduction of the space needed to install photothermal and photovoltaic energy
- Prolongation of the useful life of the modules used when reducing the temperature of their work
- Reduce costs for the production and installation of these systems
- In solar power plants you get a higher yield and a reduction in the amortization time
- It has a very low environmental impact
- It has less fittings and anchor points than other panels
Disadvantages of hybrid solar panels
• It’s a fairly new technique that has yet to prove itself .
• Investment costs are quite high .
• Hybrid solar panels are especially suitable if you have a small roof area .
WHAT IS THE PRICE OF THE HYBRID SOLAR PANELS?
The price of a hybrid system is around 2 to 4 euros per watt peak. This price does not include VAT and installation costs.
The price depends on the type of panel / collector. An average family has an energy requirement of around 4000 watts.
The price of a hybrid system varies between 8,000 and 16,000 euros.
What are the types of hybrid solar panels?
Two types of hybrid systems can be distinguished:
1. PVT panels (high electrical performance)
These are standard solar panels behind which a special absorbent plate with copper tubes is fixed.
The heat of the sun heats the liquid in the copper pipes and makes it available to, for example, heat the water of the central heating.
PVT panels produce electricity and heat. The focus of these panels is mainly on the production of electricity.
2. PVT collectors (high calorific efficiency)
With the photovoltaic thermal collectors, the various components of the system are in an insulated housing and a glass plate is used.
Thanks to good insulation, the collector part can do its job efficiently and the thermal efficiency is quite high. Due to the higher temperatures in the system, the electrical efficiency is somewhat lower.
PVT collectors are especially suitable when there is a high demand for heat. PVT panels work well in combination with, for example, low temperature heating (combination with heat pump, etc.).
What types of hybrid solar panels are there? In deep
Throughout these years, the market for hybrid solar panels has evolved and brought new models available depending on the technology they have been incorporating.
In this way, EndeF began to use its own terminology to designate these models, classifying them by » generations «; said terminology, to this day, is the most widespread within the sector.
The jump from one «generation» to another is marked according to the degree of isolation that the panel itself and the covers it incorporates. In this way we can distinguish between:
– Generation 0 hybrid solar panel (PVT-0)
It is the primary and most basic model in the market for hybrid solar panels; The first hybrid solar panel created. Said panel is simply composed of photovoltaic cells, a heat absorber and a connection box for electrical wiring.
It does not have isolation by any of its sides, so that the temperature it can reach is much lower.
Given these characteristics, the location where these panels are usually installed are the pools since water is required at a lower temperature than, for example, in a house.
– 1st generation hybrid solar panel (PVT-1)
In this case, the union of the photovoltaic laminate and the thermal collector is incorporated a rear cover whose function is the conservation of heat, thus preventing it from being lost through the back of the panel.
The lack of cover only in the back makes, among other things, the photovoltaic laminate is not at such a high temperature, thus enhancing the electrical part of the panel.
These panels work at a lower temperature than hybrid models with a front cover, making them ideal for hot places and, especially, the locations where the photovoltaic part is intended to be enhanced.
Currently it is the hybrid solar panel that is sold the most around the world.
– 2nd generation hybrid solar panel (PVT-2)
The main characteristic of these panels is the incorporation of a transparent front cover . This achieves what pales for some is the main drawback of hybrid solar panels of previous generations: the loss of heat through the front.
Thus, insulating the panel itself on both sides achieves an even greater decrease in heat losses and, therefore, a considerable increase in the thermal performance of the panel.
By reducing both the heat losses, this panel is postulated as ideal for places with a cold climate and, above all, where what is intended is to enhance thermal production.
Before this always arises the same question: How to decide between one model or another?
- If you want to install in a hot place and / or is intended to enhance the electrical part: First generation hybrid solar panel.
- If you want to install in a cold place and / or you intend to enhance the thermal part: 2nd generation hybrid solar panel
The inclusion of CTA technology (Transparent Insulating Cover), patented by EndeF , makes ECOMESH a hybrid solar panel more efficient than those already existing on the market.
This technology favors the performance of the panel to increase in two ways.
As for the photovoltaic part, the fact that the water circulates inside the panel causes the photovoltaic cells to be cooled so that, when working at a lower temperature, the electricity generated is greater. In terms of thermal production, the CTA technology and the inert gas it incorporates improve panel efficiency
Where is it possible to install a hybrid solar panel?
While it is true that the installation of hybrid solar panels is ideal in those places where the surface on deck is small, any place, in principle, is likely to be a good location for this product.
In addition, these facilities charge special interest the greater the demand for domestic hot water (DHW).
In response to these two circumstances, the most recommended places to install this innovative technology are:
- Residences of the third age
- Residential buildings
- Sports centers
- Hospitals and clinics
- Car washes
In addition to all of them, and despite the fact that energy consumption is not as high, single-family homes are also presented as a possible scenario for hybrid solar panels.
When are hybrid solar panels recommended?
A PVT system is especially attractive when you want to generate a lot of energy per square meter and only have a small roof surface. It is also important that there is enough hot water every day, even in summer.
The latter is important because the PVT panels are cooled precisely with hot water. This cooling is important in relation to electrical efficiency.
Of course, you must also have enough space to place the storage container.
A PVT system is probably the most cost effective when you need a new boiler or a central heating boiler or in the case of a new construction.
How much energy do you save with a PVT panel?
The savings you can achieve depend, among other things, on the type of panel. With a PVT panel designed mainly for the production of high electricity, you can expect an average saving of 100 kWh and around 40 m³ of natural gas per square meter of collector surface.
What is the useful life of a hybrid system?
The useful life of a hybrid system with solar panels is around 30 years. The recovery period is 10 to 25 years, depending on the configuration, the heat requirement and the type of panels.
Climatic conditions and associated energy savings also play a role. The more sun, the more energy you will save. The mild winters are also beneficial.
Installation of a hybrid system
It is better to leave the installation of a hybrid system to an installation company. Due to the different components that make up the system, the placement is quite complex.
This mainly refers to the connections to the existing hot water system and the electrical connections.
The system must be configured in the right way so that the power can be returned to the power grid and adjusting the hot water supply also requires considerable experience.
In most cases, you are legally required to call a recognized installer.
Hybrid solar panels can be oriented towards the southeast or southwest. A ceiling inclination of 30 ° is generally optimal, but at least it should be between 20 and 40 °.
The shadows of buildings, trees and dormer windows should be avoided as much as possible, as they have a negative effect on the return. The roof should be strong enough because of the PVT panels are relatively heavy.
You should consider a weight of 12 to 15 kilograms per square meter.
In general, most modern and inclined roofs are more than calculated for this weight and no special reinforcement measures are needed.