Hybrid solar panel

If the use of solar energy to produce electricity and obtain hot water is not something new, what is innovative is the possibility of giving two uses to a single installation. This is precisely the difference and the advantage brought by the hybrid solar panel, which will combine once two well-known concepts enter the market, but separately: the electricity produced with photovoltaic panels and the thermal collectors to heat the water.

The idea of ​​uniting the two universes and shaping a unique system that allows you to take advantage of photovoltaic and thermal energy, part of Luis López López, promoter of the hybrid solar panel. Although he has not yet reached the market or the production phase on a commercial scale, his proposal has gained attention and he already has the patent to shape this system. At the moment, the results of tests carried out with prototypes confirm that it works.

But, What exactly will this hybrid panel offer? Well, a two in one. A unique system suitable for residential and commercial use, which will promote double use of captured solar energy, as electricity, in the case of solar panels, and as a response to acclimatize water, through thermal collectors.

For this, the mechanism designed integrates photovoltaic cells placed on a heat absorption system forming a single module. In addition to the usual wiring for any panel, this system has a zone through which heat is emitted, which will be used to heat the water. A hydraulic circuit and a thermo-insulated tank complete the design so that this dual use can be given.

This does not reduce the power generation capacity, because the photovoltaic cells in this 2 × 1 panel not only work like the others, but they do so with improved performance. This is so because the thermal slope of this unit avoids the excess temperature which has such a big and negative impact on the performance of solar panels before its exposure to the sun.

The promoter of this idea underlines a up to 15% improvement in the performance of photovoltaic panels thanks to the heat transfer that occurs with this system which, for the same reason, extends the useful life of the installation.

The benefits continue. The most obvious: the halve the space needed to give the energy captured by the sun both uses, moving from two pieces of equipment to one with the ability to simultaneously obtain electrical energy and thermal energy. The reduction in production and installation costs adds to the strengths of this system.

In addition, the hybrid solar panel will be suitable for home use and also on a larger scale, with the possibility of producing heat for industrial uses, sanitary facilities, swimming pools, etc. On the other hand, the promoter of this idea considers that opting for this technology in power plants or solar parks is also advisable to cool the systems and ensure that they operate at full capacity.