Combined solar panel
The newly designed system consists of an absorber and a heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is connected to a heat pump. The heat pump drains waste heat from the solar panel for further use and reduces the operating temperature of the panel. Waste heat from the panels can be used for example for heating family houses and apartment buildings, tempering weekend houses in winter, heating pools, or supporting energy-intensive operations (industrial buildings). The proposed technology can convert another part of the waste heat into electricity. Conversion of waste heat to electricity can compensate inappropriate lighting conditions or decrease in efficiency, due to weather conditions, but in any case it improves the energy balance of solar photovoltaic panels.
The proposed system of photovoltaic panels, including the heat pump, is connected to the electricity storage. The whole system becomes energy-independent and is capable of working in so-called island mode, i.e. without the need of connection to distribution network. Operation of the proposed system is environmentally friendly with zero CO2 emissions, low cost and environmentally safe.
Nowadays there is a great variety of photovoltaic panels on the market. Commonly available panels work with maximal efficiency of around 17% and performance of around 300-400 W, regarding optimal conditions. The rest of energy is transferred into waste heat. In addition, photovoltaic panels create so-called hot spots that shorten the lifecycle of the panel. On the market, there can also be found amorphous panels, which have a thin silicon layer on the glass panel. Although these panels have the lowest efficiency, they are also the least heatable and thus they can produce more electricity even in the case of being partially shaded. These panels convert solar energy only to electrical energy not the heat energy.
To obtain heat from solar radiation, heat collectors are installed, paradoxically having the highest efficiency, but solar energy is converted only to heat, not to electricity. None of the commonly available systems combine the use of waste heat for heating with the production of electricity.
Our proposed technology is a combination of sources of electricity and heat as it can produce both electricity and heat. With this technology, we are able to achieve electrical output of 300-500 W. The overall efficiency of the entire plant is, including the utilization of waste heat, up to 90%.