I recently installed a fan in my roof to pump out the hot air from the attic and help keep the house cooler during the summer. I also have a solar panel on the roof to produce hot water. It seems logical that the solar energy harnessed for the water heater should also be able to provide electricity to operate the fan, right? Well, it turns out it’s not that simple – so until I install a separate photovoltaic (PV) solar panel on the roof, the fan will be plugged into an electric socket instead.
It would be nice to have a single solar panel capable of producing both hot water and electricity. A Turkish company, Solimpeks Solar Energy Corp., is producing precisely this type of combined system, and has now been awarded MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) certification for its Volther hybrid system.
According to the company’s communication director, Kemal Ibis, it is the only product to receive such certification for both solar thermal and solar electricity. “This certification will help us to ramp up to sell in the UK because in England it’s compulsory for selling and getting into the Feed-In Tariff program in both the solar electricity and solar thermal scheme,” he explained in an email.
According to Ibis, the hybrid system costs approximately 20% less than installing separate systems for PV and solar hot water – and it looks nicer on the roof than a set of two different panels. In addition, the combined system is said to offer higher PV efficiency and durability by keeping the solar collectors cooler.
Solimpeks produces two types of Volther hybrid systems, one (PowerVolt) optimized for electricity production and another (PowerTherm) optimized for hot water production. So far, the company has installed systems in Turkey and Western Europe, and is planning to launch in other markets.
Image via Solimpeks
Read more on Green Prophet :