Photovoltaic-Thermal Hybrid Solar System

Photovoltaic-thermal (PV-T) hybrid solar systems increase electricity production by cooling the PV panel and using the removed thermal energy to heat water. They use the same footprint as a standard PV system.

Green Proving Ground (GPG) assessed the nation’s first large-scale PV-T system installed at the Thomas P. O’Neill, Jr., Federal Building in Boston, Massachusetts. It provided many lessons learned in system design. It also identified a target market of locations with high utility costs and electric hot water.

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GPG Findings 016, January 2015, PHOTOVOLTAIC-THERMAL HYBRID SOLAR SYSTEM. Opportunity: What are therenewable energy goals of federal mandates? 7.5% OF ELECTRICTY GENERATED BY RENEWABLES.30% OF HOT WATER HEATED WITH SOLAR. Technology: What is the advantage of PV-T? INCREASES PV PANEL EFFICIENCY BY LOWERING PV TEMPERATURE CAPTURES HEAT FOR OTHER USES SUCH AS DOMESTIC HOT WATER. Measurement and Verification: Where did M and V occur? NATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY LABORATORY measured performance of   a PV-T system installed at the O’Neill Federal Building in Boston, Massachusetts. Results:How did PV-Tperform in M&V? 1st LARGE-SCALE INSTALLATION; NUMEROUS LESSONS LEARNED. LIMITED COST-EFFECTIVE DEPLOYMENT POTENTIAL COMPETITIVE WITH TRADITIONAL SOLAR WHEN 30-50% LESS EXPENSIVE.Cost-effective when electricity rates are high. Deployment: Where does M&V recommend deploying PV-T? HIGH ELECTRIC RATES.Small facilities, with electric rates > $.30 k/Wh, in hot climates with large domestic hot water (DHW) loads and limited roof space. Incentives can lower system costs by as much as 75% [PDF - 238 KB]

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Last Reviewed: 2021-09-28