Did you know that you can utilise the power of the sun to generate electricity and heating for your home? A system of solar PV and solar thermal panels allows you to produce both electricity and heat, providing plenty of benefits.
As leading specialists in solar power in the south, we can design and install a bespoke system that will work for you and your home.
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Do PV and Thermal panels work together?
If you’re looking to harness as much of the sun’s power as possible, you can install both a solar PV system and a solar thermal system.
This solution is becoming more popular with people installing several solar PV panels on their roofs next to a number of solar thermal panels. The two separate systems allow you to heat water from the warmth of the sun while also converting the sun’s light into electricity.
As this solution grows, hybrid panels are beginning to appear on the market.
How do hybrid solar panels work?
From the outside, hybrid solar panels look the same as solar PV panels. However, they are slightly different from the inside as they also have pipes built into the collector. These pipes have a fluid that circulates between them and a water cylinder.
While the sun is shining on the panels, the light is absorbed by the PV cells and converted into electrical energy and the heat is absorbed by the solar thermal elements.
Pros and cons of hybrid solar panels
Hybrid panels take up less space than having both PV and thermal panels on your roof, as both panels are combined into one panel. This makes them ideal for homes that don’t have much roof space, such as townhouses or terrace houses.
However, as the panels aren’t as mainstream as PV and thermal panels are, they can be expensive because installers and materials could be harder to find. Additionally, hybrid panels don’t reach the same high temperature as thermal panels do therefore, additional heating is required.
With this in mind, a better solution would be to have both solar PV panels and solar thermal panels on your roof, allowing optimum energy efficiency from both panels.
Is this solution energy efficient?
Solar PV panels have around 15% to 20% efficiency, so you will need more of these panels to generate more electricity. Meanwhile, solar thermal panels have an efficiency rate of 70%, so fewer of these panels are required, making up for the larger amount of space needed for the PV panels.
Both thermal and PV panels are cost-effective, so while they can have a high upfront cost, the money you save on bills will level out the initial cost eventually.