Hybrid solar module sets 80 per cent efficiency record
March 29, 2023 by Joshua S Hill Leave a Comment
German-based solar photovoltaic thermal (PVT) system manufacturer Sunmaxx PVT has set a new efficiency record of 80% for its premium PX-1 module.
Sunmaxx PVT's combination of PV and thermal technology results in both electricity and heat generation, creating what the company bills as "an almost self-sufficient energy system."
As the website explains it: "PVT modules capture sunlight and convert it into electricity just like a photovoltaic system.
"In contrast to pure PV systems, however, PVT systems have a built-in ‘air conditioning system:’ Heat exchangers on the back of the PVT module extract heat from the PVT unit and transfer it to a heating circuit. At the same time, the cooling of the solar cells further increases the electricity yield."
Based on the latest PVT module technology, the PX-1 consists of 108 PERC half-cells in an M10 format with power of 400W, resulting in an electrical efficiency of 20%.
The thermal component, however, corresponded to an efficiency of 60% under full solar irradiation and 25°C ambient and module temperature as well as a wind speed of 0 m/s.
Overall, the PX-1 module was found to achieve an efficiency of 80% by independent measurements made by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE).
Fraunhofer ISE also conducted additional testing at outdoor and indoor test stations, which showed that the module heats up to a maximum temperature of 30°C under full irradiation – as compared to traditional PV modules which can reach temperatures of up to 80°C under such conditions, which leads to significant losses in electrical efficiency.
According to Sunmaxx PVT, these findings demonstrate the excellent efficiency of the heat exchanger used by Sunmaxx, technology which stems from the automotive industry's thermal management.
"These excellent results underscore the performance of our unique technology and successful development work with our partners," said Sunmaxx CEO Wilhelm Stein.
"There are basically no obstacles to the PVT market ramp-up."
Filed Under: Solar