New technology for photovoltaic solar thermal modules
René Siegerink, an automation engineer living in the Netherlands, has developed a new concept for the heating of the future. Siegerink installed a PV system on the roof of his single-family home and modified some of the modules so that they not only produce electricity but also replaced the heating of the house. He designed an attachment that is pinned to the back of the photovoltaic modules as a heat source for a brine-water cycle. The attachment is also suitable for retrofits, he reports.
His solution does not feed the heat from the modified PV module directly into the house's heating system but uses it as a source for a heat pump. A fluid circulates between the heat exchanger on the roof and the heat pump, which cools it and pumps it back to the roof, where it is reheated in the ambient air. Since no solar radiation is required in this process the module's thermal unit can operate at lower temperatures compared to traditional solar thermal collectors. In addition, the heat exchanger heats up during the night due to the ambient air as its back side is not insulated. As for the warranty issue, Siegerink convinced the manufacturer of the PV module that his heat exchanger does not affect the module in any way but increases the electrical output due to the cooling effect. Siegerink also does not need to drill a hole in the ground on the property for his heating system, unlike standard brine-to-water heat pump solutions.
Source: pv-magazine, article by Cornelia Lichner from 09/21/2021: https://www.pv-magazine.com/2021/09/21/hybrid-pv-thermal-modules-providing-heat-source-to-brine-water-heat-pumps/ (last access on 09/22/2021 at 10.50 a.m.)