Dual function solar panels that generate heat along with electricity seem to be a perfect option for homeowners with less rooftop real estate. However, solar photovoltaic thermal systems conventionally available are based on the use of crystal silicon cells that are good in generating electricity, but not no efficient when it comes to producing heat. A team of two researchers at the Queen’s University have come up with new technology that they claim generates more heat energy and also enhances solar electricity output by 10 percent.
Unlike PVT systems based on the use of crystal silicon cells, the new photovoltaic technology makes use of amorphous silicon cells, which offers higher operating temperatures for more energy. The study shows that amorphous silicon makes a highly economical PVT option. The technology could prove to be a boon for people living in areas such as Canada, where residents are in need of both solar electricity and solar heat without having a large rooftop surface area.
Apart from generating more heat and electricity, amorphous silicon also requires less material, costs less to manufacture and hence offers a better return on investment.
Via: Queens University [Press Release]