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Photovoltaic Thermal PVT

The Volther Hybrid PV-T panel is a single solar collector which produces electricity, heating and domestic hot water:

  • Hybrid technology which combines, monocrystalline photovoltaics and a high efficiency solar thermal collector.
  • A simple low cost, low maintenance energy solution able to facilitate the government’s zero-carbon strategy.
  • Higher output efficiency at lower temperatures than equivalent monocrystalline PV.
  • Space saving as only one panel is required to produce both heat and electricity.
  • Greatly improved paybacks in generally about eight years when taking into account Feed-In Tariff and proposed Renewable Heat Incentive rates and factoring in the avoided electricity and heating bills.
  • Low maintenance &, unlike heat pumps, wind turbines or other renewable sources of energy, virtually fit and forget.
  • Providing opportunities to most residential and light commercial low energy buildings to reach zero-carbon.

What is a Volther Hybrid PV-T collector?

A PV-T collector is a combined assembly of a: PV module - for the conversion of electrical energy and a high efficiency flat plate solar collector - for the conversion of thermal energy.

Photovoltaics (PV) as semiconductors have one drawback: degradation in performance due to temperature. In the UK on a sunny midsummer's day, when one would expect PV to be producing at peak capacity, panel temperatures can reach over 80°C. At this temperature the average PV install will be only working at approximately 75% of its optimum efficiency.

PV-T regulates panel temperature using a fluid cooling system creating a balanced system trading off between PV efficiency and thermal output. Using this principle it is possible to obtain a higher electrical yield - up to as much as 40% increase in instantaneous electrical efficacy compared with the equivalent area of mono-crystalline PV and enough free heat to offset a low energy building’s annual heating requirements.

What can be achieved with a PV-T collector?

PV-T collectors allow you to set up a total solar energy system, for both electric and thermal energy generation. Because of its cooling-effect on the PV module this system has a higher efficiency at a lower cost price than separate similar efficiency PV and Solar Thermal systems. Furthermore savings are achieved on installation costs, with only one installation being required. In combination with geothermal storage, this system can be used to take low energy buildings to, or near to, zero-carbon.

Collector types and correct product selection?

There are two types of Volther PVT collector: PowerVolt and PowerTherm. Correct panel selection will depend on individual project’s requirements.

Volther PowerTherm

The PowerTherm collector has been developed to maximise the thermal return of the panel, essentially making it an enhanced thermal collector capable of electrical production. The peak outputs of this panel are180/680 watts electrical/thermal respectively.

  • The PowerTherm collector will produce roughly 80% of the output of the equivalent area of solar thermal but it also produces electricity.
  • The PowerTherm collector is ideal for customers with restricted roof space trying to maximise the energy return from an available area.
  • The collector is ideal for use with swimming pools, operating at lower temperatures supplying year round heat to the pool and electrical energy to offset the running of pool equipment.
  • PowerTherm can be used in conjunction with ground source heat pumps, feeding excess summer heat into the ground which is then recovered during colder periods to heat a building. PV-T is capable of producing a zero-carbon building as part of such an integrated solution in a low energy building.

Powertherm 180

Above: Volther PowerTherm 180W

Volther PowerVolt
The PowerVolt collector has been developed to maximise the electrical return of the panel essentially making it an enhanced PV collector capable which produces a reasonable amount of heat. The peak outputs of this panel are 200/460 watts electrical/thermal respectively.
When correctly installed the PowerVolt collector will produce roughly 15% more electricity than conventional Photovoltaics and also provide a contribution to the thermal requirements of a building.
The PowerVolt collector is ideal for customers wishing to maximise the electrical energy returns from a given area. A UK house with 16m2 or more of available south facing roof area can use the PowerVolt panel to produce the equivalent annual output of 18.4m2 of conventional monocrystallinePhotovoltaics. The same area of PowerVolt collectors will offset around the same amount of thermal energy as 4.2m2 of conventional solar thermal collectors. With separate PV and Solar Thermal systems over 22m2 of roof area would be required to produce the same amount of thermal and electrical energy.
The PowerVolt collector also has numerous commercial applications and when actively cooled can produce impressive electrical energy outputs.

Above: Volther PowerVolt 200w

What about life expectancy and warranty?

Both our Volther collectors, PowerVolt and PowerTherm come with a 10 year manufacturer’s warrantee and guaranteed output of at least 80% after 25 years.

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