Sunmaxx reports 80 percent efficiency for hybrid modules

Dresden, Germany-based Sunmaxx PVT GmbH, which intends to set up series production of photovoltaic-thermal (PVT) hybrid modules, has had its PX-1 module measured by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE and reports »80 percent efficiency« as the result.
The photovoltaic part of the module, which consists of PERC half cells, was measured to have 400 watts of electrical power under »full solar irradiation« at the maximum power point (MPP) and 25 degrees ambient temperature. The thermal power was determined to be 1,200 watts. In relation to the area of just under two square meters (1,750 by 1,140 millimeters), this corresponds to 20 percent electrical and 60 percent thermal efficiency, from which the manufacturer derives the figure of 80 percent overall efficiency. The thermal value, however, is the optical efficiency (Eta0), which is usually much higher (around 80 percent) for purely solar thermal collectors and in practice does not correspond to the collector efficiency due to temperature differences with the environment.
According to Sunmaxx PVT, the module heated up to a maximum of 30 degrees Celsius during the tests due to the integrated heat exchanger, significantly less than a pure photovoltaic module. Hydraulic measurements showed only a small pressure loss of 29 millibars.
According to the manufacturer, the PX-1 hybrid module can be mounted in landscape or portrait format using conventional mounting clamps; it weighs »approximately 3.5 kilograms« more per square meter of surface area than a pure photovoltaic module and is designed, among other things, for area-efficient solutions in conjunction with heat pumps. Series production is scheduled to begin at the end of this year. Sunmaxx PVT is already accepting reservations and advance orders.

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