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Merging Photovoltaic Panels and Solar Thermal Collectors – How Photovoltaic Thermal (PVT) Hybrid Collectors Boost Environmental Performance
R. Itten, S. Manatschal, M. Stucki, L. Brottier
Photovoltaic Modules and BoS Components
Subtopic: Sustainability and Recycling
Event: 37th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 4DO.6.2
ISBN: 3-936338-73-6
0,00 EUR
Document(s): presentation


Increased solar energy supply is crucial for the decarbonisation of the European energy system in order to limit climate change. A technology to produce solar electricity as well as heat are photovoltaic thermal hybrid solar collectors (PVT). PVT modules are a promising technology since they not only allow for the generation of heat in addition to electricity but they also increase the solar conversion efficiency due to the cooling effect of the heat exchanger on the photovoltaic panel. The aim of our analysis was to quantify the environmental impact of a PVT system in comparison to other systems for the provision of electricity and hot water. Therefore, we collected information on the production of PVT modules from the producer DualSun and established corresponding Life Cycle Inventory models for the full life cycle of PVT modules. As comparison systems for electricity and heat production we used (1) photovoltaics in combination with a solar thermal system, (2) European electricity mix at grid in combination with a natural gas-fired boiler and (3) European electricity mix at in combination with an air-water heat pump. The functional unit is defined as the energy yield of 1 kWh of electricity and 0.97 kWh of hot water over a life time of 30 years. The PVT module is modelled as combination of photovoltaic module and a heat exchanger as well as mounting system, electrical components including inverters and thermal components including hot water storage, pipes and circulation pumps. The Life Cycle Impact Assessment includes greenhouse gas emissions, primary energy, ReCiPe 2016 Endpoint (H) as well as the recommended midpoints for PEF.