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The 19th century stable yard

The 19th century stable yard
NTPL Zoƫ Colbeck

Friday, 8 April 2011

PV-T: 2-4-1 solar power

The sun is shining which makes it the perfect day (apart from yesterday and with any luck the weekend as well) to introduce the latest addition to the stable yard: an array of 22 Photovoltaic-Thermal (PV-T) panels.  These innovative solar panels, manufactured by Newform Energy , have now been installed on the south-facing roof of the stable yard. 

A PV-T panel is a single solar collector or panel which generates electricity and heats water. It does this by combining a photovoltaic (PV) collector with a high efficiency solar thermal collector underneath. 

Strange as it sounds, PV collectors work most effectively at lower temperatures. Less hard to believe, especially on a sunny day like today, is that the surface temperature on the collector can reach 100˚C on a sunny summer’s day in England. At this temperative, the collector's efficiency is greatly reduced with the result that it could produce as little as 10% of its maximum output. 

The magic of the PV-T is that the thermal collector uses a fluid cooling system to draw excess heat away from the PV collector and therefore improve its efficiency. This excess heat is then used to heat water which will be used in the stable yard in under-floor heating and for handwashing.

Although bulkier than conventional PV panels, PV-T have the advantage of being up to 40% more efficient than the conventional PV panels which have been installed on the west facing roof. 

The PV-T on the south-facing roof. NTPL/Nancy Falloon
The PV-T, PV panels and PV slates will be commissioned (wired up) later on in the renovation work. 

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