Solar Station with Simultaneous Generation of Electric and Thermal Energy

Solar energy is the greatest source of energy that can be tapped from our planet. Conversion efficiency of monocrystalline silicone photovoltaic (PV) panels is about 15 – 18% of 1 kW/m2 of average solar energy available at ground level. The conversion efficiencies from solar to thermal energy are instead much higher and are typically 70 – 80%. 
Specialists of EcoAtom Company have discovered and developed special design and liquid covering onto photovoltaic solar panels which allows to enhance the efficiency of conversion in standard semiconductor solar cells by 20 – 30% [1,2]. Besides, the developed cells may absorb the diffuse solar radiation and operate without tracking system. 
The essence of the proposed project consists in combined using solar energy for simultaneous generation of electric and thermal energy from the same solar panel. 
This is implemented by circulation of mentioned liquid between glass plate, protecting photovoltaic cells from bad weather, and front surface of these cells. In this case circulating liquid serves as cooling system capable of lowering the temperature of PV panels, which increase the durability and photoelectric conversion efficiency of solar cells, and at the same time works as medium providing thermal energy which can be stored or used for immediately heating or cooling application. In the case of necessity solar panel can be provided by special light concentrators. 
Thus, EcoAtom’s solar panels operate simultaneously as electric and thermal energy source at their overall solar energy conversion efficiency will achieve up to 100%.

1. Armenia Patent No. 550, 1998.
2. Yu. A. Abrahamyan, V.I. Serago, V.M. Aroutionian, I.D. Anisimova, V.I. Stafeev, 
G.G. Karamyan, G.A. Martoyan, A.A. Mouradyan, The efficiency of solar cells 
immersed in liquid dielectrics, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, 2002, 
vol.73, pp. 367-375.