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Photovoltaic Solar Hot Water Panels Reap Multiple Benefits
Posted By Philip Proefrock On August 13, 2010 @ 2:45 pm In green technology,Solar Power | 7 Comments
Solar panel manufacturer Solimpeks  is offering a hybrid solar panel  that is capable of providing both electricity and water heating  from the same panel. The panels are ideal for applications where there is limited roof space available, but both solar electricity and solar hot water are desired. Even better, the combination of the two functions actually improves the efficiency of the electrical generation of the photovoltaics.
These hybrid panels address a problem  most solar panels have: as photovoltaic (PV) panels get hotter, they get less efficient at generating electricity. A PV panel is about 1% less efficient for every 3.5 degrees F temperature increase. The Solimpeks  panels address this by using water to absorb excess heat and keep the panels cooler. Water cooling is far more effective than air cooling, making this a very effective combination. The heated water is then used to provide the additional benefit of hot water for the building.
Testing has shown the efficiency of electrical generation to be as high as 28% while at the same time producing 140-160 degree F water. This works out to an improvement of 20% over a similar sized electric-only PV array, and without the added hot water benefit, either.
Keeping the panels cooler has the additional benefit of extending their lifespan, keeping them in service for a longer period of time. These panels will also be able to pay back their installation cost more quickly since they are providing both electricity and hot water.
+ Solimpeks 
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 Solimpeks: http://www.solimpeks.com/en/products_list.php?cont_id=25&cat_id=33
 hybrid solar panel: http://www.solimpeks.com/en/news_detail.php?cont_id=26&prod_id=62
 water heating: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/07/29/nys-new-solar-thermal-plan-will-save-the-state-175-million-annually/
 Image: http://inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2010/08/Solimpeks-5.jpg
 problem: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/08/02/stanford-harnesses-light-and-heat-with-new-solar-tech/
 World Architecture News: http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=14490
 EcoGeek: http://www.ecogeek.org/component/content/article/3216
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