Josh Marks

World's First Integrated Solar System Generates Electricity and Heat

by , 06/17/14

integrated solar system, electricity and heat, Australian Renewable Energy Agency, solar PV, solar thermal

In what could be a game changer for the solar energy industry, a house in suburban Sydney, Australia has installed the world’s first building integrated solar system that generates electricity and heat. The rooftop array combines thin-film solar photovoltaic (PV) panels with a solar thermal duct system that warms and cools the air. The top layer produces electricity from the sun just as a normal PV panel would, while heat is trapped between the layers and distributed to the home.

integrated solar system, solar PV, solar thermal, electricity and heat, ARENA
Image via ARENA

Australian steel manufacturer Bluescope produced the $5 million integrated PV thermal system with government assistance via a $2.3 million grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). “Today we are witnessing an exciting new technology solution moving from the lab to be prototyped on everyday Australian rooftops for the first time,” said ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht. “These first installations are an important step as the technology moves towards commercialization and cost competitiveness with conventional rooftop PV.”

Related: Solar Power Could be the World’s Top Energy Source by 2050

The integrated solar system could eventually reduce installation and energy costs, improve building energy efficiency and reduce peak demand pressure on the power grid. Despite the project’s success, climate change-denying Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s right-wing administration wants to close ARENA as part of an all-out attack on clean energy.

+ Australian Renewable Energy Agency

Via CleanTechnica

Lead image via Renew Economy

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7 Comments

  1. alowens2013 December 6, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    People who set out with no regard for the environment are the cause of climate change! This is a very amazing beginning to a better life! Why would someone want to shut the company who innovated it? Maybe because the root to all evil is money!

  2. cdwmt9 September 10, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    Hey Josh, This has already been done… Check out this house that we built back in 2005. http://solarhouse.mst.edu/houses/2005.shtml

  3. Alain Beauregard July 8, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    This should be now.. Tomorrow will be to late. There are other technology comming in…

  4. James Kirby June 24, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    Cool idea, but not the world’s first. Englert–a US metal panel manufacturer–has had a system for PV and hot water for a couple years already. Good to see expansion of the idea. http://www.englertinc.com/blog/09-2013/solar-thermal-and-standing-seam-metal-roof-systems-perfect-together/

  5. Roger Traviss June 18, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Also generates income for hospitals it seems.

    Looks like those roofers aren’t wearing any fall arrest. Great advertising for your products and your country’s safety standards. NOT!!!!!!!

  6. Toasty RaumTänzer June 18, 2014 at 8:17 am

    Awesome! I would love to be able to use some technology like that!
    Thank you for helping to make our world a better place to live in.

  7. Lyn Samantha June 17, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    We live in Southwest Virginia, United States. Would these work with the seasonal climate changes that we have?

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