First Hybrid Photovoltaic Solar Thermal Panel Cooling System

Industrial rooftop solar solutions company Chromasun today announced that it has extended its lead as a researcher and supplier of high performance energy solutions with the world’s first installation of a hybrid photovoltaic panel coupled with a solar thermal cooling system. The project was deployed in San Jose, CA in September 2011.

"This project is the first of its kind and uses the newly developed Chromasun hybrid photovoltaic panels and solar cooling system. By using the sun’s energy to generate electricity and then diverting waste heat to drive an absorption chiller, Chromasun can deliver more useful energy into the building than has ever been possible before. This is especially useful for facilities with large electricity and cooling loads," said Peter Le Lievre, CEO of Chromasun Inc. "While traditional photovoltaic panels may only harvest 15% of the sun’s energy, newer hybrid technologies harvest over 75%. Put simply, your roof can work harder for you."

The project builds upon hybrid photovoltaic receiver research and development work Chromasun has previously completed with The Australian National University and The University of New South Wales. Hybrid receivers were first developed and installed in standard Chromasun MCT Collectors and then mounted for testing and data collection at the 2007 Solar Decathlon House at Santa Clara University in San Jose, CA.

The new MCT Hybrid collectors are simultaneously connected to a Yazaki 5RT single effect chiller and a Sunny Boy inverter. 195⁰F hot water is supplied by the MCT Hybrid panels to the chiller and 250 Volt DC electricity is supplied to the inverter. Hot water is collected in a storage tank and is also available for domestic supply and hydronic heating as needed. The aim of the project is to demonstrate how even a small roof area can satisfy a large proportion and variety of energy demands typically found in modern buildings.

"I think the MCT Hybrid project represents the best opportunity that I know for establishing hybrid rooftop concentrators to provide greenhouse neutral energy independence," said Dr. Vernie Everett from the Australian National University. "An integrated system comprising several MCT units can provide all the electricity, hot water, space heating, and solar cooling for conventional houses. The range of units developed also has industrial applications for hospitality, food processing, hospitals, and sports centers to name just a few." Chromasun expects to formally launch the MCT Hybrid collector in 2012.

Founded in 2008, Chromasun is a leading developer and manufacturer of rooftop friendly high performance solar solutions. Chromasun’s unique MCT HT solar collector provides high grade thermal energy but in a familiar flat panel format with no external moving parts. The MCT HT is designed to drive high performance air-conditioning absorption chillers and other industrial process heat applications directly from sunlight. It is the most space efficient solar technology available and can produce more energy per unit of roof area than any competing technology. As a leader in the space, the Chromasun team of engineers and professionals have decades of experience in utility scale solar, air-conditioning engineering, product development and manufacturing.