Chromasun has completed what the company says is the world's first installation of a hybrid photovoltaic panel coupled with a solar thermal cooling system. The project was deployed in San Jose, Calif.
‘This project is the first of its kind and uses the newly developed Chromasun hybrid photovoltaic panels and solar cooling system,’ says CEO Peter Le Lievre, explaining that the project uses solar energy to generate electricity and then divert waste heat to drive an absorption chiller.
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.
The new MCT Hybrid collectors are simultaneously connected to a Yazaki 5RT single-effect chiller and a Sunny Boy inverter. Hot water, at 195 degrees F, is supplied by the MCT Hybrid panels to the chiller, and 250 VDC electricity is supplied to the inverter, the company explains. 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, Chromasun says.
Chromasun expects to formally launch the MCT Hybrid collector in 2012.