NIBE Energy Systems has launched a brand-new Photovoltaic-Thermal (PV-T) and Heat Pump solution which offers an innovative approach of transforming a NIBE “ground-source” heat pump product into a “multi-source” heat pump product.
NIBE PV-T collector is an alternative, innovative, and silent heat source for use with NIBE ground source heat pumps, removing the requirement of a ground or bore hole collector array. The PV-T collectors produce electrical energy that can be used to operate a ground source heat pump. On a hot day, the circulating brine helps cool the PV-T panel, increasing PV-T generation efficiency.
Following successful trials in homes and public sector buildings in the UK, NIBE is pleased to officially launch this new technology which produces two types of energy, thermal energy and electricity, by using a unique solar panel. The PV-T system builds on NIBE’s promise to continuously update its products, and to make it easy to be ‘smart.’
The system was recently successfully installed at the University of West London. The ground-breaking scheme is considered as one of the largest of its kind in the world and was made possible thanks to a £5 million Public Sector Decarbonisation Fund. The project involved the replacement of old gas boilers with ground source heat pumps alongside 580 solar PV-T panels. The site remained active throughout the build due to the use of prefabricated structures and the innovative PV-T design removing the need for extensive groundworks.
Jonny Hancock, Product Manager at NIBE Energy Systems (UK) said:
“The NIBE PV-T collector is an alternative, innovative and silent heat source for use with NIBE ground source heat pumps. The installation of a PV-T array can be utilised as a direct alternative or supplement to a traditional borehole or surface collector, while delivering the same levels of efficiency. It is also an excellent solution for when an air/water solution is not desirable.
“PV-T panels are equipped with PV cells at the front that convert sunlight into electricity. The rear consists of a thermal heat exchanger that extracts aerothermal energy from the ambient air. The operation of the heat exchanger is therefore comparable to that of an air/water heat pump, without the requirement of a mechanical fan. A PV-T system therefore works 100% silently. Depending on the heating requirements, they can replace traditional boreholes or ground arrays, minimising disruption and removing the need for extensive ground works which can be impractical on some sites.”
The PV-T collector is designed so that even on cloudy days and at night, the heat exchanger provides sufficient energy for the heat pump. In warmer months, the heat extracted by the collector helps cool the PV aperture surface, improving generation efficiency.
The system has also been designed to provide additional comfort in the summer through passive cooling – increasing efficiencies and maximising carbon savings. It can also be used in new build properties to provide an efficient solution where noise is a concern and space is at a premium.