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PV-T (Photovoltaic - Thermal)

Photovoltaic–thermal (PV-T) technology converts solar energy into both electricity and heat. It consists of a typical solar PV module, coupled with a solar thermal collector installed on the back of the PV module to heat domestic hot water (DHW) or ventilation air. A primary feature of this system is that the efficiency of a PV module decreases as the cell temperature increases. Typically, the conversion efficiency of a crystalline silicon PV module drops by 0.3 to 0.4 % when the cell temperature increases 1 °C. The temperature of the solar PV module can be maintained by the solar thermal collector attached to the back of the PV module.


The thermal collector (absorber) is attached to the back of an off-the-shelf PV module. The sun does not hit the thermal collector directly; instead the solar energy that is not converted into electricity by the PV panel can be collected as useful heat by the solar thermal collector. This increases the overall efficiency of the PVT system.



- Photovoltaic-Thermal new technology demonstration, NREL (2015)


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