At Brunel University (London), Professor Hussam Jowhar's team developed a technology called PVadapt. They adapted and connected classic solar panels and a flat tube heat recirculation system. Two relatively simple, well-known technologies, combined with each other, have helped solve a number of pressing problems.
Solar panels perform better the more sunlight hits them - however, they heat up, which degrades the quality of their performance. If the excess heat is not removed, the efficiency of the system will begin to decline until the panels naturally cool down. Professor Jouhara suggested placing rows of compact flat tube heat exchangers between them - they are effectively used in many areas, from home gadgets to the ISS, where they do not allow direct and very hot rays of the Sun to melt the station equipment.
Photovoltaic cells capture photons and generate electricity, water circulates through flat tubes and carries away excess heat. The innovation of Jowhara's team is that they designed a very simple, Lego-like system of elements for assembling such hybrid panels of all sizes and profiles. This is a ready-made commercial product, cheap devices for all types of buildings, which, in addition to electricity, will be able to generate hot water for their residents.
The use of PVadapt technology, according to its authors, promises zero losses in the operation of solar energy. The panels assembled together successfully replace the roof and can be used as an additional architectural element. Such a roof is also self-cooling due to constant heat dissipation, so the building as a whole will heat up less - an excellent solution for hot climates, because air conditioning costs are traditionally high in all countries of the world.