PVT panels (PhotoVoltaic Thermic) are hybrid solar panels that are used in many different sectors at different sizes. This is because these panels produce heat and electricity at the same time. The electrical efficiency of a PVT panel is lower than a regular PV panel, and the temperature of the heat produced cannot be as high as that of a solar collector. However, this technology can be the solution when both heat and electricity are needed and the available area is limited. For example, a few PVT panels on the roof of your home can fully supply the heat demand for hot tap water (showering) in the sunny months and also produce electricity in the meantime.
In (industrial) processes that need heat and electricity all year round, the panels can provide much of the heat in the sunny months. However, the temperature is a lot lower than with solar collectors because otherwise the electrical efficiency will drop very much. Also, the heat can be stored well for shorter periods of time so that solar heat can be produced 24/7 in the sunny months using a heat buffer. The electricity produced can of course be used in the process or fed into the grid when there is a surplus.
On a very large scale for the built environment, for example, a seasonal buffer can be applied. This buffer is heated in the sunny months by solar collectors on roofs or fields. Due to the size of the buffer, the heat can be stored with a high efficiency for months. Thus, in the cold months with little sun, heating can still be done with solar heat. At the same time, electricity can be produced for the neighborhood.
When realizing a PVT installation, several issues and topics must be considered. These include:
Before starting the realization of a PVT installation, it is important to gain insight into the costs and revenues. You want to answer the question to what extent the realization of a PVT installation is financially attractive and feasible. This is made clear in the business case of the PVT installation. To make a business case Ekwadraat uses the following strategy:
Using special software, we make one or more designs for the location you have in mind. We link the production profile of this installation to the heat demand. This makes it clear what the mismatch is and how much buffer capacity is needed to absorb it. In consultation, we look at whether the production process can be optimized for this renewable heat source. We also examine how much of the electricity produced can be used by the company and what needs to be fed back into the grid.
Another important cost component is the realization of the network connection. Based on the sketch designs, we enter into consultation with the grid operator(s). During these consultations, we examine the possibilities for creating a grid connection and the costs involved.
Using the above information, we can draw up an overview of the expected investments. Against this we place the revenues, taking into account the energy prices and subsidy rates. This provides insight into the payback period and the return, if desired with a sensitivity analysis. When it appears that there is a positive business case for the PVT installation, the next steps can be taken.
When the SDE subsidy is granted, you will have 15 years of certainty of this income. This makes obtaining the necessary external financing more feasible. The investment cost of a PVT installation can be quite high. Due to the relatively long payback period, external financing is often required. Due to the SDE++ decision, the low interest rates and the government's policy on making the Netherlands more sustainable, financing can be obtained in many cases.
However, obtaining the necessary financing is not a simple process. It is important to approach the right parties so that a balanced choice of the most suitable partner can be made. In this process, legal and financial agreements are made between the initiator and the financier. These agreements are based on technical, legal, financial and due diligence studies. What needs to be considered is that there is sufficient equity to finance the development process.
There are many suppliers of PVT panels in the Netherlands. Each supplier has its own products and features. Finding the best supplier for the project can therefore be a challenge. At Ekwadraat we use a system by which, based on the requirements for your project (price, delivery time, maintenance etc.), we rank suppliers on suitability. Through this ranking system we find the most suitable supplier for the realization of the project.
Are you in the process of realizing a PVT installation? Or are you in the process of realizing a PVT installation? Or just curious whether it is interesting to make your heat demand and electricity consumption sustainable with PVT panels? Then we would be happy to help you realize this. With more than 16 years of experience in the field of solar energy, we can proudly say that we are experts in guiding initiators to a successful project. We know all the bottlenecks and opportunities you need to consider.