Hybrid cells produce electricity and heat water

The biggest enemy of photovoltaic cells is heat, which reduces their efficiency. A team of researchers from Brunel University London has developed hybrid cells in which heat is also used and is used to heat water that can then be used at home.

Photovoltaic cells are yet less than perfect technology to fully replace the current supplied by the power grid. Their efficiency is still low, and besides, it is further reduced by the heat transmitted along with the sun’s rays. This makes the panels warm up, thereby producing less current, and additionally temperatures can cause damage to the cells.

However, researchers at Brunel University London have developed a new hybrid type of cell that solves heat problems. Their panels are a combination of photovoltaic cells and flat heat-filled liquid tubes. Thanks to this solution, the cells can simultaneously produce electricity and heat water, and additionally serve as a cooling system for the cells themselves, draining heat and increasing their efficiency.

Laboratory tests of the new solution have shown that thanks to the use of heat pipes, the cells are as cool as 15 percent compared to standard panels. They are also very easy to install and the individual components just connect each other in the same way as connecting the floor panels.