Getting heat and power out of roof tiles

Panotron presents an innovative solar hybrid system with integrated heat pump at Intersolar Europe

Panotron AG in Kirchberg near Bern has come up with a roof tile incorporating monocrystalline solar modules that produce both electric current and warm water. The prototype solar tile has been in service on a test roof in Switzerland since last autumn. Panotron‘s new solar energy system debuted at the Intersolar Europe Trade Fair in June. Hooked up to a heat pump, such a roof can satisfy most of a home‘s heat demand. At the same time, the user‘s aesthetically attractive photovoltaic roof tiles generate valuable (= renewable) solar electricity. Also in June, the young company launched their innovative hybrid system on the German market.


Aluminium sections transport heat, power and data

The system is modular and can therefore be expanded at will. It is very flexible and adapts to any shape of roof; space for windows and bricks in the roof is simply left out where needed. The special 48 V system voltage offers unique advantages for partial shading. The traversable, hail-proof solar energy system generates 72 watts of electricity and over 100 watts of thermal energy per square metre.

Installation is easy: the clay tiles are simply suspended in specially designed aluminium sections that take the place of the otherwise customary horizontal wooden battens. Heat generation takes place behind the tiles, which are available in 11 different colours. A frostproof mixture of water and glycol transports the thermal energy through the aluminium sections to the heat pump. The same sections house the electric cables that transfer the electricity from the photovoltaic modules to the inverters. The modules are equipped with one telltale lamp each, so the roofer can check to see that each individual module has been connected up correctly.

Central data communication software enables remote monitoring and optimization of the solar system‘s operation and yields by the user and/or the building services contractor. The Internet-based software transmits power data to any desired location via a remote-control function.


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