Innovative Duplex Solar PV Technology

Innovative Duplex Solar PV Technology
We know about Duplex houses where, a single dwelling unit spread over two floors connected by an indoor staircase. Now there arrived a kind of innovative solar panels in the market which are duplex.

Yes it’s true!!!


These solar panels are having two compartments where in one generates electric power as usual and the second one beneath it will generate hot water simultaneously.

Generally solar PV modules will have an efficiency in range of 18 to 20 % which shows a loss of nearly 80%. This loss will be majorly dissipated in form of heat which is untapped. There are certain applications like hotels, hospitals and IT buildings with inbuilt canteen etc., where there will be requirement of both electric power and heat energy. In such cases if the facility wants to switch to a cleaner energy then the options are like;

1. Install separate solar panels for both electricity and hot water generation.

2. Install solar panels of higher capacity to generate power where in a portion of it will be used to power up resistance heaters.

Drawback in the first case is separate capital investment for both the systems and requirement of more space for installation. In second case along with increases capital cost for higher rating installation there also exists inherent conversion losses involved in electric heater. 

For these kind of applications duplex panels will be considered as the best suitable alternative, as they will utilise a portion of dissipating heat energy to generate hot water simultaneously along with power generation. They are able to bring up the system efficiency to nearly 40% with this advancement.

The dimension of the panels are same as a standard solar photovoltaic panel or a conventional hot water panel. As per manufacturer specification one duplex panel can generate 330W power and 100-120 litres of hot water per day. The approx. cost of installing one duplex solar panel is about Rs 20,000. For smaller installations pricing may be 10 %  - 15% higher but for little larger installations it may be almost same as conventional solar PV system.

Other than hotels, hospitals , industries, even for residential applications, this technology suits best. Hot water can be stored and used likewise in normal solar water heating systems.

Case Study:

Indian Railways has long been on the drive to reduce their carbon footprint investing in conventional solar PV technologies for their railway platforms. However, for the running rooms maintained by Indian Railways (running rooms are places where Train pilots, TC’s etc. rest between their journeys), traditional solar technologies can not satisfy the overall energy requirement of the buildings due to roof top space limitation. Indian Railways needed a technology that can deliver both hot water and electricity within a limited rooftop space; and “Duplex panel” was just proved as the right solution.

A 5kW + 1000 LPD solar energy system consisting of patented 'Duplex' solar panel  is able to meet the entire energy demands of the building while occupying only 450 sq. ft of roof top space and while costing the same as conventional systems. (Conventional standalone systems would have needed nearly 1000sq. ft to deliver the same electricity and hot water).

*Case study taken from technology suppliers website


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