OPVT – Hybrid solar collector (PVT) in polymer materials

OPVT is a German R&D project, on which Aventa collaborates. The objective of the project is to develop a hybrid solar collector composed of an organic PV component and a polymeric solar thermal component for the cost competitive, renewable energy production of both heat and electricity. The collectors will be designed as building-integrated solar envelope modules in order to meet future energy scenarios, which are directed towards zero energy or plus energy buildings. Tomorrow’s building skins have to be transformed to multi-functional roofs and facades producing heat (cooling) and electric power. 

The OPVT project aims to develop a more efficient combination of PVT by using organic photovoltaic cells with a positive temperature coefficient for the efficiency, which will permit higher operating temperatures. The organic solar cells have physical properties favouring the combination with polymeric solar collectors. The new collector will introduce a significant improvement with regard to costs and performance compared to existing PVT-products of metal-based solar collectors and silicon-based solar cells. By applying new materials like organic solar cells combined with solar collectors of polymeric materials, a better fit is obtained between the combined output in terms of renewable electric and heat energy. Added values will be the design as building-integrated solar envelope modules, superior ecological life-cycle balance, lower weight, dimensional flexibility and expected lower cost of the produced energy for the end-user.

Fraunhofer ISE (Institute for Solar Energy Systems) initiated the OPVT project together with German industry partners. Aventa was invited to participate as producer of state of the art polymeric solar collectors. Fraunhofer ISE is Europe’s largest Solar Research Institute, world leading in the field of solar energy research, both within PV, ST and solar building research.