Skip to content

How do Hybrid PVT Panels Work?


Hybrid PVT (Photovoltaic and Thermal) solar panels produce electricity and hot water simultaneously and optimize available roof or outdoor space for renewable energy production. They convert solar energy into electric power and hot fluid. Electric Power can be used to power your light and applicances and hot fluid can be used for heating spaces, producing domestic hot water or, process heating or cooling.

Panels Components

Hybrid PVT panels are a combination of solar PV and solar thermal panels, installed in series. The first two layers are the the transparent insulation layer and of the photvoltaic cells. PV cells produce DC electricial power.

Below the PV cell, Heat accumulator absorbs the remaining solar energy, that is not converted into electrical energy, and transmits this energy to hydronic coil where a heat transfer fluid is heated.

The Heated Fluid can be used for various applications such Space Heating, Process Heating, Domestic Hot Water and Swimming Pool Heating and many other applications. 

In hot and mild climates, Hybrid PVT panels have superior thermal performance than evacuated tubes solar collectors. Since Vacuum Tube Solar Collectors do not generate electrical power, our comparison will be limited to the thermal part of both technologies.

In colder climates, such as the Canadian and Nordic Climates, Vacuum Tubes have a superior performance in extreme winter conditions (on the right side of point C in the below curve)

The lower the outdoor temperature, The higher is (Tm-Ta)/G and the lower is the thermal performance of both technologies of solar panels. As we can see from the above graph, Hybrid PVT panels have a steeper performance curves. Hybrid PVT solar panels's peformance can be as high as 70% in the summer and as low as 19% in winter. Our Vacuum Tube Solar Collectors summer performance can not exceed 42%, however the winter performance can not be less than 37-38% (double the winter perfromance of Hybrid PVT panels).

Further Readings


Annual Solar Simulation for Toronto (ON) - PVT (Left - Green), Vacuum Tube (Right - Yellow) - Panels Aperture area of 5.64 m2 

Annual Solar Simulation for Saskatoon (SK) - PVT (Left - Green), Vacuum Tube (Right - Yellow) - Panels Aperture area of 5.64 m2 

As we can see from the above charts, Vacuum Tube always generate more thermal energy in cold climates (such as the case of most Canadian Cities). Hybrid PVT solar panels generate less thermal energy, however when adding the Photovoltaic portion in KWh  to the Thermal Portion, we always get a higher annual energy output than Evacuated Tube Solar Collectors.

Evacuated Tube Solar Collectors superior perfromance is in winter, when outdoor temperature is very low and when heating demand is very high. Depending on usage and application Evacuated Tube are a better choice for applications involving winter hydronic heating (such as space heating), however for applications involving primarily summer hydronic heating (such as Swimming Pool Heating), Hybrid PVT are a better choice.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published