FAFCO Inc., a solar thermal manufacturer since 1969, today launched CoolPV, a combined solar electric and thermal panel that produces up to 4 times more energy than a standard PV system.
CoolPV combines the electricity generation of a solar module with the water heating capability of a FAFCO thermal collector into a unified package, maximizing the energy output of a home or business rooftop. A CoolPV panel produces electricity from the sun just like a standard PV module, but CoolPV’s thermal collectors pull heat away from the module, increasing its electrical output and heating water for pool use.
“This new product promises to change the face of residential and commercial solar pool-heating. By combining a PV module with a thermal collector, a CoolPV system can reduce a user’s electric bill by 50% or more, and heat their swimming pool, all from the same roof footprint,” said Marc Cortez, FAFCO’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Home and business owners no longer have to choose between generating electricity and heating water with their valuable roof space. Now they can do both at the same time."
CoolPV’s patent-pending technology was originally developed through a US Navy contract, has passed all class A UL 1703 fire rating tests, and is OG 100 certified, making it eligible for the 30% solar investment tax credit. In certain climates, a single, 275-watt CoolPV panel can produce more than 1,000 watts of combined electrical and thermal energy. CoolPV system paybacks are rapid, especially in areas that use natural gas, diesel or fuel oils to heat water. When a CoolPV system uses Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) or other commercial financing mechanisms, it is often cash-flow positive within the first year.
“More than four decades ago, FAFCO brought solar thermal collectors to homeowners’ rooftops,” said Freeman Ford, FAFCO founder and chairman of the board. “We believe that CoolPV’s combined electrical and thermal benefits will be just as disruptive to the much-larger PV industry.”