The thermodynamic panel system is a very efficient process of providing hot water when compared to a traditional electric water heater. It is based on the thermodynamic principle developed by French physicist Nicholas Carnot in 1840.
The system works by extracting heat from the atmosphere day and night in sunshine, rain and wind. The thermodynamic panel is the component installed outdoors to absorb the heat needed and transfer it on to a refrigerant gas that passes through it. The heated gas is then transferred to the compressor unit where it exchanges the heat from the refrigerant gas to the water in the storage tank.
The thermodynamic panel system is currently being tested at the Institute for Sustainable Energy in Marsaxlokk. The results are already very positive and will be officially published shortly.
The system is manufactured by a Spanish company called Energy Panel.
Refrigerant fluid circulates through panels and absorbs heat energy from the atmosphere. The increase in temperature changes the liquid to a gas. The gas passes through a compressor, the temperature increases dramatically and forms into a hot gas which then flows through a heat exchanger and thermodynamic block which transfers the heat into the water which can be used for sanitary hot water, space heating or larger applications such as swimming pools. So in a sense it is a heat pump being assisted by the outside temperature.
Traditional solar thermal panels use water or a Glycol solution in the panels where as a thermodynamic system uses a refrigerant. Using a refrigerant allows a thermodynamic system to make use of all heat in the atmosphere where as solar thermal systems rely on heat from the sun. The refrigerant in the thermodynamic panels enters them at less than minus 22ºC, this allows them to function at night and even on the coldest winter days. Solar Thermal panels must be situated on roofs that face south, south east or south west, in order that they can harvest the most sunlight. Thermodynamic panels can be placed on a wall or on the roof and they do not have to face south. In fact this is also ideal maisonettes, apartments and houses with restricted roof space.
Thermodynamic solar panels work in rain, shine, frost or snow, 24 hours per day 365 days per year. They are the next generation in renewable energy and, as they do not rely on sunlight, are perfect for anywhere in Malta. They can be used for heating your home, hot water or even heating swimming pools.