One of the first articles in our series about products that have had a positive effect on the environment was published back in 2008. It concerned the small company Absolicon (then called Arontis) that had developed a product that could produce both electricity and heat from solar energy. You can read more about this in the article “Interest in solar cells is growing rapidly.”
Since then, a lot has happened with the technology, the company and the market interest in renewable energy. Let us revisit the system that can both produce heat – used for hot water, heating, air conditioning and process heat – and generates electricity that can be used immediately, stored in batteries, or sold to the grid.
Absolicon has made inroads in key markets and the company and its founders have received a number of national and international awards.
Solar industry’s Oscar to Absolicon
In the spring of 2011, Absolicon was awarded the Intersolar Prize, often considered the solar industry’s Oscar. The award was presented in Munich at the world’s largest solar trade show.
“We have worked hard over many years and we regard this as our international breakthrough,” says Joakim Byström, President of Absolicon. The award was presented in three categories and recognizes pioneering products in the solar industry. “We were very honored when we found out we were nominated. Winning the prize is fantastic and we have received much attention for our unique solar collector.”
Focus on energy savings in large buildings
Absolicon’s solar energy products are primarily designed for large buildings and commercial properties and include hotels, hospitals, apartment buildings, schools, sports facilities and industries. These all have significant water and heat consumption during the hot season.
The image at the top shows a 200 m2 solar-type Absolicon X10 PV / T system installed in the district heating network in Härnösand, Sweden.
According Absolicon, a solar/energy system offers many advantages:
- Electricity and heat are generated simultaneously with high yield from a single module. The module is a combination of solar collectors (solar thermal panels, PV) and PV (photovoltaic panels,T).
- The system can in a stable manner supply hot water at a temperature of 70-80 ° C. The system produces more heat during the autumn, spring and winter when compared to a traditional solar system.
- With a cooling and control system in place, the system avoids the risk of the solar cells getting too hot.
- It is also future-proof as one can replace components and upgrade to new, more efficient solar cells.
- The Absolicon X10 PV / T follows the sun’s motion (solar tracker) which orients the reflector so that light is focused on the solar cells. The solar tracker contains a program that automatically protects the solar cells against the risk of overheating or storm. If the temperature exceeds a certain value the collector automatically switches to a horizontal safety position.
- The system has a controller whose main task is to follow the sun throughout the day. The controller has a built-in web server that allows it to be remotely controlled from a computer. The controller can also manage the regulation of the solar circuit, log production data, weather data and more.
The Absolicon X10 T is another system that can generate hot water and steam at a temperature of up to 200 ° C. Applications include industrial and cooling processes.
Solar energy systems are set up in many places
Absolicon photovoltaic systems are now installed in several places in the world. Here are some interesting examples:
- The company has collaboration with a foundation in Patagonia, Chile to supply electricity and heat to hotel facilities in national parks. The collaboration has been going on for over a year and the first installations are completed. “The foundation that owns the park has chosen to invest in the future of solar energy that is easy to upgrade as the technology develops,” says Stephen Turtas, who is sales manager at Absolicon.
- A hospital in Härnösand, Sweden has the world’s first plant that uses concentrating technologies (Solar Concentrator) with solar cells to generate both the “solar” and “solar cooling.” Solar cooling is used to cool the radiology department and solar heat is used to preheat hot water. The electricity from solar panels is fed into the building’s power grid. The technology to create solar cooling comes from the Swedish-Spanish company ClimateWell. The heat from the solar panels is converted to cooling by a salt alternately dried and wetted. The entire process is closed and the result is a cool airflow that actually originates from the sun that shines on the roof.
- In India, interest in solar products is big. Absolicon is working with Bergen Solar Energy in India. A solar installation is planned at a hospital in Punjab in northern India.
The article was published in August 2011