The SunDrum Hybrid PVT solar system operating at the Inn at Schofield Barracks, a large hotel in Oahu, Hawaii, has returned 25 percent of its installation costs in the first six months of operation. Installed by AllNuEnergy, Inc., the system is expected to break even in less than two and a half years and provide an ROI of more than 29 percent.
The SunDrum thermal collectors are a unique design in that they take advantage of the excess heat generated by the solar PV panel. Solar PV panels convert only 10-15 percent of the Sun’s energy into electricity. The remainder is thrown off as waste heat. By attaching the SunDrum thermal collector to the underside of a standard PV panel, the SunDrum System is able to capture up to 75 percent of this waste energy, thereby heating fluid running through the SunDrum system which heats the hot water of the hotel.
The unique SunDrum System allows the greatest amount of renewable energy to be generated in a given amount of space. Also, by drawing heat directly from the PV panel, the SunDrum collector cools it, thereby improving the electrical output between 5-10 pecent. In contrast, according to SunDrum Solar, dual systems require their own space and are unable to generate both electrical and thermal energy in the same footprint.
By utilizing the SunDrum Solar unique PVT design at the Inn at Schofield Barracks, SunDrum says the hotel will realize over 27 percent or an additional $1.1M in total savings even though only 40 percent of the PV panels have SunDrum Solar attachments.