Hybrid solar panels for hotels: a cost-effective and highly energy efficient technology

The hotel sector is one of the most intensive as regards energy consumption. The vast majority of hotels were constructed during an era in which energy did not represent a significant cost and as a result their design did not place much importance on efficiency and sustainability criteria. The increase in the cost of energy (both electricity and fossil fuels such as gas and diesel) has resulted in the gradual introduction of solutions to improve the energy efficiency of hotel installations. One such solution currently available is hybrid solar panel technology that simultaneously generates heat and electricity and whose features perfectly adapt to the needs of hotel installations.

There are three steps to achieving reduced operating costs. The first step consists of reducing the energy demand of the building; the second comprises the self-generation of energy by integrating renewable energy sources; and the third step is to ensure that the energy demanded (which is not covered by renewables), is supplied by the most efficient installations possible. These three steps must be applied in the above order, given that the lower the demand, the fewer the number of installations to be undertaken.

This article describes the case of a 4-star, 400-room hotel in the Balearics that has integrated this innovative solar technology: hybrid solar panels. This technology simultaneously generates electricity and hot water from a single panel, producing more energy from the same available space. Greater energy savings translate into an increased economic saving, which is the key to the cost-effective solution offered by this technology, as this case study shows. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2018