The Triple Solar® system is a natural gas-free energy solution for all seasons, 24 hours a day. On this page we explain how the system works.

Operation of the PVT heat pump solar panel

The innovative Triple Solar heat pump panel generates electricity via the solar panel and also extracts heat from daylight, sunlight and outside air. While the electricity goes to the electricity grid, the heat is transferred to the heat pump. Thanks to the combination of three heat sources, the efficiency of the Triple Solar heat pump panel is high – higher than that of, for example, a solar water heater that only uses direct sunlight. It therefore also forms a stable source of energy in every season, 24 hours a day.

The heat pump panel is made of aluminum. Special fluid: glycol flows through pipes under the smooth-looking surface. This fluid absorbs the ambient heat from the three sources and conducts it to the heat pump.

Operation of the heat pump

The heat from the source, the Triple Solar heat pump panels, is of relatively low temperature. In the heat pump, the heat is converted into usable, higher heat for a home – think of heating and hot tap water. The heat pump, which runs on electricity, thus replaces the gas-fired boiler.

how does a heat pump work with Triple Solar PVT panel solar panel

The heat pump we use is an electric compression heat pump (brine / water). The operating principle of this type of heat pump is the easiest to explain on the basis of its components, the evaporator, compressor and condenser, linked to three phases:

Phase 1: Extracting the heat
An evaporator is located in the heat pump. This evaporator contains a so-called transport liquid, which already evaporates at a low temperature. The ambient heat from the source (the heat pump panels) causes the liquid in the evaporator to heat up and evaporate as a result.

Phase 2: Compressing
The electric compressor in the heat pump then compresses the vapor released. This process increases the pressure in the heat pump and increases the temperature.

Phase 3: Heat release
Thanks to the expansion valve, the vapor is given space again in the condenser. As a result, the pressure decreases and the vapor returns to (transport) liquid. Heat is released during this process. This heat is then routed to the delivery circuit – the heating system or the boiler. The temperature of the heat released is considerably higher than that of the originally absorbed heat. This can now be used for heating and hot tap water.

The transport liquid then flows back to the evaporator, after which the process starts again.

how does a heat pump work with Triple Solar?

Sun influence on PVT Solar Panels

The Triple Solar® system is not dependent on the sun for heat, because the heat pump panel is also capable of extracting heat from the outside temperature and daylight. However, it does of course have the benefit of sunlight. The sun creates a higher source temperature, which means that the heat pump needs less electricity to ultimately deliver usable heat. As a result, the heat pump operates more efficiently during the day and in the summer than at night and in the winter. And although the system also works fine on the north, it is (even) more economical when installing the panels on the south.

As far as electricity is concerned, of course the following still applies: more sun means more electricity.

Advantage compared to other systems

In addition to the Triple Solar® system, there are other comparable systems: the air / heat pump with air box as source and the heat pump with bottom loop as source. The table below shows the advantages of the Triple Solar® system compared to these other systems:

Heat pump with Triple Solar panels as source Air / heat pump with air box as source Heat pump with bottom loop as source
Energy source Sunlight, daylight and outside air Outdoor air Earth (the bottom)
Average source temperature during the year High; the combination of three sources ensures optimum energy utilization. Low; the average outside temperature during the heating season is 4.8 degrees. Low; the temperature sometimes drops to 0 degrees during the winter season.

Consequences at temperature below freezing point
Continues to work without problems (cannot freeze), with still a relatively good source temperature. Can freeze: due to the formation of ice, the evaporator can no longer do its job properly and must be defrosted by the heat pump’s defrost function. The heat pump continues to work, but the source temperature remains low after the winter with rising outside temperatures.

Silent / no sound; no moving parts = no Fan noise 
Installation and maintenance Easy to install and maintenance free. Easy to install by a STEK certified company, but requires maintenance.
Relatively complex installation; the bottom loop must be installed by a specialized drilling company that must be BRL certified.

More information

Provide your home with heat, hot tap water and electricity in a sustainable manner.

Information about the requirements that your home must meet, the delivery and installation of the system.