Turbo Powered Solar Panels

TPM Turbo© Inside

Using Thermoelectric Power Modules (TPMs) to Create “Turbo-Charged” Photovoltaic Panels

Imagine doubling the efficiency of solar panels by using a turbo charger. Now imagine we found a way to do that and we call it “TPM Turbo” for solar panels. The idea of turbo charging a engine came from taking something that was considered waste and converting to energy and power. For that car engine, exhaust that formally was discarded is used to add power to the engine by running in through a turbo charging unit. Similarly, Dynamo Renewable has found a way to recoup energy from the waste heat on solar panels. This “turbo charger” for solar panels we call a Thermoelectric Power Module or TPM.

TPMs use a commonly found electrical component, a Thermoelectric Device (TED) to convert waste heat into power. While these devices can be commonly obtained, there are several key, and patent pending, concepts that make TPM very different from TEDs, and also makes them very effective at their job of converting waste heat to energy. To give some insight into how this is possible, most TEDs are only efficient at very high temperature gradients. While this is suitable for some applications, and even a limitation in many TED designs, we have found a way to improve those designs and continue to explore additional improvements.

This means that while there are a lot of engineers that can apply TEDs to solar panels to attempt our approach to turbo charging solar panels, we have developed a new technology to maximize that process. Our TPM Turbo technology could improve PV only solar panel efficiency by as much as 20%, which is the upper end of regular TED power conversion efficiency. Beyond that, our improvements to TED design and TPM construction we expect will enable the construction of TPM Turbo integration into full size, commercial solar panels to cost only a few dollars. This contrasts sharply with the cost of high efficiency TEDs which would cost thousands of dollars to install effectively on a solar panel.