The study, developed through a detailed analysis of available data in the international literature, aims to better understand the nature and the extent of risks related to all stages of photovoltaic panels life cycle, produced by the most advanced technologies. For example, the CdTe (Cadmium Telluride) thin film photovoltaic technology is very promising from an economic and energetic point of view, but it shows challenges and risks related to the presence of a potentially very dangerous heavy metal, whose utilization has been actually banned in many products. Currently, CdTe photovoltaic panels are not included in European regulations limiting elements considered dangerous and regulating their disposal. In terms of environmental impact, previous studies showed that the CdTe modules have similar or less impact than other photovoltaic technologies and have a lower energy consumption relative to the production stage. Indeed, these studies are developed on the only energetic return and EPBT (Energy Pay-Back Time) basis, and they do not take into account the effects related to heavy metals pollution. In this context, the CIGS (Copper Indium Gallium di-Selenide) and amorphous/micromorph MCPH thin-film silicon technologies showed to have an environmental impact comparable to that of CdTe and in some cases even less. The lack of ascertained data on the extent of risks associated with production, use and disposal stages of these panels and the fast technological progress of solar technologies make difficult, but necessary to outline a reliable framework and to assess a balance between risks and benefits in the use photovoltaic modules on a large-scale. It is also urgent to implement an efficient action for the recovery and recycling based on the precautionary principle.

Bravi, M., Parisi, M.L., Tiezzi, E., & Basosi, R. (2010). Life Cycle Assessment of advanced technologies for photovoltaic panels production. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HEAT AND TECHNOLOGY, 28(2), 133-139.

Life Cycle Assessment of advanced technologies for photovoltaic panels production

BRAVI, MIRKO;PARISI, MARIA LAURA;TIEZZI, ENZO;BASOSI, RICCARDO
2010

Abstract

The study, developed through a detailed analysis of available data in the international literature, aims to better understand the nature and the extent of risks related to all stages of photovoltaic panels life cycle, produced by the most advanced technologies. For example, the CdTe (Cadmium Telluride) thin film photovoltaic technology is very promising from an economic and energetic point of view, but it shows challenges and risks related to the presence of a potentially very dangerous heavy metal, whose utilization has been actually banned in many products. Currently, CdTe photovoltaic panels are not included in European regulations limiting elements considered dangerous and regulating their disposal. In terms of environmental impact, previous studies showed that the CdTe modules have similar or less impact than other photovoltaic technologies and have a lower energy consumption relative to the production stage. Indeed, these studies are developed on the only energetic return and EPBT (Energy Pay-Back Time) basis, and they do not take into account the effects related to heavy metals pollution. In this context, the CIGS (Copper Indium Gallium di-Selenide) and amorphous/micromorph MCPH thin-film silicon technologies showed to have an environmental impact comparable to that of CdTe and in some cases even less. The lack of ascertained data on the extent of risks associated with production, use and disposal stages of these panels and the fast technological progress of solar technologies make difficult, but necessary to outline a reliable framework and to assess a balance between risks and benefits in the use photovoltaic modules on a large-scale. It is also urgent to implement an efficient action for the recovery and recycling based on the precautionary principle.
Bravi, M., Parisi, M.L., Tiezzi, E., & Basosi, R. (2010). Life Cycle Assessment of advanced technologies for photovoltaic panels production. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HEAT AND TECHNOLOGY, 28(2), 133-139.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11365/26854