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Environmental Impacts of Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Module Production

Environmental Impacts of Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Module Production,Erik A. Alsema,Mariska J. de Wild-Scholten

Environmental Impacts of Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaic Module Production   (Citations: 9)
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Together with a number of PV companies an extensive effort has been made to collect Life Cycle Inventory data that represents the current status of production technology for crystalline silicon modules. The new data cover all processes from silicon feedstock production to cell and module manufacturing. All commercial wafer technologies are covered, that is multi- and monocrystalline wafers as well as ribbon technology. The presented data should be representative for the technology status in 2004, although for monocrystalline Si crystallisation further improvement of the data quality is recommended. On the basis of the new data a Life Cycle Assessment has been performed, which shows that c-Si PV systems are in a good position to compete with other energy technologies. Energy Pay-Back Times of 1.7-2.7 yr are found for South-European locations, while life-cycle CO 2 emissions are in the 30-45 g/kWh range. Clear perspectives exist for further improvements of roughly 40-50%.
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